Need help with Racing Photography by Saturday !! AHHHH!!! - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-27-2007, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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Need help with Racing Photography by Saturday !! AHHHH!!!

Well, not that urgent, but would like some tips.

So on Saturday, I will be attending the San Jose Grand Prix. There's champ cars, stock cars, and drifting all in the city streets. Search Youtube for videos to get an idea of what it is.

So my Dad's lab used a Nikon D100 for microscope photography but have since then purchased one with built in camera/video so I have the D100 to play with until further notice The lab had the camera directly attached to the microscope so I have to work with 7 year old 35-80mm lenses.

I understand the basic of photography but am very very new. I haven't had much time to experiment yet.

Can anyone give me some tips for photographing moving race cars? What settings would you guys recommend for ISO, shutter, aperature. I understand every situation is different but hopefully I can start at the recommended settings and tweak it from there.

Thanks in advance and I'll be sure to post my pictures after the weekend.


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-27-2007, 03:28 AM
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Re: Need help with Racing Photography by Saturday !! AHHHH!!!

not too up and up on the settings, however you want to have a fast shutter speed, and follow the car with your camera.

Your camera has to rotate or move at the same speed the car is in relation to you.

if the car is on an apex and turning in towards you, the camera should be moving away.

I remember these few tips from a photographer a while ago that shoots races and such.

I would just google for the rest if I were you.

-bossboy

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-27-2007, 04:17 AM
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Re: Need help with Racing Photography by Saturday !! AHHHH!!!

cpham, the basic rule is that you can only do two things with motion: you can choose to freeze it, or you can choose to show it. If you use a fast enough shutter (at least as fast as the object is moving in terms of time) you can freeze the motion at that instant. You can also choose to use a slower shutter to show the motion blur, or you can even exaggerate it by using an even slower shutter and showing more blur. As a rule of thumb, don't try anything slower than 1/60 sec without a tripod, or the whole picture can become blurry due to camera shake.

A cool (but tricky) thing to try is to set the camera to a relatively slow shutter speed and "pan" the camera while the car is driving by. That basically means that as you take the photo, you follow the car with the camera while trying to match its movement. What that does is it blurs the background and keeps the car relatively in focus for a neat effect. You have to be good at following the subject though and keeping it in the same spot in the frame or it will become blurry.

This is an image by professional photographer Ed Kashi titled "Saigon on Wheels" (1994) that shows the result of panning the camera to follow a moving subject:



So basically it all depends on what you want to do. Do you want to freeze the cars and the background? If so, then keep the camera still and use a fast shutter (or even follow the object if your shutter is sufficiently fast to not blur the background). If you want to show motion blur in the cars, but not the background, then keep the camera still and reduce the shutter speed. If you want to blur the background and keep the cars in focus, then move the camera with an appropriate shutter speed for however much background blur you want.

I haven't really experimented much with panning, but I imagine it's tricky to do... especially if the object is moving really fast, or if you have trouble moving the camera steadily without shaking it. Maybe you can practice it on cars driving by on the road? Start at 1/125 and move down to 1/60, 1/30 etc. gradually to get a feel for it. A tripod will help, but it also makes it more cumbersome to follow the moving object. Try different things and see what works.

Of course, you're limited in what you can do by the amount of light you have to work with. If you're trying to stop fast motion, it's probably in your interest to use a higher ISO setting with a fast lens... or at least make sure to go when there's adequate sunlight.

(By the way, these are general techniques that I know of. I don't know how much of this applies to race car situations. If anything, I think you'll probably end up having to use faster shutter speeds than what I quoted because race cars are pretty damn fast :P)



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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-27-2007, 04:40 AM
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Re: Need help with Racing Photography by Saturday !! AHHHH!!!

Also, check the "Calling All Photographers" thread. Some of those guys have amazing shots from car/motorcycle races.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help with Racing Photography by Saturday !! AHHHH!!!

Pictures are up.
http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.ph...73.0;topicseen


Thanks for the panning tip 3AndMe


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 04:17 AM
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Re: Need help with Racing Photography by Saturday !! AHHHH!!!

np... bossboy mentioned it, too.

By the way, those came out awesome. It looks like you were able to keep the cars in focus pretty good.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 07:16 AM
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Re: Need help with Racing Photography by Saturday !! AHHHH!!!

Nice shots, looks like the D100 is still up to the task

Here's a link to a guy in the UK who specializes in motor sports photography.....
uk motorsprots pics



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