My Steady Introduction to the Art of Track Photography - Page 2 - ZX6R Forum
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post #16 of 40 Old 08-23-2013, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by russperry View Post
Can I make what I think are a few constructive tips?

1) The subjects are a little dark, meaning that I can't make out much detail especially in the first couple of shots. There are a couple of ways to address this:

a) Choose a different time of the day to be at that particular position. You can see from the shadows that you're shooting towards the sun. I would guess that the exposure setting is on "average" instead of spot, so the camera is trying to do the best it can to get average lighting, so the sky is too bright, and the subject is too dark. I could have definitely extended the exposure a little and I don't think it would have washed out the pics too much. My own personal preferences have me leaning more towards a darker exposure but it also didn't help that it was intermittently overcast AND sunny. I also forgot the lens hood in the truck for the first part of the morning and decided to err on the side of caution and go with a shorter exposure since I was primarily angled toward the sun. I can probably touch these up and bring a lot more of the details out but I see what you are getting at.
b) Find the control that gives you center weighted exposure and try that.
c) Another way is to go full manual on the exposure and shutter speed and check your screen after a couple of shots and adjust accordingly.
Hehehe I NEVER use the automatic settings on my camera. I don't agree with what the camera selects as a default setting and usually what I find is that the picture winds up a little washed out. When I'm shooting from that side of the track I go with higher shutter speeds (1/2000) and an F-stop somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5 depending on what I feel like. ISO at 400
d) if you have Photoshop or something equivalent, you can fill in the shadows which will reduce the contrast (not usually good) but will let you regain some definition in the darkest areas.

2) If you're trying to sell photos, then closer is always better. People buying these types of photos want to be able to identify themselves so zooming or cropping will usually get you more interest/buying. For a publication, showing relative motion or more interesting composition is good, but when selling to inidividuals you want be up close and personal. Yeah, I'm not trying to sell the photos necessarily. Smugmug has the option so I figured I'd throw out a default price for stuff.

Here are two pictures I bought from a pro at Sonoma Raceway that illustrate those points - on the first one he's zoomed right into my grill and the sun is at his back so there's lots of crisp detail. If you look close you'll even see a shimmering of heat just above the blue/yellow curbing - I think it looks pretty cool. In the 2nd again he's up close and the sun is almost straight up (you can see the shadow under the bike) so there's not any significant back lighting. He's also captured the curb painting in the reflection of my visor (creates an interesting view, and undoubtedly learned long ago by the photographer as a good spot to get this shot)

I agree. These are great shots. Bear in mind too that his gear is probably substantially better than mine. As is, I have to be within a pretty close range to get the close up detailed shots, which I did this time around but not really near the apex of the corner. While I am impressed with the capabilities of my camera and zoom lens, I still have to be quite a bit closer to my subject than the track photographer does because he is using a phenomenal setup.

Hope you find the comments useful - they're meant to be constructive so hope you take 'em that way! Aboslutely! Thank you for taking the time to respond.

good luck - practice makes perfect.....
Overall, this gig was purely an experiemental run. I wasn't really sure what to expect, and I definitely think that my placement at turn one at that time of day made it more difficult to capture the finer details, which is probably why the track photographer doesn't post up there. With a little more practice and tweaking of my own posting position, I think I could do better.

I'd really like to get a more capable zoom lens if I decide to keep this up. I am mostly just happy that I got some stuff that was decent enough for the riders of that day to take if they decided to. Plus my pictures were free! .

I'll probably do some cropping and editing of these pics and post some up. I just wanted to show the pure results before I went in and manipulated them (aside from having already cropped some ).

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post #17 of 40 Old 08-23-2013, 08:57 AM
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SOW as in THIS weekend?

Shhit I had no idea! My freebie day is going to be out at Buttonwillow on Labor Day.
Next weekend. 8/31-9/1. Motoyard is doing SOW on Saturday and the big track on Sunday, I'm going to both. Now I'm thinking about doing Buttonwillow also since I will be up there already. I'll see how I feel Sunday.
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post #18 of 40 Old 08-23-2013, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I just went on their site and saw it. I might try to hit it, but funds are low and I'm sending out the ECU on the R6 for a flash. If not I will definitely try getting in on the Friday the 13th track day.

Of course, that IS the day before the Cen-Cal ZX6R meetup ride. But if I do the track day, it will be on the R6 anyway.

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post #19 of 40 Old 08-23-2013, 10:02 AM
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Real nice work Rose. you lucky. Did you happen to use a tripod for any of the shots?

I like this shot best, As for the photobucket fuzziness, Try there editing to sharpen the image.

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[IMG]        <a href=http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x350/ond1128/IMG_9474- 2.jpg target=_blank>http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/...MG_9474- 2.jpg</a>
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post #20 of 40 Old 08-23-2013, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Nope, no tripod. Just me.

I just moved them all over to the Smugmug album and posted up a link. You can also check them out on there too if ya want. I posted up quite a few more than I put up in this post.

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post #21 of 40 Old 08-23-2013, 02:28 PM
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Great pics MoM!!! Looks like you had fun.



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post #22 of 40 Old 08-23-2013, 06:04 PM
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Nice pics. I run AV mode (Cannon) or A mode (Nikon) with the lowest F-Stop that the lens allows. Also position yourself so that you are using just a little under the full zoom capabilities of the lens you have, make sure you have the subject you are focusing on taking up most of the shot. This will work best to get your backgrounds out of focus. A basic quality 18-55mm lens will not really do that well for this. I love my 55-250mm lens and use it for almost everything. It's the best all around zoom.

Depending on lighting I try to run lowest possible ISO, this will give you best quality pics, but also reduce shutter speed. During a bright sunny day it should be fine. If they start getting blurry start stepping up the ISO. When you are in AV or A mode the shutter speed is, by default, on auto. These are the settings that I almost always use and are great for when you are new to photography.

I only use manual mode when I am getting creative with filters, long exposures, HDR images, etc.

As far as software, Lightroom is the best for editing your photos. The best way to describe it is Instagram on steroids. You can go online and download tons of different filters that other people have created, and add your own touches to them too.

Photoshop is more for serious editing of the picture. Removing/adding objects into the picture, placing objects on different backgrounds, stretching/shrinking things, etc.

IMO Lightroom is the best for making your pictures look nice. If I have a good shot but something is in the way or I want to get more creative then I use Photoshop.

Photography has been a hobby of mine for a long time. This reminds me! I need to get some good pictures of my bike before the snow flies.

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post #23 of 40 Old 08-24-2013, 12:42 PM
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Any tips with lightroom? Photography is one of my budding hobbies and I'm looking for anything to improve my pictures.

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post #24 of 40 Old 08-24-2013, 07:46 PM
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Any tips with lightroom? Photography is one of my budding hobbies and I'm looking for anything to improve my pictures.
I usually; sharpen, brighten up colors by playing with the hue/saturation, and put a vignette on it for a quick edit. Sometimes I play with exposure and shadows depending on the picture.

Look for some downloads of filters, I like to play with those and it saves time on editing.
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post #25 of 40 Old 08-24-2013, 10:12 PM
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Get your hands on some neutral density filters to be able to shoot slower shutter speeds and wide apertures during the day.
I typically only use fast shutters when straight onto the subject, if it to the side its around 250-400ths
Dont bother taking a tripod to a track, mono pods are much easier to use.
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post #26 of 40 Old 08-25-2013, 05:52 PM
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Get your hands on some neutral density filters to be able to shoot slower shutter speeds and wide apertures during the day.
I typically only use fast shutters when straight onto the subject, if it to the side its around 250-400ths
Dont bother taking a tripod to a track, mono pods are much easier to use.
Cool. What kind of stop we talking on these ND filters, 1-2 stop?

I've never tried my ND filters outside of lighting, snowfall, water/waterfall, and night time highway pictures. (All high stop situations with long exposure time of 2-3+ seconds.)
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post #27 of 40 Old 08-25-2013, 07:29 PM
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I have been into photography since the 4th grade. Do not let haters or idiots dictate what you shoot. It is your eye. You photograph what you see. It is what you see that makes your pictures you. Nuff said.. F**K the haters.
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post #28 of 40 Old 08-30-2013, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I just got a text letting me know that the track photographer will be out again this weekend, so it looks like I'm gonna be at it again. Probably gonna try to situate myself in some different corners and tap into some different techniques. Expect more pics.

And of course there's always an added bonus: "If you get the bike put back together in time, feel free to bring it out and do some laps."
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post #29 of 40 Old 08-30-2013, 11:27 AM
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Well, I just got a text letting me know that the track photographer will be out again this weekend, so it looks like I'm gonna be at it again. Probably gonna try to situate myself in some different corners and tap into some different techniques. Expect more pics.

And of course there's always an added bonus: "If you get the bike put back together in time, feel free to bring it out and do some laps."
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post #30 of 40 Old 09-04-2013, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Okay folks: So I've finally managed to get some of these files converted over from Monday's track day. I made quite a few adjustments to see if I couldn't iron out the kinks of the last time. I took it upon myself to shoot at the same corners during the same time of the morning (yes, even with the sun where it was). I used an ISO of 400 for most of the shots and a shutter speed of 1/500-1/650 but I decided that my lens just isn't quite capable enough to capture the element of speed from that far off under those conditions. I still think I did significantly better than last time and I'm not even done going through all of the shots. Here are some of my favorites:













As you can see, they are brighter. I'm posting them up, as usual, with no editing because my goal is ultimately to be able to take pics that don't need editing. I could probably go back and clean some up, and I may still do that but all in all I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

Edit: I'll get some more posted up as I go along but in the meantime, here's a link to the Smugmug album: http://theapexdream.smugmug.com/Spor...1668800_qNB6kX
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Last edited by MistressOfMayhem; 09-04-2013 at 07:56 PM.
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