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April 10, 1984 - Image 21

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-04-10
This is a tabloid page

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V v


The Colorado
Coors Classic
ho are the world s greatest athletes?
Competitive bicycle racers, accord-
ing to the venerable dons of Oxford
University, who found that the cyclists burn
more calories during a race than a human
could possible eat in the same period, have
the greatest lung capacity and are, overall,
the most physically fit of any category of
athletes. According to some venerable pho-
tographers, bike riders also represent one of
the greatest challenges in the whole field of
action photography. When the Coors Classic,
the major U.S. bicycle race, rolls through the
imposing Rocky Mountains from July 13-22,
1984, it will be both a preview of the upcom-
ing Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles
and a potentially rich photographic event.
Cyclists from at least 30 nations are ex-
pected to attend, riding bikes that cost as
much as $2,000 on tires of silk, thinly latex-
covered, that are more valuable than
passenger-car radials. Recognized as the na-
tional tour of America by the Union Cycliste
Internationale of Geneva, Switzerland, the
Coors Classic is one of the largest mens'
races in the world and the very largest
womens' race. Over eleven days the cyclists
will spin out of Denver into the Rockies and
through Vail and Aspen before returning to
Denver. It's a 'stage race," so the ultimate
winner will have the lowest accumulative
time for all of the event's day-long races. The
winner will also climb a total of 50,000 feet in
oxygen-light, mile-high terrain.
'Cycling is the hardest sport I ever shot,"
says free-lance photographer Joseph Daniel,
a tall, bushy-bearded and laid-back native of
Boulder, Colorado. Sports Illustrated, Rolling
Stone and Geo are some of his clients. We
meet at the ramshackle two-story Victorian
house he is just beginning to restore, and
Daniel is covered with plaster dust. I ask how
an amateur photographer can get great bicy-
cle racing photos and Daniel quips, "Buy one
of my prints."
"Throw caution to the wind," he adds in a
10 spring 1984 -"break


that he saw, and then seeing how he went
about photographing them, it was a very
good way to learn in the field."
Though she first started by using an old
Nikon camera that had been lying around
their house in Los Angeles, and coupling
that with some of Wheeler's old lenses, it
wasn't long before Bellwood acquired a wide
array of her own equipment. Today she uses
a Nikon EM camera and will typically take a
24 mm, 35 mm, 50 mm and a 75-to-150 mm
zoom lenses on a shoot.
Like many photographers, Bellwood enjoys
photographing people. There is always a
large demand for her candid shots of her fel-
low Dynasty costars. A huge spread photo-
graphed by Bellwood recently appeared in
US magazine, and the demand for photos
and stories about the hit prime-time drama
is as large overseas as it is here.
While she enjoys this type of photography,
Bellwood is also partial to sports, having
photographed the Holmes/Ali fight in Las
Vegas, kick boxing in Thailand and swamp
buggy races in Florida. Says Bellwood, "Pho-
tography is something that I could be com-
fortable doing for the rest of my life. And if I
were ever to stop acting, nothing would make
me happier than to keep traveling, make my
expenses, shoot my film and go from one
place to another. To me that would be an
idyllic way to live."
There are some people, though, who
wouldn't complain about the life Bellwood
has led so far. It has encompassed virtually
all forms of entertainment. A native New
Yorker, Bellwood first tasted acting while at-
tending an eastern college and later per-
formed in Boston, London and on Broadway
in Butterflies Are Free. Her film credits include

Two-Minute Warning, Airport '77 and The Incredi-
ble Shrinking Woman. And on television you've
probably seen her on Mannix, Police Story,
Baretta and her own short-lived series called
WEB. But the show that helps finance
Bellwood's wanderlust is Dynasty, which is
consistently rated within television's top five
shows, according to Nielsen surveys.
If there is a relaxed look in the photo-
graphs of her subjects, Bellwood chalks it all
up to her own acting experience. "I think it's
easier for actors to relax in front of other ac-
tors," says Bellwood. And, pursuing her pas-
sion for acting, cameras and film, Bellwood
says she would someday like to get behind a
motion picture camera and direct.
"I've directed some theater pieces, which
is something that I really enjoyed doing," she
says, "and I think that I'm good with actors."
The ever-active actress already has plans
in the works to achieve this goal. She is talk-
ing to investors about financing a documen-
tary which she would direct. It would follow
the progress of leopards that have been in
captivity, are deprogrammed to live in their
natural environment, and then are taken to
Kenya to be released in the wild. Also part of
the project is a partner of George Adamson,
whose late wife, joy, wrote Born Free.
Until that project gets off the ground,
Bellwood will keep busy with photography -
when she has' the time. For Bellwood the
camera is an extension of her abilities as an
actress. "I like the fact that you are making a
statement, similar to acting, only you use
your point of view instead of your body. It's
not just your choice of subject that makes
the statement, but the way you make that
choice and the way you care to photograph
it. That becomes your statement."

Back in Los Angeles, Bellwood delights in tak-
ing pictures of her Dynasty costars - such as
John Forsythe (below).

Last year's Classic scenes: Gorgeous scenery
surrounding the cyclists (top right); wracking
exhaustios after a race (above); and bike
wheels shining like diamonds in the sun
(right). The riders racing over the undulating
countryside (top left) are from another time,
another race . . . but the beauty and intensity
are the same.
serious vein. "Use lots of film. Keep in mind
that relative to the good shots, film is cheap.
Go for the more difficult situations, knowing
that your percentage is a lot less, but when
you do hit it, you'll have the quality photo
that is worthwhile." .
Daniel sees many neophyte photographers
as overconcerned with equipment and tech-
nique. Bicycle racing happens so fast that
being relaxed and ready is the only way to
grab the best shots. "A good doctrine to use
in photography is the KISS rule," says Daniel,
"which means 'Keep It Simple, Stupid. Two
lenses, a wide-angle and a telephoto, are all
you'll really need for 90 percent of action
shooting. I mainly use a 24 mm and a 300
mm, but any variations thereof will do. Next,
establish your plan of shots."'
Daniel has a favorite photo angle - cyc-
lists spinning through a corner and heading
directly toward the camera. He stands on the
opposite side of the street past a turn, ready
with a telephoto lens on a tripod-mounted

camera. He watches a few laps to find the
point where a cyclist navigating the turn will
fill a whole frame and sets his shutter at
1/500th of a second. Then he fires whenever
he senses a dramatic moment. The pictures
freeze an instant when leg muscles are exert-
ing and well delineated and faces are up,
studying what lies past the turn.
Michael Chritton, photographer for the
Quad City Times, for the past three years has
also been staff photographer for the Coors
Classic. Bookish in appearance, Chritton
takes fabulous pictures but is highly self-
critical. He says his greatest danger is in get-
ting too excited by the action and losing his
photographic perspective. His favorite tech-
nique is using a flash in full daylight. This
lifts shadows from faces and accentuates the
glistening of sweat on muscular arms and
legs. Chritton sets up in much the same
manner recommended by Daniel, but with
flash at the ready. When a subject comes
into the area on which he has prefocused, he

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