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01-31-2007, 03:01 PM   #1
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Anyone else shoot motorsports?

I bought my K100D last August to use for shooting motorsports, among other things. My main focus is on dirt track racing, which happens mostly at night. So far, I have really only been able to get good shots during warm ups and time trials, which usually take place before the sun goes down.

I am wondering if anyone else on here shoots racing, and what your thoughts might be on combating dirt, success with a flash, and if any particular lenses have helped. So far, I have only used the two lenses that came in the kit, but I have been looking into purchasing a Sigma 70-300 lens in order to get closer to my subject.

Thanks in advance for any tips! I will be glad to share anything I have learned, or any insight I gain in the upcoming season.

01-31-2007, 03:12 PM   #2
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I just got my K10 and am just learning myself. My main subject matter is surfing and dirtbikes (my kids). I mostly shoot in daylight.

I am look to get a 200-300mm lens as well, but haven't done too much research as of yet.

As far as dust goes, so far I just do my best to shield it from direct hits and wipe it down after I am done. I bought a lens cleaning kit and have definately needed to use it!

Here are a couple shots from my first outing with the camera.







01-31-2007, 03:31 PM   #3
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Hi,
I am going to guess that I'm talking to Spring ( I took a look at your very good website).

I am not a pro, so please do not take my comments as authorative, rather they are observations.

After looking at your website, I noted a lot of shots taken around 100-120 mm focal length. You also seem to have good track position for taking the shots.

I would be looking out for a Sigma 70-200 f2.8. I do not own one, but I would if I was doing the type of photog you are. The shots I have seen from this lens are super sharp, and the fast (f2.8) speed coupled with your SR feature should provide you with some better low light capability.

I have the Sigma 135-400 on my DS, and it does a good job in good light, but it is slow.

Good luck, enjoyed the webite.....and are you guys ready for the Aussie invasion in Nascar? Our guy, Marcos Ambrose, is one very competitive racer and we all have our fingers crossed that he has a good season in the Wood Bros #79 Ford.
Cheers
Grant

PS: I would also practice using manual focus and shoot multiple frames.

Last edited by Mallee Boy; 01-31-2007 at 04:03 PM. Reason: see ps.
01-31-2007, 03:53 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by GirlsGoneRacin Quote
I bought my K100D last August to use for shooting motorsports, among other things. My main focus is on dirt track racing, which happens mostly at night. So far, I have really only been able to get good shots during warm ups and time trials, which usually take place before the sun goes down.

I am wondering if anyone else on here shoots racing, and what your thoughts might be on combating dirt, success with a flash, and if any particular lenses have helped. So far, I have only used the two lenses that came in the kit, but I have been looking into purchasing a Sigma 70-300 lens in order to get closer to my subject.

Thanks in advance for any tips! I will be glad to share anything I have learned, or any insight I gain in the upcoming season.
I did a bit years back but nothing serious

unless you have a lot of money, I would not put on a $140 hoya UV filter on the end of the lens.... go cheaper because one scratch from cleaning the dirt and it is toast. I would definately have one though

I would also say to sharpen your panning skills. mine really suck and I need lots of help in this area.

like others said, a good fast lens would be in order

good lluck with it, post some pics when you are done!

cheers

randy

02-01-2007, 06:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GWP Quote
Hi,
I am going to guess that I'm talking to Spring ( I took a look at your very good website).

I am not a pro, so please do not take my comments as authorative, rather they are observations.

After looking at your website, I noted a lot of shots taken around 100-120 mm focal length. You also seem to have good track position for taking the shots.

I would be looking out for a Sigma 70-200 f2.8. I do not own one, but I would if I was doing the type of photog you are. The shots I have seen from this lens are super sharp, and the fast (f2.8) speed coupled with your SR feature should provide you with some better low light capability.

I have the Sigma 135-400 on my DS, and it does a good job in good light, but it is slow.

Good luck, enjoyed the webite.....and are you guys ready for the Aussie invasion in Nascar? Our guy, Marcos Ambrose, is one very competitive racer and we all have our fingers crossed that he has a good season in the Wood Bros #79 Ford.
Cheers
Grant

PS: I would also practice using manual focus and shoot multiple frames.
Actually, I'm Val. Spring's the pro studio shooter who broke into motorsports photography last year. She's using all her big Canon studio equipment for that and I think she's getting it. One thing's for sure, she's fearless! Of course, we both have a healthy respect for the danger involved in shooting from the infield. Many times one will shoot while the other keeps watch for flying cars.

Thanks for the nice comments on the site and for the advice. It is very helpful to me, as I do not know much about the techinical side of photography. I pretty much just try to frame a shot and hit the button, hoping I get something good if I take enough frames! The manual focus idea is something I tried last night at a basketball game, and I did have a little luck with it. I'll be trying it this season at a race, for sure. That would probably cure the problem of the auto focus looking at the dust, rather than the car.

Hey, I think the Aussie "invasion" into NASCAR is only fair, especially after so many of our Sprint Car guys have managed to bring home as much cash as they have this winter. What comes around goes around, no pun intended.
02-01-2007, 06:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipchuck Quote

like others said, a good fast lens would be in order

good lluck with it, post some pics when you are done!

cheers

randy
Thanks, Randy! Time to start looking for a faster lens, I think.

Here are a few from the 2006 season. Not all are action shots, but I like them for various reasons. They are all on the web site, but I figured I would put them here to save anyone the trouble.



This little guy is only eight or nine years old, and absolutely adorable. I love the excitement that shows in his face.



I like this one because you can see the motion of the car so well.



This driver is focused and ready to race. His eyes tell me he knows the job at hand and is ready to go. His wife loved this picture, by the way.

TankSlapper, your motorcycle pics are amazing! Great work!
02-01-2007, 12:12 PM   #7
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is there any driver in the car wrc 2007

one shots of the first step of the wrc rally,in france
taken with my pentax ist ds with a 200mm pentax focal (m series)
is's easy to use with objets in movment but ..

Last edited by tipentax38; 02-12-2007 at 09:40 PM.
02-01-2007, 05:57 PM   #8
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Can't help at all with technique - I'm hoping this thread will generate a good deal of advice on shooting stuff going fast. I've tried panning, but . . . . I'm a miserable failure, thus far.

Visiting my daughter - a grad student at Ohio State - last summer, I found myself at the Mopar Nationals (odd since I was a Ford guy in the '60's). The event (which is quite large) included continuous drag racing and I grabbed several shots with my DS2. Here's one of a driver prepping his tires:



Another of a gal waiting patiently to light the tires on her Road Runner on the strip:



I notice you're in St. Louis. My wife and I grew up in Mt Vernon, IL - not far from St. Louis (I've seen games in Old Busch Stadium and New Busch Stadium but not New New Busch Stadium). We used to go "down" to a dirt track in a town called DuQuoin to watch racing in the '60's. I recall that it was a small track, but attracted significant open wheel and NASCAR racing. I remember seeing Mario Andretti and Freddie Lorenzen (sp?) there. Is the track still there?

Jer

02-01-2007, 07:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GirlsGoneRacin Quote
Thanks, Randy! Time to start looking for a faster lens, I think.

Here are a few from the 2006 season. Not all are action shots, but I like them for various reasons. They are all on the web site, but I figured I would put them here to save anyone the trouble.



This little guy is only eight or nine years old, and absolutely adorable. I love the excitement that shows in his face.



I like this one because you can see the motion of the car so well.



This driver is focused and ready to race. His eyes tell me he knows the job at hand and is ready to go. His wife loved this picture, by the way.

TankSlapper, your motorcycle pics are amazing! Great work!
nice shots!

they look like a hoot to drive

any of yourself driving?

here is a lens that will be coming out for pentax mounts that looks like it would be fast enough and a great range for your type of shooting

Sigma - Lenses

I am sure it won't be cheap but the 70-200mm when converted to 35mm equivelent would be 105mm to 300mm..... unless you are real far away, this should be more then plenty for great close ups. but it will be big

thank you very much for sharing

cheers

randy

Last edited by slip; 02-01-2007 at 07:17 PM.
02-02-2007, 06:57 AM   #10
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Wow, lots of great comments and suggestions. Glad to see that so many are enjoying this thread. I hope it's ok if I respond to all of the questions at once, and hopefully I won't miss anyone.

First, as for photos of me racing, this is about as close as you're going to get:



I was about three years old here, and that's my Dad's race car and goggles. The only "racing" I've done was last year when we got to go to the open house at our new indoor Karting facility, Grand Prix Speedways. That was a blast. There is an event that we cover in the fall (where that cute little orange Kart photo came from) and we're hoping they put us behind the wheel this year and allow us to compete with a few of the staff of the race. Sort of a "celebrity/media" race, if you will. It should be fun, as long as we don't tear up any cars, or body parts. (our own!)

Yes, I am in the St. Louis area, west by about 25 miles. Last year was my first time at a Drag race at Gateway. It was an ADRL event, and we were standing literally inches from the action. Even with ear plugs, it was amazingly loud, and very impressive. I learned a lot about drag racing, and since I did not have my K100D yet, I merely acted as an assistant to Spring. Her hubby came along and helped us out too, watching out for us "girls."

It's funny that you should mention DuQuoin, Sailor. That's the first race I got to go to last year with the new camera and infield credentials. There are a couple of pages of photos on our web site. It was my first time there, and I absolutely fell in love. What a gorgeous old fairgrounds facility! And the racing was fantastic. There is something really special about the old-fashioned looking USAC Silver Crown Cars that fills me with nostalgia. They are simply beautiful race cars. DuQuoin is a one-mile track, that I believe was originally used for horse races.

Thanks for the lens tip! I am going to have to check that one out for sure!

One question for you all: What is panning? Is that the practice of moving the camera with the object, so that the object is clear but the background is blurred? If so, I practiced that quite a bit last season, and I hope to get better at it as time goes by.

I received a really nice surprise in the mail yesterday from one of the drivers. I had sent him the image file of a picture I took of him, and gave him permission to use it in any way he wanted. Yesterday I received a calendar that he had made with my photo, top-center. It's nicely done and I'm very thankful he was able to use it. The reason we do what we do, besides the fact that we love racing, is that most of the guys and gals we shoot are low-budget racers who are grateful for any exposure they can get. I sell a photo now and then, but mostly, it's just the joy of helping these guys out, even in small ways. We do have one event where we sell photos on-site. It's that Karting event in October, and it is a whole lot of fun. Spring shoots, and I run the laptops and printers, as well as doing our sales. It's a great way to meet a lot of really nice folks and help pay for some of our expenses.

Last edited by GirlsGoneRacin; 02-02-2007 at 07:12 AM.
02-02-2007, 11:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GirlsGoneRacin Quote
One question for you all: What is panning? Is that the practice of moving the camera with the object, so that the object is clear but the background is blurred? If so, I practiced that quite a bit last season, and I hope to get better at it as time goes by.
That's exactly what panning is. I was pretty good at it back in the film days, but have seemed to lost the knack now. Practice makes perfect!

I think it's awesome that you guys are finding ways to combine different passions. Looking forward to seeing your pictures from the next season!
02-02-2007, 02:11 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GirlsGoneRacin Quote
Wow, lots of great comments and suggestions. Glad to see that so many are enjoying this thread. I hope it's ok if I respond to all of the questions at once, and hopefully I won't miss anyone.

First, as for photos of me racing, this is about as close as you're going to get:


thanks for sharing that priceless photo with us!
I got a good chuckle out of it!

cheers

randy
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