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mmeyer

Kart Racing

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My nephew asked me to try to get some photos of his kart racing tonight so I of course said I would give it a try. I learned a bunch from my first time out. I had some trouble getting a good focus point since I could only see them for a short time without any obstructions. It was fun though. Those little buggers can really move.

Enjoy

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Thanks Everyone, Catman my nephew is actually the big guy in the last image. The little guy is the son of his friend. It's my nephew's first year racing but the little guy has been doing it for a couple years and he's only 8. They both had a great time. I on the other hand, was freezing from the wind blowing 40mph or what felt like it.

One question I had for anyone that knows is, when I am focusing on the kart what should I focus on typically, the driver or the kart. With having to shoot wide open to get a fast enough shutter speed one or the other was not quite sharp all the time.

Thanks

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I've shot some bicycle races and while not as fast as carts, I've been right on top of the finish line. I found that I had to turn on the VR and pan along with the action to get the best results. I also stopped down a little bit to get more depth of field, but I've only shot with decent lighting. How are you liking the D-80?

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Thanks YF, the D80 is really great. It seems sharper, although I don't know for sure, and the color is better than my D50. I got the battery grip with it and I really like that for the vertical shots. I'm really happy with it and I'm glad I made the switch. One thing that really made me switch is the CLS option with it that the D50 doesn't have. Oh, yeah I'm a lot more comfortable shooting at ISO 800 with the D80 than my D50.

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I've been eying some options as well, but I think I'm gonna wait one more generation before I make the move. Either get the D80 on the cheap or whatever they replace it with. I hear ya about the high ISO stuff with the D50, I spend a lot of time running noise ninja when I shoot anything over 400.

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Mike with cars most guys shoot in Tv and set a slower shutter speed. Try 1/250 or 1/125 to start and as you get a bit better you can drop down to 1/30 or 1/60 and pan.

Bikes and cars will give you better results when you show blur in the wheels and or backgrounds. It is like shooting prop planes, you don't want those fast moving propellers or wheels on cars and bikes to be frozen. Motion blur gives you a sense of...well motion.

As far as where you focus, with carts like this I would be trying for the head. In a race car the cockpit area will work. I noticed you shot at f2.8 you definitely want to stop down and if you shoot in Tv the camera will do that. You might be up at f16 on a sunny day with a lower ISO. Another case of using your ISO to get settings you want.

Bikes and cars are one of the very few times I ever shoot in Tv, you want to control that shutter speed to control the blur. Most any other sport you will be in Av or manual trying to control DOF and stopping action. Great start with these, don't be afraid to use some tilted angles either. One of those sports that lends itself to experimentation.

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Thanks Dan, I should have some more opportunities to try some different things. I did try a couple with a slower shutter speed and I liked the blur of the foreground and background but I blurred the kart also. Could I use a flash to get some stop action with motion blur also?

Thanks again

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Mike, flash makes things tougher because remember that your strobe duration is in essence your shutter speed. If your strobe is firing at 1/10,000s you will stop the action. Remember my water drop photos awhile back, I fired the flash at low power settings because that gives you the fastest flash duration or it stops faster objects. If I want to photograph a bullet in mid-air so it looked frozen I would use the lowest flash output I could, faster duration of pulse of light.

Your shutter speed with flash determines your ambient light levels, your aperture controls the exposure on the subject. It really takes a while to wrap your head around some of this flash stuff. It does start to soak in with more experimentation.

So what this means is your SB-800, I think thats what you are using, at full power is cycling at about 1/900s. At partial power the duration is faster, say 1/10,000s so if you want to try and get blur with flash you need to fire your flash at full power and use a small aperture.

Most dirt track shooters have to use some flash but they get shots from the infield with the car in a power slide, hiding the wheels and the fact that they stop motion. You can almost always tell by the white lettering on the tires, you can read it with a flash shot.

Daytime I would just get in the 1/250s to 1/320s range in Tv and pan away. Takes some practice but the results are cool.

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