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Going to the Races, Need Some Advice

 
 
Matt Ion
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-19-2005
John Francis wrote:

> In article <QBk_d.708337$Xk.572242@pd7tw3no>,
> Matt Ion <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>Robert R Kircher, Jr. wrote:
>>
>>
>>>3) Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

>>
>>One thing I found shooting CASCAR races a couple years ago, is to set
>>your exposure manually. Meter it off the tarmac or start with Sunny 16
>>and lock it in. Otherwise you get too many pictures of black/dark cars
>>coming out grey with washed-out backgrounds, or white/light cars coming
>>out grey with really dim backgrounds.

>
>
> Excellent advice. Just be careful if there's a situation where the
> cars are moving into (or out of) shadows, and meter on the right part.
>
>
>
>> My best results have come from setting the aperture wide open, then
>>locking in the appropriate shutter speed, and just leaving it there.

>
>
> That's appropriate when the cars are coming towards you. For a side
> shot too high a shutter speed results in it looking as though the cars
> are parked on the track. You want a little blur on the wheels, if
> you can manage it. Here's an example taken at 1/200 of a second:
>
> <http://panix.com/~johnf/temp/LSQualifying.jpg>
>
> (You need to pan during the exposure to blur the wheels, not the car)
> That car is probably travelling at the same sort of speeds you'll see
> at Atlanta. I wouldn't recommend starting at 1/200 if you've never
> tried panning to keep the car fixed in the frame during exposure;
> it's a learned skill. But you should definitely try several shots
> with a shutter speed around 1/400 of a second; that's a lot easier.


There is that. Another option is to find a decent shutter speed for
the effect you want to achieve (1/200 if you're comfortable with
panning) and then locking the appropriate aperture - if you have good
sunlight, shooting at ISO 100 should allow you to use f/8, which should
allow you both to get a little blur on the side shots, and provide a
little extra DOF for the straight-on shots (not that my Rebel's AI focus
has ever had much trouble tracking the cars

BTW, on the topic of lens cases/bags, I found a nice little case
(probably a Lowepro) designed for a pocket digital camera that has a
velcro loop on the back to allow you to slip it over any regular belt, a
zip top that opens partway down the front for easy access, a few small
compartments to hold things like my spare batteries, and just enough
room to nicely fit my Canon EF 75-300 zoom. Works great for
quick-changing between two lenses (such as the EF 28-90 on my old
RebelG, and the EF-S 18-55 on the DRebel).

Check any consumer-electronics store that has a good selection of
pocketable digital cameras, and they should have a good selection of
those little camera cases too.
 
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John Francis
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      03-19-2005
In article <3q%_d.727414$6l.313540@pd7tw2no>,
Matt Ion <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>There is that. Another option is to find a decent shutter speed for
>the effect you want to achieve (1/200 if you're comfortable with
>panning) and then locking the appropriate aperture - if you have good
>sunlight, shooting at ISO 100 should allow you to use f/8, which should
>allow you both to get a little blur on the side shots, and provide a
>little extra DOF for the straight-on shots (not that my Rebel's AI focus
>has ever had much trouble tracking the cars


The trouble with 1/200 for a straight-on shot is that you can't pan
to track the cars, so you're going to end up with some blurring; at
the sort of speeds typical for NASCAR/CASCAR a car will move anything
up to 18" (50cm) during a 1/200 second exposure. While most of that
is towards you, and thus has only a minor effect on the image, it's
still enough to show up on sharp edges (such as the sponsor decals).

I prefer 1/750 to 1/2000 for head-on or front three-quarter shots.
Of course that means you have very little depth of field (especially
if you are using a long focal length), so you can't just rely on
the af system unaided - you're a lot better of selecting a single
af point (otherwise you'll end up with the wrong part of the car
in focus; you want the driver, if you can see him, or the nose).
 
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Matt Ion
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      03-20-2005
John Francis wrote:

> In article <3q%_d.727414$6l.313540@pd7tw2no>,
> Matt Ion <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>
>>There is that. Another option is to find a decent shutter speed for
>>the effect you want to achieve (1/200 if you're comfortable with
>>panning) and then locking the appropriate aperture - if you have good
>>sunlight, shooting at ISO 100 should allow you to use f/8, which should
>>allow you both to get a little blur on the side shots, and provide a
>>little extra DOF for the straight-on shots (not that my Rebel's AI focus
>>has ever had much trouble tracking the cars

>
>
> The trouble with 1/200 for a straight-on shot is that you can't pan
> to track the cars, so you're going to end up with some blurring; at
> the sort of speeds typical for NASCAR/CASCAR a car will move anything
> up to 18" (50cm) during a 1/200 second exposure. While most of that
> is towards you, and thus has only a minor effect on the image, it's
> still enough to show up on sharp edges (such as the sponsor decals).


True too. Unfortuantely I don't remember entirely what settings I used
at the time... most of it was in good sunlight, which helped... probably
ISO400 film... 1/1000 at f/8 would be likely.

As my audio engineering instructor always told us, "There are no rules,
only guidelines."

 
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Robert R Kircher, Jr.
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      03-23-2005
"Robert R Kircher, Jr." <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Going down to Atlanta tomorrow to catch the NASCAR events and I wanted
> some general advice on what I should bring.
>
> 1) I'm planning on taking my 300D of course along with my 100-400 and my
> 28-135. I'll be taking shots from the stands and pit road. I'm hoping to
> get some good action shots; we'll see. In any event, unless some one can
> give me a compelling reason why, I hadn't planned on taking my 18-55 or my
> cheap 75-100. Thoughts?
>
> 2) I have a Lowpro waist bag, similar to
> http://www.lowepro.com/Products/Belt...sic/Orion.aspx,. It holds
> everything but the 100-400, however, I find it sort of bulky. I was
> thinking of stopping by the local shop today and looking at a belt
> solution with a lens case for the 100-400 and the 28-135, a top load case
> for the camera, and an additional case for accessories and CF cards. I'm
> thinking this will be easier to handle on the plane and at the track. Any
> thoughts or suggestions?
>
> 3) Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
>
> TIA
>



Thanks again for everyone's help, I had a great weekend and managed to get
what I think are some pretty good shots using much of the advice given.
I'll posting links to the shots later today.

--

Rob


 
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