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Old Jan 4, 2010, 3:53 AM   #1
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Default Monster Trucks in Australia

Managed to get these the other night at the Monster Truck Show. Had no idea what I was doing as far as the lighting went so I just winged it. Deleted an awful lot.
All taken with Pentax K200D and Sigma 70 - 300 DG APO lens

ISO1600 1/125th sec f4


ISO1600 1/60th sec f4


ISO1600 1/60th sec f4


ISO1600 1/60th sec f4


More here shortly
http://s56.photobucket.com/albums/g1...ster%20Trucks/
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 4:38 AM   #2
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Managed to get these the other night at the Monster Truck Show. Had no idea what I was doing as far as the lighting went so I just winged it. Deleted an awful lot.
All taken with Pentax K200D and Sigma 70 - 300 DG APO lens
Considering the conditions I would expect quite a bit of photo attrition but these really make it worth it. Some cool shots!

If you get another chance to shoot this where lighting is a problem which makes AF harder especially when tracking I would pre focus on the stack of cars as this is where you are going to get the air then you only have to get the panning right. If you have AF to worry about then you might have nailed the panning however the AF might decide to miss so you've lost a shot. It is all about minimising variables when the going gets tough.
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 5:31 AM   #3
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Hi Mark;
Still not sure what I was doing wrong the most as 1 shot would be fine and then the next terrible yet nothing had changed as far as lighting, distance, settings etc. it was weird. I have never fought my camera so much to get some consistency. I was shooting with manual Focus, as you say locked on the pack of cars and panning which I normally have no problem with but the Trucks themselves would only have to be slightly further back on the cars and I think I ran out of DOF because if I focused a bit more to the middle of the wreck I may get a good shot if the Truck stayed true but if it was slightly forward towards me then scrub the pic again. I think I should have just given up and watched as even a shot in the daylight when they were practicing came out shocking. I can go to a Moto X meet and take a 1000 shots over the day and be unlucky to have half a dozen out of focus.
Just one of those shoots you want to forget.
Cheers
Tony
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 7:17 AM   #4
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Sometimes its a bummer having a camera. Instead of living the moment we try to save it for later. And when the shots dont turn out then the moment is gone. For what its worth, the shots you have here are great. I see two different settings for your shutter speed. Was your camera on completely manual or did you have aperture priority?
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 7:27 AM   #5
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Still not sure what I was doing wrong the most as 1 shot would be fine and then the next terrible yet nothing had changed as far as lighting, distance, settings etc. it was weird. ...
You were using Spot metering. ;-)

With Spot Metering, if you meter on a brighter subject, you'll tend to get underexposed images, and if you meter on a darker subject, you'll tend to get overexposed images.

For example, the metering was probably picking up the light reflections in the first photo, causing it to be exposed at a faster 1/125 second.

I rarely use Spot metering, unless I'm very careful what I'm metering on, because exposure can be "all over the place" trying to use it.

For those types of shots, you'll probably find it's better to go Manual Exposure if the lighting is consistent (just take a few test shots and tweak your aperture and shutter speed so that images are properly exposed, using a faster shutter speed for a darker exposure, or a slower shutter speed for a brighter exposure for a given aperture setting).

It looks like you were using a Sports Scene mode from what I can tell from the EXIF. I don't know if you can change the metering to something other than spot with your camera using that mode or not. But, I'd probably go Center Weighted instead if you want to use something like Aperture Priority (then use Exposure Compensation to tweak your exposure as needed, with a +EV setting for a brighter exposure, or a -EV setting for a darker exposure). But, manual exposure is probably easier and would give you more consistent results.
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 7:55 AM   #6
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With Spot Metering, if you meter on a brighter subject, you'll tend to get underexposed images, and if you meter on a darker subject, you'll tend to get overexposed images.
IOW, if you use spot metering, the camera is trying to make sure the brightness is equivalent to a mid gray (which is why you sometimes see photographers setting exposure by using an 18% gray card).

So, if you meter on something dark like black, it's going to expose it brighter (overexposed), and probably end up looking more like gray instead of black. Or, if you meter on something lighter like white, the camera is going to expose it darker (underexposed), so it will probably end up looking more gray than white. ;-)

Use of spot metering can be a big problem if shooting subjects with different colors or clothing (for example, darker shirts causing overexposure, or lighter shirts causing underexposure), since the camera is only using a very small spot to meter from and doesn't know what the actual color of that spot really is.
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 8:03 AM   #7
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P.S.

But, that a meter is calibrated for 18% gray is sometimes disputed. ;-)

http://www.bythom.com/graycards.htm
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 1:46 PM   #8
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Thanks Bynx and Jim. You are very wise Jim.
I was on Aperture priority most of the time, tried full manual, Sports mode, night mode, you name it.
I never gave it a thought but yes I was using Spot metering and I agree with your reasoning 100%.
When shooting birds as I had been recently I use it on spot and had not changed it.
As for EV I had tried -1 and -2 to see if I could crank more out of it but that didn't help either.
On top of that because of the harsh sun down here during the day, I normally set the WB using a Grey card and I had not changed it.
If I dont and go to a Car show for example, the grass comes out bleached white. Take a shot of the grey card at the event, tweak it just a little, hit ok and take a couple of test shot where hopefully all pics correct colours especially the grass and yellows which tend to go white if I don't.
Overall, as I said earlier, just one of those events I should have just enjoyed instead of shooting.
On the upside I was looking at some pics on the local newspapers website that their photographer had taken from about 20 metres closer than me and they look exactly the same so I am not going to beat myself up over it.

Last edited by TGP; Jan 4, 2010 at 1:53 PM.
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 3:17 PM   #9
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Those look fine to me. I just got the feeling you were wondering why you saw a lot of difference between them when nothing obvious was changing. So, if you meant exposure, the spot metering was the likely culprit (especially with lights reflecting from the vehicles which could easily fool the metering system). Now if you meant sharpness, that's probably just the slow shutter speeds being used, which can make it tough to get a high percentage of keepers trying to pan with the trucks during jumps, etc.

We've got a local speedway in my area, and they have Monster Truck shows from time to time. I've got some photos from the last one I attended somewhere. I just never get around to posting any of them (something I really need to take time to do more often). lol
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Old Jan 5, 2010, 4:02 AM   #10
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Thanks Jim. I am almost positive that with my negative attitude at the event combined with some basic mistakes eg Spot metering, that it explains a lot about why I was so uneasy with the results. The limited lighting did not help but it was all I had to work with and overall I am happy with how the camera coped at 1600 ISO.
The negative attitude was because they promised a lot more than they delivered on the program, so much so that people were leaving at half time.
Many thanks for being so helpful and helping get it into perspective.
Cheers
Tony
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