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By paulbroad
I've good idea what the comments will be for this! I've been absent from the site a bit lately having shot images at my sons garage track day at a local circuit. This is him and his senior technician in the garage MR2 - a bog standard car - it spins easy. I was trying to get something different using the puddle as a lot of my car shots can look a bit static.

I shot 2395 frames in 6.5 hours. Both camera bodies on drive and using a 50/500 on tripod and 70/300 hand held. All shot JPG. Imagine using RAW for all these shots - would still be processing at Christmas. The light was continually changing and we had some rain initially. I shot mostly on manual using a Sekonic hand meter set for incident readings as auto settings can be very unreliable in these circumstances - puddles, light track, cloud/sun.

I was under my fishing brolly when raining - the track's own photographer didn't turn up because of the weather - very 'professional'! The track day organising company are now after me for images!

So, here is an example. EOS 7D with 70/300 Canon zoom. IS on - position 2. (Vertical damping only) About 200mm at this point I think - shooting in bursts of 4 or 5 images and continually zooming. Focus on servo most of the time. Most images were discarded in the first run through as there was huge duplication. ISO400. Manual. 1/2000 @ f8 as I remember.

Must try slower shutter speeds next time.


Tags: Day Fun Red Car Race Speed Track Mr2 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.


Trev_B 11 151 68 England
29 Jun 2012 9:12AM
Hi paul,

A nice crisp image with good colour under what looks like difficult conditions.

I feel he crop is too tight, no room for the car to drive into and not enough frame above the car. Once a year I get the opportunity to shoot rally cars racing in a nearby forest, the most dramatic shots are achieved by getting down low to the ground and panning with the car using fast continuous shutter release. There are often pro photographers around and I have never seen one using a tripod. As you know using different shutter speeds will give you differing effects allowing you to blur or freeze the BG when panning.

Hope this helps.


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Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
29 Jun 2012 9:34PM
The crop is too tight, as mentioned above. There needs to be more space, particularly ahead of the car, which is overexposed, leading to featureless whites on the bonnet and parts of the puddle. If you take a "machine gun" approach to this kind of shot, you get an awful lot of very similar images, all of which have the same errors. You have found this by discarding so many of your shots.
Unfortunately, this is also too fast a shutter speed, freezing the wheels and making the shot look static.

When panning, you can use a slower shutter speed to convey the movement and at the same time, blurring the background.

There is no problem with using raw as you can batch process. With thousands of very similar images, it wouldn't take that long as you can apply processing to one and then apply the same to as many as you want. 2400 frames is a lot though, and I don't mean to be rude, but maybe you need to shoot less and think more?

Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
30 Jun 2012 10:02AM
I also would like to see some more space ahead of the car and I am wondering why you placed the car so high in the frame. It is as if you cropped something out.
I hope you do well with your images that should have been taken by the 'soluble photographer'.

paulbroad 10 123 1238 United Kingdom
30 Jun 2012 8:25PM
It was to include the water, Frank, right or wrong. Comments as I expected so far and I do tend to agree. Of interest to all may be the situation I found myself in here which may be of use to others when analysing a job before attending and thus why I made some of my decisions.

I shall, next time, about two months time, try some slower shutter speeds now all the lads have some images. I have always tended to freeze action too much. All spectator access at this small local venue is at raised level, so no low viewpoints - health and safety, but looking over all fences.

I shall, next visit, keep to one camera and may use a monopod, but found the 40D with 70/300 worked well hand held. I used a tripod with the 50/500 - 7D as it was raining and I was under my brolly - The lads also wanted video footage, so I intended to use the 7D for that as well as stills. The tripod was a bit restrictive but I have a good ball and socket head with friction controls and it was used for vehicles approaching the camera rather than crossing it so not much lateral movement needed.

As many of you will know, video is usually better off a good tripod, especially at long focal lengths - 800mm at times!

I shot at high drive speeds as part of my brief was to get the spins and incidents. One spin resulted in 25 frames, now printed in sequence on A3. You need fast frame rates for that, but it also meant each time I pressed the button I got several images. RAW would have helped exposure on the above, but using RAW and high drive speeds does not work - even with fast cards, the frame rate soon slows rapidly.

I think I tried to do too much, and will rethink next time - but do hope there is no rain at least. I shall include a couple more shots for your interest and comment in due course.

xwang 8 56 8
30 Jun 2012 10:10PM
I don't know much about the photo, but enjoy your writing up..."2395 frames in 6.5 hours"? My lord.

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