Commack High School Girls Varsity Track vs. Connetquot
Fair warning, this is a large gallery. These were two large track teams and they ran just about every track event so there was a lot to cover. Even so, I wasn't able to catch shotput or discus so, hopefully I can come back for those.
A (long) while ago I wrote a post on how to deal with photographing runners with the sun at their back. I try to avoid this situation whenever possible but for some of the shorter events, you may have to deal with it depending upon how your track is situated direction-wise.
In the late afternoon, when most high school meets are held, on our track the sun sets behind the starting line for the 100 meter races. This means the runners' front will be in the shade with strong sunlight at their backs (and shining right into your camera). To make matters worse most tracks usually have colored surfaces (ours are brick red; others I've see are green). This means that the main light hitting the front of the runners will be reflected off the track surface and, consequently, produce a color cast on the runners.
You can adjust this somewhat in post-processing by a number of methods. First, and easiest, you can manually adjust the white balance in just about any post-processing software. Second, if you're using Lightroom, you can tweak the HSL sliders or the sliders in the Camera Calibration tool. If you're using Photoshop you can use the Color Balance or Color Lookup tools. If you're using Capture One the Color Balance and Color Editor are especially useful for this kind of problem. I'm not going to go into each of these solutions in detail in this post but you can Google any of them and find countless videos on how to make these corrections. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have questions on any of them. How far you take each correction is really a personal choice. I tend to leave some color cast in because, to me at least, it looks more realistic.
That's it for today, folks. This track meet was the first and, so far, last day I got to wear a short sleeve shirt when shooting a sports event so far this spring. Hopefully things will warm up next week. Shooting the golf team wearing down parkas is a drag.