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Red Bull Dark Knights Singapore 2013

A night time down hill mountain bike (MTB) race, held at Pearl’s Hill City Park, a beautiful hill and park surrounded by the city lights around the hill. Red Bull Dark Knights Singapore 2013 returned on 18th May 2013 and I was glad to be there watching high octane mountain biking sports competition and challenging myself to shoot extreme sports photography in extreme lighting and uneven terrain! This night time down hill mountain bike race attracted quite a number of supporters and spectators watching up close and personal to the racing action!

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Starting from on top of the hill, at the summit of Pearl’s Hill City Park right next to a restricted reservoir, the MTB riders will race and conquer many obstacles, navigate through challenging conditions and terrains, through rock gardens and jumping up and down and the MTB Riders even have to land a jump at the finish line from a height of over 10 feet. The Red Bull Dark Knights Singapore 2013 race was conducted in very dim lighting conditions even though Pearl’s Hill City Park was surrounded by many city lights! There were not many lightings placed along the competition route and it was total darkness at some parts of the competition route! This was a great test and learning for us photographers, extreme sports photography action in very challenging lighting conditions, this gave me a chance to learn, apply, practice and expand my sports photography skills, knowledge and portfolio.

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Given the intensity of the mountain bike down hill racing action along with the race being held in the night, it was a big test for older generation DSLRs like my Canon EOS 1D Mark III with its Digic 3 CMOS sensor. I had previously tested and reviewed the Canon EOS 1DX, 5D Mark III and 6D, with their newest and excellent CMOS sensor, night extreme photography in such dim lighting conditions would be a lot easier for sports photographers. Therefore, this was another great learning and training opportunity to put myself photographing in challenging conditions with the constraints faced. During the time when I was shooting the Red Bull Dark Knights in action, it wasn’t easy for me and I slowly got used to adjusting and adapting to the conditions. I also managed to get a few shots with help from other photographers who used their flash (at the designated and approved location of the race circuit) to take the riders in racing action and the flash illumination helps me to shoot the riders in action!

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Overall, photographing the Red Bull Dark Knights was a great and fun experience, challenging and pushing myself to shoot in challenging conditions and constraints. This wonderful and special opportunity to shoot Red Bull Dark Knights Singapore 2013 would not be possible without the invitation by Canon EOS World, I would like to say a big Thank You to Canon EOS World!

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