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Tractor pulling, need some help, I think.

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by Nikhe, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. Nikhe


    Oct 8, 2006
    I visited and shot a Tractor Pulling-event about a month ago, and since I never even seen a contraption like that I had no idea what to expect.

    Impressive machines I must say, V16 32 liter machines have an effect on me that few other things have ( human examples excepted ).
    Even the small engines like the 426 Hemis leaves an impression on most people.

    Anyway, I have not a clue on what kind of photos these people expect and regard as "wow, that's a cool photo".
    My experience comes from motorsports that actually have some speed to them, like roadracing and so on, but these vehicles are actually "racing" along at 5-30 mph which makes it very very hard to put some sense of speed in to the pictures.

    The event was held in the evening with the sun rapidly going away but still lighting up the sky, so for the first time when shooting motorsports I used the Sigma 30/1,4, not the first choice for these kind of photos normally, but it performed....not bad at all really, but please disregard the overly bright sky in the background of some photos.

    So, to conclude, what kind of pictures do the Tractor pulling-folks like and are these anywhere close to what they expect?

    --And by the way, I´m not sure if these kind of photos, ( Jet-Ski, Roadracing, Super-Moto and so on ) belong here or in the: Planes, trains..and so on Forum. It´s sports but it is also different vehicles, please direct me in the right direction if this is not the place to post these kind of photos.

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    To be honest, I´m not that happy with the results, and I´m greatful for any suggestions to be able to get better results next time.
  2. I don't shot moto so I can't offer advice, but your pictures do convey one thing and that is Noise! I can hear them across the Atlantic, ouch.
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Love it
    Love to see a tractor pull. Has to be fun
    Neat machines
  4. Hyper-Performance


    Apr 11, 2007
    SW Ohio, USA
    I think you have done quite well in capturing the essence of the event - smoke belching, wheel standing, tires spinning, dirt flying......
    Sometimes the best photo opportunity is right at the end of the run when there is little speed but lots of action - there tends to be more dirt flying (and sometimes engine parts).
  5. Nikhe


    Oct 8, 2006
    Thank you very much for your kind comments.
    It was really fun to watch and hear those machines, I have to gove it another go sometimes during daytime.
    I nearly overheated my flash during this event!

    Thanks for the tip Dave, I will try that next time.
  6. dsp921


    May 16, 2006
    I'd agree with Dave. Tractor pulls are more about power than speed, and I think your action shots show that. I wouldn't worry about trying to convey speed at all, keep doing what you're doing. (Just my opinion, I'm no tractor pull expert)
  7. you did fantastic!
  8. 1FASTZ


    Jan 25, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    Great to see that this goes on in other parts of the world. I haven't been to one this summer yet, but certainly plan on it. Great shots by the way...
  9. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    awesome series!! My favorites were #4 and #7. You weren't happy with the results? You might try a slightly faster shutter speed to freeze things a bit more and have a little less blur in the background. The pictures might make it "look like" they're going a lot faster than they actually are.
  10. Great series. I think you did a great job capturing the power of these machines.
  11. Nikhe


    Oct 8, 2006
    Thanks a lot people for your comments.
    Perhaps the main issue is that I expected something that is not there to begin with?
    It´s not really there but there are other things to show like Power and...well perhaps an earth moving Sound, but I´m not sure how to show that through a flat 2D picture... but I´m open to suggestions.
  12. dsp921


    May 16, 2006
    You're being too hard on yourself. These images show me what I would expect to see for this type of event. You have wheel stands, smoke, flames and flying dirt, it's all there. You have a slow enough shutter to get some background and wheel blur to show motion. One thing that might be a good shot would be a faster shutter on the start line. I would think the the tractor tires wrinkle up a little (like a drag car leaving the line), that would show some power.

    Just for grins I Googled tractor pulls and checked out a few sites. Your shots are at least as good and generally better than what I saw. Nice work.
  13. Well my experience with tractor pulling is hooking a chain on the back of mine and the other onto a stump, log, tree, or rock and hope for the best. Sure don’t look like a green sport, lots of smoke and noise. Must be some big bucks spent here. Your photos look very good and display everything quite well.
  14. Checkout this New York Times tractor pull slideshow


    RAURICK Guest

    They're great! Smoke, flame, spinning tires and dirt flying! You couldn't ask for too much more.
  16. Nikhe


    Oct 8, 2006
    Thank you very much.
    I checked that link to the New York Times photos, and perheps they are not so different from mine after all except for the sunshine in those photos.

    There are probably not that many different ways to capture this sport as long as you don´t have acces to a crane ore something...!

    So, a few more similar pics!

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  17. You did far better than you think. ;) 

    What camera, lenses, and settings did you use?
  18. Nikhe


    Oct 8, 2006

    I used a D200 and a Sigma 30/1,4 for most of the photos posted here, and a Sigma 50-150/2,8 for a few of them.
    To get some movement showing I had to use shutter times of ~1/30 - 1/60s,
    and I shot Jpeg sRGB to minimize PP ( those posted here have very little work done to them ).
    The exif-data shows all the rest.
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