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.