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Old Aug 13, 2008, 10:12 AM   #11
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firstascent wrote:
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JimC, thanks for that link, I really like the 4th photo down as you mentioned and even more the 5th photo down. that is amazing! I would love to take photos like that. like you said, just need practice! Oh and on the link you sent, for that 5th pic down how just the front of the car is clear and the back half is out of focus, is that just how the photographer took the pic and the settings he used? I really like it.
It's just motion blur from the slow (1/30 second) shutter speed being used, and has nothing to do with Depth of Field.

When you try to use shutter speeds that slow, you can sometimes get part of a car sharp, and part of it blurry, just because of the way the car is bouncing up and down on the track (the rear end of the car was probably moving up and down and/or side to side more compared to the front of the car for that shot).

With dirt track races, this kind of issue is sometimes more pronounced (because the track isn't as smooth, and the cars move up and down more, with lots of vibration that can cause motion blur on parts of a car at slow shutter speeds).

Again, trying this technique takes lots of practice, and you'll have to take a lot of photos to get any keepers. It's tougher than it looks, and I'd probably stick to shutter speeds of around 1/100 second (you'll need a *very* high skill level to get away with 1/30 second shooting that kind of subject, and TG is very good at it).

One way you can try it is to set your ISO speed to it's lowest value, use Shutter Priority at around1/100 second (letting the camera select the correct Aperture). Just keep in mind that if your aperture is too small (higher f/stop numbers), you'll start to get softer photos from diffraction. So, you might not be able to go that slow in bright light without other issues (for example, you may not be able to "stop down" the aperture enough if light is too bright, resulting in overexposed images).

Another approach would be to shoot in Aperture Priority mode, selecting smaller and smaller apertures (higher f/stop numbers), until you get shutter speeds slow enough for the desired impact (I'd target around 1/100 second for starters). That's a safer approach compared to using Shutter Priority, since in bright light, the camera may not be able to select a small enough aperture (high enough f/stop number) to prevent overexposure, unless you're using a Neutral Density Filter to block some of the light.

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Old Aug 15, 2008, 6:06 AM   #12
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There's some really good advice here in the above posts from JimC. The photos in the link are mine and here are some more tips with sample pics that might help you out a bit more.

Straight pans are fairly straight forward, Start by shooting at higher shutter speeds and work your way down as you get more comfortable. Use continues focus mode if shooting with AF (not sure what this called on the A300 (AI Servo on the Canon)). Pick the car/bike up early to let the AF settle, use a smooth motion and follow at the same speed as the car/bike. Slower shutter speeds are very effective for getting nice motion blur in the background and vechile. Background motion blur can also be achieved with fast moving subjectseven with higher shutter speeds (car travelling fast down a long straight, panning faster). Slower shutter speeds are harder with longer lenses due to camera shake, You can try a mono pod (this can restrict you body movement) or use IS on you lens/camera (IS is generally not very effective for sports as the subject is moving, some Canon lenses do have a panning mode).



1/15s f/10.0 at 135.0mm, iso 100



For cars/bikes coming straight at the camera use higher shutter speeds, background out of focus (bokeh) can be achieved with long lens & shallow DOF.


Pic below: long lens used 560mm (400 f5.6 & 1.4x TC becomes a 560mm f8 lens)



1/500s f/9.0 at 560.0mm iso400



The slow shutter speed ¾ pan (car moving diagonally, across and towards you) is one of the hardest shots, due to the subject moving towards you and as JimC mentioned movement of he car especially when using a long lens but looks great when you get the front of the car sharp . I use a single focus point kept on the front of the subject.

Pic below: motion blur effect is even greater with car in the background as it is travelling in the opposite direction to my panning motion



1/40s f/18.0 at 400.0mm, iso 100



I find motorcycles more difficult to shoot as they are smaller, often have to use longer lenses to fill the frame when shooting from public areas (I am shooting with my 400mm with and without 1.4x TC for panning shots with bikes where I wound be using my 70-200mm or 300mm lens for cars). They are a lot faster accelerating out of corners (harder to track smoothly)and difficult to get the rider sharp with slow shutter speeds because they are moving around on the bike e.g. going around corners.

Pic below: slow shutter speed long lens, bikesharp, rider bodysharp, helmet a bit blurred because of rider head movement.



1/80s f/11.0 at 560.0mm iso50


For most of my motorsport shooting I use shutter prioriy mode and control my aperture with ISO settingsand a ND filteron sunny days. Do use aperture prioritywhen shooting through wire fences so I am shooting wide open to minimise mesh showing up in fence.

Pic below shot through wire fence, wide open (f8 with 560mm lens)



1/250s f/8.0 at 560.0mm iso400




Sorry if this post is a bit long or I have gone off the subject a bit but I hope some of these tips help you out.

Last edited by TG; Sep 19, 2012 at 5:23 AM.
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Old Aug 15, 2008, 11:22 AM   #13
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TG:

Thanks for the input. I'm sure it will be appreciated.

firstascent:

If you read through the posts, you'll see that TG mentions using an ND (Neutral Density) Filter for some shots.

That type of filter allows you to block some of the light, so you can get slower shutter speeds with a given aperture setting. That way, if light is very bright, you won't have to stop down the aperture (use higher f/stop numbers) as much to keep shutter speeds as slow as desired.

These types of filters are readily available from larger retailers of photo gear. You can also use a Polarizer to help block some light (typically around 2 stops, depending on how it's rotated) if needed.

But, keep in mind that using filters like those also means that your Camera's Autofocus Sensors get less light, making it more difficult to lock and maintain focus. Even though the A200 AF system is very nice for an entry level model, it's not in the same class as a Professional Level model like the Canon EOS-1D Mark II N used by TG for those samples, which can focus much faster in lower light than the A200 can (and when you use an ND filter, your camera doesn't see as much light for focusing. Your lens is also relatively dim to begin with at f/5.6 on it's longer end, and a modern AF camera will always focus with the aperture wide open, stopping it down to the desired setting when taking the shot). So, brighter lenses usually AF faster. Higher quality gear (both lenses and camera body) are going to perform better for this type of use.

So, you'll have to experiment for the best compromise between desired shutter speeds and AF performance if you want to use a filter to block some of the light.

Another consideration is that using smaller apertures (higher f/stop numbers) to let in less light can cause softer images from diffraction. That's because most lenses are sharpest at 2 or 3 stops down from wide open (you'll probably find that your kit lens is sharper at around f/11 on it's longer end), and you might get a bit more softness than you may desire if you go down much beyond around f/16 or so (higher f/stop numbers let in less light so you can achieve slower shutter speeds). It's a matter of balance between the variables involved to get the desired results.

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Old Aug 16, 2008, 6:41 PM   #14
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wow thank you all for all the detailed information and thanks for your input and a greater explanation with sample photos TG. I really appreciate it, it is helping me understand everything more and more. I realize my camera/lens isn't the best but is fine for me. Im sure down the road I will upgrade.

I have came back to this post to re-read everything before I head out to take some pics to refresh my memory and has definitely helped!!

As for taking pics of bikes I can see how it would be harder since they are smaller and accelerate so fast out of the corners, luckily I can get pretty close to them (10-15ft in some places) which has been nice since I haven't purchased a decent zoom lens yet, but im thinking about sony's 75-300mm lens.

TG - what track did you take that pic of Rossi at? Is that Phillip Island, I love that track!!
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 11:09 PM   #15
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firstascent wrote:
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wow thank you all for all the detailed information and thanks for your input and a greater explanation with sample photos TG. I really appreciate it, it is helping me understand everything more and more. I realize my camera/lens isn't the best but is fine for me. Im sure down the road I will upgrade.

TG - what track did you take that pic of Rossi at? Is that Phillip Island, I love that track!!
That's OK, You should still be able to get good shots from you current equipment, I started off with consumer lenses and a EOS 10D (my first digital SLR). Still got some great shots & slowly upgraded my kit with better lenses & body.

Yes the Rossi pic was taken at Phillip Island.

Good luck with your shooting and post some pics to share with everyone in the Sports & Action Photos forum.
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