First try at shooting drag races

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by MrDalgof, May 21, 2007.

  1. MrDalgof

    MrDalgof

    332
    Apr 6, 2006
    Colorado, USA
    I went into this completely in the dark. I'd shot air shows before so I had an idea about panning, but everything else was seat of the pants. Most likely I'll be heading back to Bandimere Speedway where these were taken and I'd like to improve next time around.

    Unfortunately on this day the clouds rolled in just about when I began shooting. Even so, I kept the camera on shutter priority and with shutter speed ranging from 1/125 to 1/500.

    So if you have any criticisms please let me know what I could do to make these better. I am pretty much limited to the sides of the track, so I don't think I can do much about my positioning, but I'd sure like to get a few with more of a head-on view. What do you think is a good amount of motion blur with these...do I have too much, too little...?

    Also, what about using a CP for this kind of shooting? I was thinking it be good for cutting glare on the windshield/windscreens...

    Thanks for looking and giving your feedback. :smile:

    All were shot with Nikon D70 in shutter priority mode and Nikkor 80-200 f2.8

    1. 1/320 f/9.0 ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    2. 1/250 f/7.1 ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    3. 1/400 f/4.0 ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    4. 1/320 f/2.8 ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    5. 1/400 f/4.5 ISO 640
    [​IMG]

    6. 1/320 f/3.2 ISO 640
    [​IMG]

    7. 1/250 f/2.8 ISO 1600
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2007
  2. fks

    fks

    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi chris-

    they drag race snowmobiles :confused: you've got some crisp shots there, and nice colors too.

    a few suggestions:

    1. use a slower shutter speed, the wheels are a bit frozen still. don't worry about stopping down (assuming you have a clean sensor) as the panning motion will give you the subject isolation.
    2. use an ND filter if you can't get a slow enough shutter speed. ISO200 sucks when you're trying to get slow shutter speeds.
    3. leave some space in front of the vehicle (to give the impression that it's "moving" into that empty space).

    ricky
     
  3. Seth

    Seth

    317
    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    wow, these looks great imo - but i'm no expert on car shots. i like ricky's suggestions also.
     
  4. MrDalgof

    MrDalgof

    332
    Apr 6, 2006
    Colorado, USA

    Thanks for the feedback, Ricky.

    Commenting on your suggestions:
    1. I like the concept behind stopping down here and why it works in cases like these. As for blurring the wheels should I also be a little more down track where the cars are going faster? I was sitting fairly close to the starting line for these and I had taken some shots at 1/125 (see below). But I don't know that I would say there is as much motion captured as you're suggesting. I was already worried about shooting at 1/125.

    1/125 f/14 ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    2. Thanks for the tip.

    3. Leaving room in front - great suggestion.



    Thank you, Seth.
     
  5. fks

    fks

    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi chris-

    rough rule of thumb is 1/speed of vehicle for a good pan if you're perfectly perpendicular to the motion of the vehicle. to be honest, i've never really been able to estimate a car's speed, so i do test shots until i find a speed that gives me the right amount of motion blur but with the vehicle still sharp. VR can be a big help when you're doing pans, or you can use a monopod.

    you're correct in that it's easier to pan if you're further down the track as the cars will be moving faster (higher shutter speed), plus you can track the car for a longer amount of time.

    it's all about practice though. keep shooting and testing (the great thing about digital), and you'll find out what works.

    ricky

     
  6. MrDalgof

    MrDalgof

    332
    Apr 6, 2006
    Colorado, USA
    Thank you for taking the time to help, Ricky. I'm really looking forward to my next trip out to the speedway and trying out some of the things you've given me to think about.

    I appreciate it.

    Regards.
     
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