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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 05 Aug 2007 (Sunday) 10:42
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first shoot with moving cars need advice.

 
lilmill
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Aug 05, 2007 10:42 |  #1

Well I'm going to my first auto shoot this week,hopefully i can get some descent shots. I'll be taking the 100-400 and a mono and a tripod. I'm looking for pointers on panning. It's gonna be a road corse at willow springs and have not really ever done any panning. In terms of aperture I usually shoot wide open but im afraid with the motion the DOF might be to shallow. So should I stop it down i pit to increase DOF and it should also give alittle better blur on background motion? And on the 100-400 should i be in panning mode 2 if on the mono or should i still be in mode 1


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JC4
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Aug 05, 2007 11:17 |  #2

I'm fairly new at motor-sports too, but I can help a bit.

First, use Tv mode, and let the aperture fall where it will. The shutter speed causes the background motion blur you're looking for. Depending on the speed of the cars where you're shooting, you'll want Tv set between 1/60 and 1/150. Set your ISO to get the Aperture you want, f5.6 --> f10 works for me, but wide open isn't bad.

I've tried with a Monopod, but I got better results free hand. I just tucked my left elbow in tight, and panned smoothly. I saw plenty of people(with high end gear) doing it both ways, but I have no idea what there results were.

Panning smooth is the hard part, especially with low shutter speeds. Cars at the track are always accelerating or decelerating. Then of course as the angle changes(to your left or right) closer to center your pan has to pick up speed too, even if the car was moving at a constant rate. It takes practice!

I set my 100-400 to mode 2. I tried with IS off, but found it helped control my up/down movements when it was on.

My advice: Shoot lots of frames. Check your results. Start high, like 1/200 so you'll get a couple keepers to make your day worth it. Then work your way down, and try to get a couple stunners.

JohnC


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tintop
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Aug 05, 2007 11:29 |  #3

You'll probably find the tripod makes it harder to get any decent shots. If you want panning shots, you'll need lots of mobility. I find a monopod is no good either.




  
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SnowManZ
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Aug 07, 2007 21:52 |  #4

I'll say this, I don't think I will shoot races without a monopod. I had surgery on my right hand before I did my first two race shoots. The need for something to support the camera was the main factor for me to shoot with one. I can get a lot of keepers using a Monopod, I don't have an IS lens. It is very easy to shoot with one.


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PhotosGuy
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Aug 08, 2007 08:57 |  #5

It's a crapshoot? Sharp subject while still keeping some wheel blur isn't easy & comes with practice.
It depends on the distance to the subject, the angle of movement to the camera of the subject, the focal length, the speed of the subject, & the effect that you're trying to get. Racing events are easier to shoot because the cars/bikes are usually going about the same speed, so it's easier to zero in on the right shutter speed for a particular event.
Sometimes when I'm playing with blurs with "normal" traffic, I throw a lot away! ; )

For instance, here are two shots at 1/20 sec. The first is the feeling that I was going for with the front sharp & the rest blurred to give a feeling of motion. The 2nd is OK, but not what I wanted, although it will make some other people happier? ; )


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Go out where you can shoot some traffic. Try to work on a smooth pan & keep the car as close to the same place in the frame as you can. I try to aim a focus point at something easy to see, like a headlight if that's the part of the subject that you want to keep sharp.

Some examples from Timmay here: https://photography-on-the.net …hp?p=16231392&p​ostcount=8

"Wind up" first. Start with your feet & shoulders parallel to where you expect the car to be when you take the shot. And don't forget to follow through as the shutter trips.

Start at 1/200 sec & work your way down to 1/30 & see how steady you are. Just for reference:
"Pre-Cruise" at 1/15 seconds - 7/28/12

More "Pre-Cruise", this time at 1/20 seconds - 8/8/12

And there's no reason that all of the car needs to be sharp, either, unless that's what you personally want to happen.

http://img.photobucket​.com …0-%20Rides/F1-Blur-06.jpg (external link)

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First, use Tv mode, and let the aperture fall where it will.

That let's the subject & background determine your overall exposure, something I prefer to do myself. What do I mean by that? How the subject affects the exposure & why manual keeps me worry free: Post #47

Need an exposure crutch?

"Panning Shots" threads here:
drag racing tips

Panning Shots

Post #9 has star filter links.
The official Dream Cruise - Saturday

Practicing.... out my street HELP me out
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=70558

Motorsport Shooting Tips, Tutorials and Advice

Great post by John Thawley:
what settings to get wheel and backround blur for car racing...
And his thoughts on rolling shots:
http://www.johnthawley​.com …/this-is-how-we-roll.html (external link)

If you decide to do some static shots, this will help:
A few Car Lighting Tips - Updated

And before you get ready to take the shot, look at the light that's happening at that location. Is a building killing the highlights that should be in the body?
Look at the background at that spot. I've seen a lot of pans taken at the spot where the only tree in the image is growing out of the car.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
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ryant35
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Aug 19, 2007 12:54 |  #6

Which track at Willow Springs? Have you gone yet?

I shoot there all the time and can help with locations for morning or afternoon. That makes a big difference.

Also I used to hate using a monopod, then I used a 1D MKII with a Sigma 50-500. Try holding that up all day with out a monopod.
Last weekend at Willow Springs I took 17,700 photographs for a track day with at least 100 cars. That many shots I would have just about killed myself with out a monopod.



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PhotosGuy
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Oct 08, 2013 08:43 |  #7

Think about pressing the shutter a little early & shooting a sequence because the first shot is disturbed a bit by the act of pressing the shutter & the following shots may be smoother pans.

I was sitting with some guys as the cars were leaving & this sequence was at 1/13 sec. They aren't sharpened.
In the first, the riders are the sharpest.
#2 is a throw away.
#3 has the front of the bike pretty sharp & a good feeling of motion.


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Here's #3 with some PP.


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FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
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PhotosGuy
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Oct 08, 2013 08:44 |  #8

Two more at 1/10 second.


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FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
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OuttaCtrl
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Oct 08, 2013 09:15 |  #9

I would like to join in the discussion. What are your thoughts in these. I do agree that it is a crap shoot and tricky to do any panning shot.

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On this third one I realized that my sensor was dirty. Since then it was all cleaned up.
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Oct 08, 2013 09:26 |  #10

I like the third one because part of the car is sharp. The helmet is almost there in #2, but not enough of it. I like the eyes in #1, & it's the kind of shot that keeps me shooting these because it's SO CLOSE, but not "there" ; )


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Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
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tomj
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Oct 08, 2013 09:39 |  #11

"First, use Tv mode, and let the aperture fall where it will. The shutter speed causes the background motion blur you're looking for. Depending on the speed of the cars where you're shooting, you'll want Tv set between 1/60 and 1/150. Set your ISO to get the Aperture you want, f5.6 --> f10 works for me, but wide open isn't bad."

This is what I do.

One suggestion, though: Shooting at lower speeds does take practice (at least for most of us) and you may find at first that you need to be at a higher shutter speed. Keep checking what you're getting and go higher if you have to. I don't shoot this type of thing often enough to be good, and get very few keepers if I'm below 1/200, but even at that speed you have enough blur in the wheels and background to show motion. I find I'd prefer to have less background blur (I still want some) and a sharp car than to be getting blur in everything.


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Oct 08, 2013 09:49 |  #12

Hmm, old thread, but hey, it's a good subject to be "active"!

First off, here's an active thread that's been going for, gosh, a few years:

https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=325181

My approach is to shoot Manual, setting a low ISO and a pretty narrow aperture (say f/8, f/11, or f/16), both of which allow me to shoot at a reasonably slow shutter speed, and the narrow aperture also ensures a fair amount of detail in the moving subject (assuming I'm shooting with a good, steady focus). Of course the slow shutter speed gives the "motion blur".

This all does require practice, practice, and more practice!


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Oct 08, 2013 10:14 |  #13

Some additional thoughts:

The easiest panning shots are when the subject is moving parallel to the camera sensor - that is, left-to-right across your field of vision. The more difficult panning shots are when the subject is coming toward you, or turning, or moving away.

If it's daytime, you'll probably have plenty of light. Since you're using a relatively slow shutter speed, you'll be using a pretty narrow aperture, which means plenty of DOF, which means it'll be easy to keep the subject in focus. You don't need a shallow DOF: The panning motion is going to blur the background. During daytime races, you likely won't be able to use a wide aperture for a shallow DOF anyway - the low shutter speed is going to necessitate a small aperture, unless you're using ND filter(s).

To get the subject SHARP, it's not a matter of focus - focusing is easy since you have plenty of light and plenty of DOF - but to get the subject sharp is a matter of making sure the subject stays in the same place in the frame, for the whole exposure. I like to use back-button focus, AI Servo, and choose a focus point - the middle one is usually fine. When tracking with AI Servo, the chosen focus point will remain visible. Use that focus point to "lock on" to a high-contrast area of the subject vehicle - such as the wing mirror, door handle, fender vent, racing number, decal, etc - and pan in such a way that your focus box stays exactly on that target area for the entire shot.

Shoot loose and crop for composition later. Remember your #1 goal is to get the subject sharp with a pleasing panning-blurred background. If you can get a nice composition in camera, then great - but don't shoot too tight and screw it up because you're trying to pan and track the subject. You can always crop it later, but you can't fix what you inadvertently cut off.

If you're using one of the automated modes (probably Tv) then make sure you're using an appropriate metering mode. Evaluative is probably good. Spot metering is probably no good - it will overexpose when you shoot a dark car, and underexpose when shooting a light car. (I learned this the hard way)


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TTUShooter
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Oct 08, 2013 14:56 |  #14

Holy zombie thread revival, Batman! lol.

lots of good info in here thouogh.


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first shoot with moving cars need advice.
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