Views 53 Unique 38
Vote 19
Award Shortlist   

Aston GT

By sherlob    

A frustrating upload this week. I just can't seem to nail a totally sharp image when shooting motorsport!

I'm not a motorsport fanatic, but living very close to Oulton Park it seemed to me like a great place to master my panning skills when using a long lens. I'm good a maintaining my object in the frame, and I am now achieving a reasonable degree of success in getting a partially sharp result (as shown here), but nearly no success it getting a totally sharp image.

What I don't know is whether this issue is with my technique or the physics of motion. In the above example I have an acceptable degree of sharpness toward the rear of the door and rear wing, but this falls off sharply forward of this point. The image was taken at 1/40th sec at F11 at approx 200mm. I would have thought this should have given sufficient depth of field (although I know dof with tele lenses is very shallow). Is this simply down to movement in the front end (perhaps toward the camera or downward as the breaks are applied)?

Before anyone suggests it, yes, I know that if I increase the shutter speed I will increase the likelihood over obtaining overall sharpness, but I don't achieve the background blur I am after. I know some motor sports photographers obtain sharp results with shutter speeds as low as 1/5th sec...

Frustratingly yours,


PS. Thanks for the terrific response to my New Brighton post. An especial thanks for all the shiny badges.

Tags: Frustration Speed Panning Motorsport Oulton park Aston martin Gt racing Long lens photography Sports and action British GT Championship 1 out of 52 project

Voters: Drummerdelight, martin.w, brian17302 and 16 more

Amazon Kindle Unlimited Offer: 1-Month For FREE!


1 Apr 2018 11:43AM
Looks good to me but Iím no expert myself 😊
Tonyd3 17 1.1k 18 United Kingdom
1 Apr 2018 2:20PM
The trick is to be at the same speed as the car in terms of movement and in an arch or totally side on, here your shot is just a little early, so I would focus towards the front of the car and not use the centre point of the auto focus. I often use the lower focus points on the bottom third, so here I would have used the front bottom third on the front wheel to focus on.

It is a lot easier with a telephoto lens than a wide angle to achieve.
Practice practice practice.
Also the use of a tripod with a gimbal head makes a massive difference, hand held or on a monopod takes even more practice itís a good effort though.
manicam 17 44 1 Canada
1 Apr 2018 6:11PM
Powerful car , great shot.

dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
5 Apr 2018 4:57PM
I think TonyD3 has given really good advice - and it's coming from someone who really knows his technical onions!

And, for what it's worth, I think you're quite right - you've got all sorts of movement relative to the camera. It's interesting that the wheels look sharper than they actually are, because of the rotation... The circles seem sharp, but it's just because they ARE circles. Look closely, and they are blurry, like rings round a planet...

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.