Motorsport photography tips from start to finish line
Motorsport photography tips for during the shoot
“Jakob encouraged me to use my EOS 40D’s High-Speed Continuous Shooting mode as it enabled me to shoot at up to 6.5fps (frames-per-second) to increase my success rate. I’ve not used it much before and was amazed how fast my camera fired off a succession of shots!” says Dave.
“This enabled me to get several shots of each car at each part of the track and then pick the best image. Jakob reminded me that you still need to use a fast shutter speed, otherwise the fps rate will drop.”
Use AI Servo AF
“I pulled this one out of the sequence (all shot at 150mm focal length) as the car is a good size in the frame, and I felt it’s the most dynamic, with the driver fighting to keep the car in a straight line after powering through the water,” Dave says.
“There’s enough splashes flying out of the wheel arches to create a real sense of speed and, thanks to Jakob’s suggestion, I’ve managed to get a sharp shot of the car using the AI Servo autofocus mode.”
On Dave’s Canon EOS 40D, his 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens created an EFL (effective focal length) of 112-320mm. “But Dave was using more of the 70mm end of the lens,” says Jakob.
“I encouraged him to move back and use the lens fully zoomed in at 200mm (EFL 320mm). Combined with a wide aperture (eg f/4) it will further blur backgrounds to really help the rally cars stand out from their surroundings for added impact.”
Crop your photos wisely
“For this shot we’d positioned ourselves on a tight, muddy corner, hoping to get some good shots of cars power sliding,” says Dave. “Using a fast shutter speed of 1/350 sec meant I could capture the car at the moment the driver put the power down mid-corner.
“Cropping has improved the shot immensely, as the original had the car looking quite lost and too central in the frame. It’s also removed a distracting tree and fence from the foreground.”
Get creative with panning
“After we’d got the sharp ‘freeze the action’ shots of cars splashing through the water, we moved position and started getting creative with some side-on panning shots to capture a little motion blur,” says Dave.
“I focused on the front of the car and got down to 1/30 shutter speed to really blur the surroundings. This car is actually hitting the second, smaller water splash, and I love how the water spraying up accentuates the sense of speed.”
PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Motorsport photography tips for during the shoot
PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day
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on Friday, May 17th, 2013 at 12:01 am under Photography Tips.
Tags: action photography, professional photographer, sports photography