Motorsport Photography

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297
Name
Gary
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#1
Greetings all. I am looking for some help to improve my motorsport shots and I was wondering if you would be willing to give me the benefit of your collective experience.

Firstly - focus. I am finding that I have quite a narrow plane of focus in my motorsport images - either the front or middle of the car is in focus with the rest blurred (see the shot below). Is there anything I can do to improve the sharpness of the image throughout the image? I am already using a monopod.

Ferrari
by G B, on Flickr

Then there is the grass. As in the image above, my grass is going quite yellow and unnatural. How do members combat this?

Finally - I shoot a canon 70D. Could anyone advise on the best focus custom functions to use when shooting motorsport photography? I am thinking principally around focus and tracking settings.

Cheers!
 
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1,730
Name
Simon
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No
#2
I’m afraid what your describing and illustrating with you photo is down to the law of physics when shooting a 3/4 angle with a slow shutter speed - different parts of the car are moving at different speeds relative to the shooting position. The only way to minimise it is to use a faster shutter speed.

As for WB, I regularly set a custom one using an expodisc. I tend to set it at the beginning of each session.

Can’t help with the camera set up, as I’m a m4/3 user.

Hope this helps :)

Simon
 
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1,773
Edit My Images
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#3
Greetings all. I am looking for some help to improve my motorsport shots and I was wondering if you would be willing to give me the benefit of your collective experience.

Firstly - focus. I am finding that I have quite a narrow plane of focus in my motorsport images - either the front or middle of the car is in focus with the rest blurred (see the shot below). Is there anything I can do to improve the sharpness of the image throughout the image? I am already using a monopod.

Ferrari
by G B, on Flickr

Then there is the grass. As in the image above, my grass is going quite yellow and unnatural. How do members combat this?

Finally - I shoot a canon 70D. Could anyone advise on the best focus custom functions to use when shooting motorsport photography? I am thinking principally around focus and tracking settings.

Cheers!
What shutter speed is this image taken at? Im no expert just starting out too... but for a 3/4 shot like that u want to be at least 1/640 and f8 then auto ISO id start there anyway and then see how u go. I guess ur looking for a sharp car but a bit movement in the wheels. Centre focus point on the mid bonnet with Al Servo. Depending on distance away and speed of car... and light conditions then experiment
 
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776
Name
Ben
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#4
Its always going to be difficult at an angle like that, plus the speed of the car and the equipment trying to keep up with focus..

I try get to my local track when I can to practice, that's all it is. Look out for places on track with good access/visibility where a slightly better side on is possible, then modify the angle from there..

Here's a couple of mine..

IMG_0103
by BennyBoo43, on Flickr

IMG_0135
by BennyBoo43, on Flickr

Pretty much sideways..

If I go for more of an angle, I raise my shutter speed to try and combat some of the back end of the car into focus..

IMG_0421
by BennyBoo43, on Flickr

IMG_0395
by BennyBoo43, on Flickr

Or if it's too much of an angle, try something different..

IMG_0107
by BennyBoo43, on Flickr

IMG_0846
by BennyBoo43, on Flickr

Hope this helps a little..?

The grass issue is weird.. Maybe your auto WB tried and failed, you don't seem to have that issue in any other shots..?

My settings in tracking on my then 5Diii and the now 7Dii are Case 2, Continue to track, ignoring obstacles, Sensitivity is one above 0 the others are on 0 (this will only be of use if the 70d has the same options..? not sure if it has, sorry.

Mine are all handheld.
 
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766
Name
John Stewart
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#5
If you use a faster shutter speed, then you will get more of the car sharp, but also more of the background sharp and the wheels almost static. IMHO this type of static image is not very appealling as there's no sense of movement and gives the impression that the car has parked up on the track. It is a very personal opinion though, as I spoke to someone who preferred super sharp images of cars on track, and disliked ones which were partly or mostly blurry.

You can only get most of the car sharp with a slower shutter speed if it is travelling parallel to you.
 
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OP
PhotoBoris
Messages
297
Name
Gary
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#6
Thanks for all the feedback. I may have an experiment next time I am at Oulton Park. The grass colour thing I suspect I can correct in the HSL tab - although experimenting with the tone curves seems to help a bit too.
 
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PhotoBoris
Messages
297
Name
Gary
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#7
Sorted it. I went into the HSL tab in lightroom and used the little circle with arrows pointing up and down to select the grass then drag the hue towards green and the saturation down on the grass.

LR
by G B, on Flickr

The grass in this shot looks much better.

Aston Pass
by G B, on Flickr
 
Messages
1,673
Name
Immo
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Yes
#10
Hi, sorry for using this thread for an upload test. Actually, this was from my first outing with this equipment. Green is less saturated now ... ---

As I have read all postings here, there is always the static vs. dynamic (with blurry background) discussion.

Taking car pics while following with CAF leads to many lost pictures, at least in the beginning.

Presently, I try to achieve maximum coverage, so I take no dynamic pictures. However, selecting a non-distracting
BG and shallow DOF, this works, too (for me at least ...) ---
 
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