Shooting drag races this weekend, any tips? (Cosworth, Alok? ;)

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I'm kinda-sorta committed to shooting some drags this weekend. I will have on-track access as part of an agreement for use of one of my photos on posters, t-shirts, etc.

I've got loads of ideas written down already and I'm looking forward to it.

Any general tips from the experienced crowd?
 

sifu

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if there are hot babes shoot them instead :D
 

Paddy

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I'd probably spend most of the weekend in Aperture Priority mode, unless you want to do some panning from the bleachers. 'Atmosphere' is what I'd set out to capture, rather than 100's of shots of different cars launching.
 

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I use A(v) and M almost exclusively, no matter what I'm shooting. I'll probably use S (Tv) and an ND filter for a few panning shots.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by "atmosphere"?

I plan to be there for setting up / getting ready, the event, and wind-down. I want try and capture it all as a story depicting the weekend.

Also, any tips on shooting trophy presentations?
 

eroy2

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epp_b, atmosphere in this case is seeing guys prep, pit shots, crew chiefs talking to the drivers, driver closeups in the cars. Things of that sort. I think Advantech did a phenomenal job on capturing all that stuff for a track day a few years ago, albeit in video. http://advantechstudios.com/v4/?p=110

Tony Pleavin wrote an ok book on motorsport photography. He concentrated alot on atmosphere. Heres a link to some of his shots. http://www.tonypleavin.com/pic.php?album=6&pid=&page=3

here's the sort of shots I've gotten (non action)

http://rides.webshots.com/album/574017234gTLHyb

Hope it helps.
 

Alok

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Get the launches. Once you have the basic set of photos at hand, try experimenting a little bit with fresh settings. Usually, I try a bunch of new ideas. For example, taking the launch in shutter priority but not too long a shutter speed. That way, you can still make out the background while keeping the wheels spinning. Sometimes if you stand far back, but exactly behind the car taking off, close to the ground and zoom in, you can catch the heat waves. They tend to look wicked. Also, car launches from the back, when sometimes the chassis twists under power is also interesting to capture on frame.
 

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Thanks, guys, that's some good info.

Oh yeah, the forecast says it's supposed to be pretty rainy this weekend. I don't have anything specialized to handle rain. Any quick redneck ideas? ;)
 

Alok

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Thanks, guys, that's some good info.

Oh yeah, the forecast says it's supposed to be pretty rainy this weekend. I don't have anything specialized to handle rain. Any quick redneck ideas? ;)

Plastic bag over your camera. I usually buy a shower cap, cut a hole on one end, leave the elastic side on the lens hood and the rest draped over the rest of the camera.
 

Alok

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Also, camera on the ground photos look wicked when it's raining :) Just a tip.
 

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Usually they won't race in the rain, but I'm not sure what you'll guys do up there...
Well, it depends...

If it rains on-and-off, they'll try to get some heats done between showers. If it rains all day one day, little-to-none the other, they'll just race in that one day. If it rains all weekend, they'll postpone it.

I'm thinking that if it's the former, that should provide lots of opportunity for atmosphere and reportage.
 

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^ Drop me a PM.

I couldn't find any shower caps, so I cut squares from a transparent garbage bag, cut a hole in it, and taped it around the lens hood. Behold, thy redneck rain cover:

 

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Canceled again...






The rain date is in two weeks. All the more time to study up and mentally prepare ;)
 
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