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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Motorsports Talk 
Thread started 11 Sep 2011 (Sunday) 19:32
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Drag Racing photos

 
Ontario55
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67 posts
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Joined Dec 2005
     
Sep 11, 2011 19:32 |  #1

I went to the drag races on the weekend and would like to improve on my photos
I have a Canon T2i and a 18-55 lens
Regardless of where I seem to sit or stand I have somebody infront of me blocking the cars
Ideally I'd like to get alongside the concrete barrier but I don't think thats going to happen
Should I take my 55-250 and head as high in the stands as I can get ?
Bright sunny day and I see people taking pics with a flash
And they are at least 40 ft from the car
Whats with the flash in the bright sun ?
What lens are these guys using that are squatted beside the concrete barrier ?
Would they be using a 70-200 f 2.8 ?
Or a 100-400 f4 ?
I'm more interested in getting the launch than I am panning partway down the track
If I do stick with the 18-55 or go to the 55-250 what are your recomendations for settings and modes
I take lots of pics at carshows and cruise nights but drag racing is a whole new ballgame
Thanks in advance for any tips or pointers
Mach




  
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DC ­ Fan
Cream of the Crop
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5,881 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 50
Joined Oct 2005
     
Sep 11, 2011 20:34 |  #2

Drag racing pictures from spectator areas.

From the start line, three rows up.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Focal Length: 144.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure Time: 0.0010 s (1/1000)
ISO equiv: 100
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Matrix
Exposure: program (Auto)
White Balance: Manual
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB


From the top of the grandstands at 300 feet downtrack.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Focal Length: 104.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200)
ISO equiv: 100
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Matrix
Exposure: shutter priority (semi-auto)
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB

From the top of the grandstands at half track.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Focal Length: 238.0mm
Aperture: f/11.0
Exposure Time: 0.0063 s (1/160)
ISO equiv: 100
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Matrix
Exposure: shutter priority (semi-auto)
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB

For a major spectator event, the best drag racing location is at the top of the stands, in a place where you can stand up and get a clear view over the rest of the crowd. With a large crowd, low seats are the least effective for photography, because other spectators will always be in the way, along with people who take pictures from the start line. The first image was taken at a lightly-attended event where there were few people to interfere with the view.

A long lens is the best one to use, regardless of your location. Even the credentialed photographers who are allowed to take places at track level use a long lens. The first image in this reply came from a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8, and the other two were from a Tamron 70-300mm vibration control lens.

Some photographers who are facing into the sun use flashes or strobes to even out the illumination.

The most interesting drag race images are burnout images from the most powerful alcohol and nitro cars, and big wheelstands from stock and super stock cars. Launch images can be static and uninteresting.



  
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Jim ­ M
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Joined Aug 2006
     
Sep 12, 2011 07:45 |  #3

Even at our little home town race track, if I shoot from the stands, I prefer being up high. The lens you need depends considerably on the track. The farther you are from the cars, the longer the lens needs to be. I've used both a 24-70 and a 70-200 from the stands. I've used a 100-400 track side, but never from the stands. I suspect that is because shooting from the stands is normally a choice for me and I've just never been so far from the cars that I needed that length. Maybe I should try it for a different perspective. But I digress.

Top of the stands is the short answer with 55-250 as the other short answer.




  
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Hillbille
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Location: California
     
Sep 12, 2011 11:06 as a reply to  @ Jim M's post |  #4

Pit Pass. Buy one and you can get almost everywhere. Shooting from the stands is quite difficult as there is a LOT of vibration transmitted throughout the seating and you will find it difficult to isolate your camera from that. Bipod or tripod in the stands - worse as either act as a direct link to all the vibration.

Lens length really depends upon the type of shot you want to have. Are you after BOTH cars leaping off the line or just one? You wanting the burn out tire smoke billowing out the rear of the car or are you going to crop that out anyway? Wide angle or narrow?

Most pro's shooting at the "barriers" have a press pass and are known to the track owners AND they are usually using a 300, or 400 "L" lens. Also notice the hold they use when taking photo's. Well set and isolating the vibrations from the track as much as is possible! Just as a sonic boom sets off vibration so does 500 to 1000 horse power! Insurance is a good thing to have also - proof to show any official that asks will go a long ways toward getting yo a better position. Also of note is that those guys down at the barriers are getting clear shots because they figured out the shot they wanted and where to be to get it WAY before the race day. It wasn't a last minute decision. What you need to do is look at the set up at the track you are at and decide where you want to be to get a photograph that is just "different" from others. Perspective. Then get there early and look up the Race Director and ask about your intended position BEFORE the race day begins.

Others will chime in with better advice I am sure as the stuff I have stated is just basics.

Hillbille


Rebel T2i, XS, Rebel T3; EF-S 70 - 300mm non L; EF-S 55 - 250mm; 50mm 1.8; 18 - 55 kit; YN-560; YN-468 - Pure Fun and Raw excitement.

  
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94z28guy
Hatchling
7 posts
Joined Aug 2011
     
Sep 17, 2011 19:20 as a reply to  @ Hillbille's post |  #5

Canon SX20 and a spring chicken at photography.

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F/5.6
ESP 1/2500
ISO 400
Focal 30mm

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F/4.5
ESP 1/200
ISO 125
Focal 27mm
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F/5
ESP 1/500
ISO 250
Focal 72mm



  
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Drag Racing photos
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