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Calling all Sports Photogo's
Old 09-03-2006, 08:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi; My second post here and i am looking for a little help so here goes.
I have just started shooting local county area stock car races, some pretty good shots rigth at dusk, but after the lights go down and the field lights come up well, let's say not so good. Lights at field are so bad like having a back yard porch light on.
I am shooting a 30D with a canon 28-150 4.5 / and 70-200 is 2.8. Now of course shooting with all setting on manual the low end major blur then when try at
and high end all is dark in the county,
What will be the specs on setting for shooting movement (speed) and low light try ever thing i could with the 28-150 last nite. Will post a some later today when time will permit.
Any ideas other than puting camera back in case and going to sit in the Grand Stands... Cliff
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Re: Calling all Sports Photogo's
Old 09-03-2006, 09:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Crank up the ISO to 1200 or 1600, that should help you by lettting you speed up the shutter speed, but it will add noise to the shots.
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Re: Calling all Sports Photogo's
Old 09-03-2006, 09:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffphoto
Hi; My second post here and i am looking for a little help so here goes.
I have just started shooting local county area stock car races, some pretty good shots rigth at dusk, but after the lights go down and the field lights come up well, let's say not so good. Lights at field are so bad like having a back yard porch light on.
I am shooting a 30D with a canon 28-150 4.5 / and 70-200 is 2.8. Now of course shooting with all setting on manual the low end major blur then when try at
and high end all is dark in the county,
What will be the specs on setting for shooting movement (speed) and low light try ever thing i could with the 28-150 last nite. Will post a some later today when time will permit.
Any ideas other than puting camera back in case and going to sit in the Grand Stands... Cliff
Unless you can produce enough man made light to compensate for shooting
pictures in extreme low light or no light situations with that kind of movement,
you are going to either have pictures that are too dark or too blurry. Even
bumping up the iso to 1600 probably wouldn't be enough.
Just a matter of photography physics.
Jim
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Burning rubber!
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Re: Calling all Sports Photogo's
Old 09-03-2006, 10:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Crank the ISO up and shoot RAW while under exposing by a 1-1.5 stops. Then you can go back in post processing and get your stop back. With proper technique, you should be able to get some cool panning shots. But they're a low-probability shot, and you don't want to rely on those alone. You may have to use some flash. Are you close enough to be able to use flash effectively?
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Re: Calling all Sports Photogo's
Old 09-03-2006, 12:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes; Thanks for the info. Cranked up the iso 1600 / 1250 /1000 / 800 and still did not work to good, I can get as close as 2.5 / 4 car links in turn 4 right on the wall from the center of the track. Will post one of the low light photo's in a few. Oh, am useing a canon 580 mounted on a bracket about 8 to 10 inches about lense axes.
I was thinking if i needed a different lense what would be the best, figured i had a pretty close selection to use, i also have a couple of different wide angle;s i have not tried yet. Dont thing the shutter is right for them tho.
heheh am thinking i will be sitting in the Grand Stands during the nite time hours
due to lack of light.


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Re: Calling all Sports Photogo's
Old 09-03-2006, 01:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have not used the Canon 580 flash in this situation, but do a lot of high school football action on fields that are pretty dark. For the last 23 or 24 years, I have used the Vivitar 285 flash set on manual. When using film, I used Ilford XP-1. Since going digital, I set the ISO at 800, the lens opening at F4, and the shutter at 100 or 125. The image is a little dark on the far side of the field, but with some creative Photoshop work, I get a good result. When they are on my side of the field, the shots are fine. It may be that your flash and camera are not communicating, or else are lying to each other. Set everything on manual (including the flash) and set the flash to full power. With the settings I used above, you should get something worth using. If you pan with the car, the background will be blurred and maybe the wheels, but the car should look good as long as you are within thirty or forty feet.
This advice is free...and is worth every penny. Rick
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Re: Calling all Sports Photogo's
Old 09-03-2006, 01:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I do more race track photography than anything else, although it is drag racing. Shooting at night is a real pain. I don't know if you have to deal with reflective stickers, but these will cause underexposure as the light reflected back tricks the flash into thinking it has enough light when there hasn't been. Even a reflective object in the background will cause the effect. There is a tractor with a reflective "slow" symbol on it that gives me fits. I over expose by two stops if I know there is something reflective in the picture and that usually gives me a useable image.

Normally I shoot no farther than 60 feet away at night and generally much closer. You can't have a lens that is too fast, but this usually has to do with focus at night. I typically shoot at 1/250 sec and f/4.5 to 5.6 on manual at ISO 800. My flash is a long overdue to replace 380EX, so I'm not using as much flash power as you. I have used it on a bracket and on the hot shoe, and for simplicity's sake, I just use the hot shoe now. Ghosting can be a problem at slower shutter speeds, especially if it isn't really dark yet, so I normally use the fastest shutter speed possible unless I expect to be capturing flames.

My most used lenses are 85 mm f/1.8, 50 mm f/1.8, and 35 mm f/2. I don't own a zoom fast enough for this type of photography. The 50 mm is my most used lens at night.

In drag racing things happen real fast. Since the car goes from standing still to as fast as it can go in the space allotted in a blink of an eye, I try to give my camera as little to think about as possible. For instance, I set only the central focus point so it doesn't have to debate with itself which point I am thinking about. Our track is not very well lit at night either, so I lose a lot more pictures to focus searching than I am comfortable with. Then comes the problem of flash exposure.

One trick that I should probably use is placing flash units on stands or tripods at the places you know you will shoot. You could use old Vivitar 283's for this and fire them with remotes. Optical sensors could be used if you thought no one else would be taking pictures, but random flashes will set them off and they will be recharging when you want to make an exposure. I have used the cheap radio controlled triggers as sold on that place where you bid on things on the net, but which, if this is like most forums, will not let you type the name.

I hope some of this helps. If you want to see my results, usually completely unprocessed except for downsizing for the web, you can look here

http://www.teamwir.com/2006photos/index.htm

Not great art, but the track hasn't thrown me out yet.
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Re: Calling all Sports Photogo's
Old 09-03-2006, 08:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Try this...I shoot Nikon, so could not tell you what flashed to use, but if your Canon allows, try a hot shoe mounted flash with a high guide number as well as pre-positioning and mounting two other strobed along the walls of the track. If it is like Nikon, you can get some slave strobes pretty inexpensively. If you can get close enough to the slaves to trigger them with your shoe mounted flash, maybe you can adjust everything manually with some instant digital feedback in camera to help you out. Just a thought.....
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Re: Calling all Sports Photogo's
Old 09-03-2006, 08:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've never done race track shooting, so this might be a case of the blind leading the blind, but are the drivers going to be really happy with flash going off in their faces while they are at high speed? Like I said though, I've absolutely no experience with it, so it may not be problem at all. My suggestion however, would be to practice like mad and become an expert at panning, following the action of a fast moving subject to that the subjet remains sharp and the background is blured.
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Re: Calling all Sports Photogo's
Old 09-03-2006, 11:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I also shoot stock car races and have the same problems as you with lighting the field. I shoot with a Canon 20D with a Tamron 28mm - 105mm lens and a Canon 580EX speedlite. I shoot at 250th of a second at f4.0 or 4.5. Some shots lite up nice but others are poorly lit, thank god for photoshop. If you want to see some of my shots go to rickwellmanphotography.com and click on motorsports.
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