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SpeedySwede
4th of September 2008 (Thu), 12:30
I'm going to head to the drag race in Charlotte next week. It will probably be early evening shooting. Does anybody have any pointers? Never been to a drag race before.

FlyingPhotog
4th of September 2008 (Thu), 12:32
Hearing protection...

DC Fan
4th of September 2008 (Thu), 18:01
Arrive early. That will give you time to wander through the pits and get candid shots of the cars being prepared for the first runs of the day.

http://www.fansview.com/racing/083120080125.jpg

Fortunately, drag racing still lets everyone into the pits without any additional charge.

On the track, you don't get as many chances to get images of the cars as you would at a circuit race, so you need to make the shots count. The most dramatic part of the runs for most cars are the burnouts:

http://www.fansview.com/racing/083120080118.jpg

And the most dramatic burnouts come from the high-powered nitro Funny Cars and Top Fuel dragsters. But, the wildest start shots usually come from the Stock and Super Stock cars, street-based racers that are set up for extreme weight transfers off the line and typically make the largest wheelstands:

http://www.fansview.com/racing/drag0901060018.jpg

That image also illustrates one of the challenges at drag strips at big national events: finding a clear shot. Often the working pros will gather in front of you. Also, the design of the grandstands can leave people in your way if there's not enough rise from row to row.

PhotosGuy
4th of September 2008 (Thu), 23:19
Good points. More links in here: Motorsport Shooting Tips, Tutorials and Advice (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?p=2830870)

funhouse69
8th of October 2008 (Wed), 06:08
I agree with DC Fan on all points and double the hearing protection. You will NOT believe how loud it is. Also brings lots of memory and enough battery power. I usually set my camera for burst and AI Servo and shoot away when they launch then go through them after. I was taking about 600+ pics a day

Going to a Drag Race is an experience that can not be easily described. There isn't much else that will stimulate pretty much all of your senses at once like this will. Once you feel let alone hear the launch of side by side Top Fuel Funny Cars or Dragsters you will never forget it.

I've been going to races since I before I was old enough to drive. Last year I went to my first real big event - the April Race in Las Vegas. I had such a good time that I went back this year and will be going back in a few weeks to the second event!

1. Vegas, April 2008
http://funhouse69.smugmug.com/photos/281824153_FLnJS-L.jpg

If you are lucky enough to have the event go in to the night you can catch some amazing shots like this. Sorry for the poor quality, I had to use a very high ISO and a slow lens :-(

1. Vegas, April 2007
http://funhouse69.smugmug.com/photos/145214836_9koie-L.jpg