Tips Motorsports

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by liratheal, 9 Oct 2017.

  1. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    I'm looking for pointers, really. I've been dabbling for a while, and I read the speedhunters article about it some time back, and again read some of what David Freiburger does/advises when it comes to photographing cars.

    Largely this is driven by my disliking the kind of car photos that are available, the cars I like are underrepresented and I want new wallpapers - There's no danger of me wanting to make money from this sort of thing.

    So, time conspired against me regarding doing anything at the time so I sat and waited, eventually snagging a non-IS F4 70-200 USM lens. I was reading that at the shutter speeds I'd need for motorsports, IS wasn't the be all or end all - And since an IS F4 was two, three times the price I thought I'd take the risk - Although I'd rather have the F2.8 IS for night, but whatever.

    I have a 450D, so cropped frame, which I guess makes the 70-200 less effective since it's full frame, but until I know what I'm doing I'm not going on the hunt for a full frame. Cursory glance says 5D's are the thick end of a grand for a passable condition one (ideally SD card rather than CF).

    I went to a local sprint course for an hour and tried my hand at it, this is what I came back with (Okay, I took two, three times more photos, but a guy I knew always said 'take a lot, filter the crap when you get home, otherwise you'll miss something' which made sense to me, and kinda stuck. I think he called it 'chimping' when you're looking at the mini display on the camera and not the event, which sounded bad)

    Now, when taking stationary pictures it's fairly easy to centre the car and make things level and whatnot (Rule of thirds is it?) but when they're doing eighty, ninety, one hundred miles an hour it gets harder (for me at least). These are what I took;

    https://imgur.com/a/qkvMu

    All I did was a little bit of exposure correction and lense profile correction with the Nik toolsets.

    And while the corners where they're slowing down it's easier to get the car centred, when they're on the straights I find I'm always lagging behind and the car is on the left or right of the frame. Is there a technique that I'm missing because I'm a complete newbie?

    What can I do to make a better job of taking pictures of cars?

    I use the fairly short strap to brace it around my elbow, making a sort of triangle there, and try to brace myself as best as possible knee wise. I've not got the steadiest hands in the world, so maybe I'm overdoing it there and slowing myself down for cars as they pass.
     
  2. veato

    veato I should be working

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    I've got a Flickr album with stuff like this:

    [​IMG]
    Toyota Gazoo Racing #5
    by Philip Veater, on Flickr

    If you have a browse the various shutter speeds and apertures should be listed giving you an idea of how I got each shot. I am no pro though and used modest equipment (Pentax APS-C body and 55-300mm lens) but I'm happy to offer any advice I can. I'm heading out for a bit now though so will pop back into the thread later.

    In short I think a lot of my shots were slow shutter speed (relative to the speed of the cars), IS turned off, pre-focus in manual, elbows braced into ribs for support when panning and fire the shutter like a mad man.

    It's the combination of shutter speed and panning that allows (in this shot at least) a blurred background and wheels to represent the speed whilst keeping the car sharp and in focus.
     
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  3. veato

    veato I should be working

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    Also APS-C crop can be beneficial for motorsport if you're going for reach. The field of view because of crop (or focal length equivalency to a full frame sensor) means your 200mm is more like 320mm when mounted on your camera.
     
  4. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    My method is to shoot in Tv with a shutter speed of approx 1/125 (varying depending on the speed of the sport), pan with the car and take 1-2 exposures per pass.

    The hardest bit is the smooth framing and panning to keep the background and subject blurred/unblurred. This is one of my faves that I've taken:
    [​IMG]Warm-up lap by HarvB, on Flickr

    But it's all very much dependent on where you can get around the track and how exciting the background will be. Sometimes you won't get anything interesting without a very long lens (600+mm) or a press pass. Silverstone in particular is very difficult beyond one or two typical corners.
     
  5. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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  6. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD More Biddy Bang Bang than Sean Paul

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  7. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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  8. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    Hey, thanks dude :)

    Just get out with camera all you can! I only started shooting bikes about 4 years ago as a spectator, and I got my first DSLR approx. 5 years ago.

    Not sure I can add much to the op about shooting cars, apart from get out an shoot as much as possible!
     
  9. daniduarte

    daniduarte New Member

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    For that kind of photo you want, in my opinion, the position of the photographer is everything. Techniques? If you train, you will be able to master them. Equipments? If you know them well, you'll be able to get the most out of them. So get out the streets and train hard.

    An example, the picture below I took with an EOS-M (croped sensor), a Sigma DX 10mm-20mm lens. Would anyone say it's a set for Motorsports photos?
    Link to the photo

    I have seen in your photos that most are well framed and focused, but the background sometimes displeases. When you are positioning yourself to take the photos, you need to think about what will be in the background of your photo, so that this background does not turn ugly or that it does not fight for the attention of the viewer.

    I hope it helped you.
     

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