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WERA Roadracing
Posted By: emilf, 06-29-2009, 05:55 PM

I went to a roadracing event at Road Atlanta this weekend. It was a lot of fun and also a challenge. Here are a few of the shots I got. These were all taken with my trusty Vivitar S1 70-210mm (v1) and *istD.

A lot more on Flickr here:

WERA - Road Atlanta, June 2009 - a set on Flickr

I wish the last one had come out a little sharper across the entire image, but I guess I was a little trigger happy and clicked before they were all the way into the in-focus area.










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06-29-2009, 05:59 PM   #2
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Great images. JIM
06-29-2009, 06:00 PM   #3
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Wow! These are mouth-watering good

How do you manage them? I really really hope to be able to do them

Please share some of your technics
06-29-2009, 06:16 PM   #4
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Some great shots there, number 2 is my favourite.

06-29-2009, 06:33 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just12hvFun Quote
Wow! These are mouth-watering good

How do you manage them? I really really hope to be able to do them

Please share some of your technics
Thanks.

I'm really just a beginner at shooting races. I've been to two Petit Le Mans races, and this was my first bike race.

Obviously it was all manual with the Viv S1. For the panning shots, which I guess is most of them this is pretty much the procedure. The objective is to take a shot where the bike is sharp and in focus but the background is blurred to emphasize the speed the rider is moving at.
  • Find a good spot on the track
  • Figure out what line the riders are following on the track and focus on the area where you eventually want to take the shot
  • Adjust the aperture until you get the proper exposure at the Tv you are going for. As you get better you can go for a slower shutter speed which increases the background blur. I'm at about 1/180s or 1/250s, but should be able to get it slower.
  • When the bike is approaching you'll want to follow him through the viewfinder from fairly early on (this is the 'panning') and then as he gets to the spot you focused on click the shutter. You'll want to continue the motion all the way through the focused area - if you stop too close the where you took the shot the motion will not be fluid enough and you might get a blurry shot.

Ideally you'll do the panning move as many times as possible (maybe 10-20 times or more) before starting to take photos. The more muscle memory you build up the better chance you'll have of taking the shot in the right place and getting the smooth motion required for a sharp subject.

For me there was a bit of a learning curve to this. At first maybe 1 in 8 shots would be decent - this weekend I think I was more around 1 in 2 or 1 in 3.

PS. I would assume you also have to turn off shake reduction, but I don't know since my *istD doesn't have it
06-29-2009, 08:18 PM   #6
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2 and 4 are very impressive.
06-29-2009, 09:52 PM   #7
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I agree with the above comment. I especially like no. 2. You have some good shots there.

Damn.. do I really need to sell my bike? Pictures like these just throw the concept of selling my bike into utter rejection!
06-29-2009, 09:59 PM   #8
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Yeah, you can't shoot sports with Pentax. Especially this old.

Very nice shots.

06-29-2009, 10:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by octavmandru Quote
Yeah, you can't shoot sports with Pentax. Especially this old.

Very nice shots.
I know... I saw a couple of people with Canonikons and big fancy white/gray lenses. It seemed like they were all looking at me like I was just some kind of nutjob
06-30-2009, 07:49 AM   #10
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Great shots! All of them.
I particularly like 2 and 4.
I love Road Atlanta. I've been to the Petit LeMans a couple times. Not sure if I can make it this year.
Here is my link to some shots of the 2007 race. It's a beautiful track with many good spots for pictures.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/56927-very-fast-action-pictures.html

Thanks,
06-30-2009, 08:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
Great shots! All of them.
I particularly like 2 and 4.
I love Road Atlanta. I've been to the Petit LeMans a couple times. Not sure if I can make it this year.
Here is my link to some shots of the 2007 race. It's a beautiful track with many good spots for pictures.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/56927-very-fast-action-pictures.html

Thanks,
Thanks. Of those in the post 2 and 4 are my favorites too. Just for kicks I submitted them to PPG so if you see them please vote favorably

I really like the 2nd shot - it would have been perfect if that dang fence wasn't in the way. It's too bad that all of the outside of the track, except for between turn 8 and 11, is not accessible.

I went to Petit last year and expect to be going again this year. It's only about an hour drive for me. The WERA race was great though - the only people there were pretty much the racers and friends/family so it wasn't crowded at all. I could drive and park everywhere around the track no problem which is a good thing because heat index was about 104F.

I think the bikes are even more challenging than Petit, but also a lot of fun. What I like about Petit is that the race is so long that you can get to all the spots on the track and still get shots of all the cars.

My post processing skills have improved a little since last year, so I think I'll have to redo the ones in this set:

Petit Le Mans 2008, Road Atlanta - a set on Flickr

I am constantly amazed at how sharp that old S1 70-210mm is. In the set above are two photos where I also posted 100% crops to show that.

I also went to Sebring earlier this year and took these:

American LeMans 2009 - Sebring - a set on Flickr
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