What is Runography?

I first learned about the art of “runography” in 2009 when I came across the work of John Wood, a Pasadena-based photographer who started taking photos with his pocket-sized camera when he went out on runs.  Whether it was taking shots of sunsets on a bridge or of a kid running on a track, John’s shots were always mesmerizing, captivating, and even comical.

In an act of emulation, I started taking shots during my runs as well.  Only I did so with my iPhone, for two reasons: (1) I always took it with me since I listen to music on my runs, and (2) I was already into iPhoneography (iPhone photography) and wanted to see if I could challenge myself to take spectacular shots while out on a run.

I started by just taking photos of what I saw around me during a run.  The bridge that passes over Canal Street in Georgetown; the boardwalk on the swamp of Roosevelt Island; the cemetery I passed on Rock Creek Parkway.  I shot spots I liked or found interesting for some reason and then moved on to trying to find places that had never sparked my interest and seeing if I could find something unique about them.

I expanded into photographing myself on runs, usually my shadow or my legs or myself.  Then, I moved on to shooting other runners, walkers, tourists, passers-by…really, anything or anyone that caught my eye and drew my attention.  It became a new form — street photography meets running, using only my iPhone.

To me, runography has became a way of enriching my running experience, of capturing the little moments I see when I’m out slogging through 5-, 10-, or even 20-mile runs.  I’ll shoot the people I see, the places I run through, and even myself in an attempt to expand my love of the sport and my love of photography.

I have only made a couple of rules for myself:

To qualify as runography, photos must be taken only during runs.

I can use any iPhone apps to edit photos but they cannot be overly post-processed (e.g., iPhoto, PhotoShop, etc.).

My favorite photo apps include: Camera+, Hipstamatic, Instagram, Best Camera, Shake It Photo, PS Express, ColorSplash, See This, and Percolator.

7 Responses to “What is Runography?”

  1. John Wood April 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Dude! this is very cool! thank you so much for your shout out! you made my day man 🙂 and happy run’ography!

    • DC Runographer May 3, 2011 at 9:38 am #

      Ha! Thanks, John, glad you approve. You ARE the godfather of runography, after all!

  2. Cristina April 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    I’m John’s sister writing from Madrid. Cool shots!!
    Hey bro, you’re becoming famous!!

    Muchos besos,
    Cris

  3. Jared April 28, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Ahhhh, art and running–two things that make this world a better place. I’ve ran literally hundreds (thousands?) of miles with Mr.Wood and I always welcome the brief respite of a photo snap.

    • John Wood April 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

      Jared, I believe we have run 1,873 miles together. Ok, maybe not that exact put its gotta be pretty close 🙂

    • DC Runographer May 3, 2011 at 9:41 am #

      I’ve seen some of his times, I wouldn’t be able to keep up.

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