This last weekend I had a pretty awesome opportunity to help out some friends at our local track day organization with some track photography. The usual track photographer wasn't on site for this event so they needed some help capturing some photos for the riders. I posted myself at turns 1 and 2 at Buttonwillow Raceway and spent the entire morning taking pics. It was pretty cool. I figured, for those of you who are also fellow photo geeks, I'd share a few shots and throw out some technical specs.
All of the shots were taken with my Nikon D3100 with just a basic old 55-300mm Nikon DX zoom lens. Yeah, my gear is nothin' fancy but I think she did alright all things considered.
These shots are all un-edited with the exception of some cropping.
It was a partly cloudy day so I found myself constantly fluctuating between a 1/2000 shutter speed and a 1/3000 (those ones came out a little underexposed).
Some of you might know this guy:
The dude on the red Ducati ran himself wide in the turn and decided that he would try to push his bike across the track and get back to the pits. I found the timing of this shot funny as he stopped to rest just as another rider came flying by behind him on the entry point to turn 1
For some reason, I uploaded them up to Photobucket and now they look a little fuzzier on my screen. I'm not sure if it downgraded the quality but oh well.
I decided to tinker with the autofocus settings. The pics from turn 1 were a little more challenging as I had to follow the riders through the corner while making sure the camera maintained a decent focal point while set to continuous autofocus. All in all I'd say it was a success for a practice run. Especially considering these are the originals and I haven't had to make any adjustments.
I have to say that there is really something cool to being a rider and a photographer. The guy who is usually out there picks some weird places to post and I always thought that these were two of the best places to capture some good lean angles. It was also really cool to watch the riders improve as their sessions went on. The guy on the blue ZX improved phenomenally in a short period of time.
The best part is that I also earned myself some free track time.