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By Tony_M
Aquila CR1 followed by a BMW M3 and a BMW Z4 through Luffield about an hour before sunset during the Britcar 24hr race at Silverstone

1/125s @ f6.3 with 3-stop ND filter to keep the shutter speed down and introduce some motion blur in the background

Tags: Transport Sports and action

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


paulbroad 8 108 988 United Kingdom
11 Oct 2011 7:47PM
This is effective, but I've never known anyone use an ND filter for motor racing before. it seems to work.


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Tony_M 12 342 England
11 Oct 2011 9:05PM
I used the ND filter more the following day in bright sunlight, but here I was testing its effectiveness at allowing slower shutter speeds without having to decrease the aperture too much.

banehawi Plus
11 1.3k 3351 Canada
11 Oct 2011 9:45PM
Very good motoring shot, and a very clever use of the grad, - you may have invented something here!

Just did a quick mod with a curves adjustment and sharpening that makes the image pop a little more. The adjustment is based on the assumption that the rails at the top are relatively white.


Tony_M 12 342 England
12 Oct 2011 5:47AM
It was a full ND, not a grad. Thanks for the mod. The images taken with the filter do look a bit flat - almost too much dynamic range.
onewildworld 13 696 4 United Kingdom
12 Oct 2011 1:40PM
Nicely done. Good to see the ND filter worked out well. I am surprised more people don't do this TBH. Such a good way to get a slower shutter speed for panning. It's good panning technique, though the composition doesn't quite work for me - a bit too central, and the two BMWs in the background, while adding context, just don't quite sit right to my eye. If the Aquila was more left of the frame (yes, breaking the rule by heading out!) and there was a little less space at the bottom and more at the top, it would be even better.
Tony_M 12 342 England
12 Oct 2011 3:28PM
Thanks for the comments. There was a little more space around the edges but a fence post entered the frame so I cropped it out leaving a fairly tight composition.

Sooty_1 5 1.5k 219 United Kingdom
12 Oct 2011 3:34PM
Well captured and sharp enough, but the cars in the background clutter the image for me (esp as the second one is bright red). I would have preferred to see the car in isolation, or multiple cars jockeying for position.

Not sure why you had to use an ND though, why not just use a smaller aperture and 100 ISO? You could have used f/14 at 100 ISO for the same shutter speed. Adding extra glass gives you more surfaces to degrade the image.

Tony_M 12 342 England
12 Oct 2011 11:08PM
Nick, I was trying out the ND as a means of keeping the shutter speed about 1/100s without having to go with a smaller aperture than I wanted for the subject. It was really a trial run for using the same technique the following day in bright sunlight. However I do agree that introducing the filter degrades the image - as I mentioned above the original image seemed more 'flat' or less contrasty than those taken without the filter.

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