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photographing motor sports - car racing / motor cycle racing


  • photographing motor sports in a manner which creates visually appealing imagery is challenging and it helps to have an understanding of each type of race so you can better predict the action
  • many races are run in early afternoon which makes high overhead sunlight problematic from a photography aesthetic perspective
  • the trick is to gain variety and portray movement while ensuring the driver or some other part of the image (eg. pit stop crew) is as sharp as possible, and much of this requires a well practiced panning technique with a camera with very fast autofocus (preferably continuous AF although in some situations S-AF will work well)
    • if you can see the manufacturer markings on the tyres, then these need to be blurred by using a slowish shutter speed to demonstrate movement - this is not an issue if shooting a car front on in which case you can use faster shutter speeds and wider apertures
    • position yourself so as to avoid annoying backgrounds
  • this sport can be very dangerous for photographers - your safety is your responsibility!


  • sports-type dSLR or mirrorless camera with fast C-AF
  • a range of lenses covering most focal lengths is desirable for many but you may be shooting mostly at 400-800mm focal lengths in full frame terms, and you may need polarising filters or ND filters to allow slower shutter speeds to give a good panning effect (eg. 1/60th sec-1/15thsec) - hence you will mainly be shooting at base ISO for the camera and may well be shooting well stopped down to f/5.6-45 (in which case you need to ensure the sensor is dust free otherwise these will show up in your images and be very annoying)
  • if using a full frame 400mm f/2.8 lens, then a monopod becomes a must
photo/motor_sports.txt · Last modified: 2018/07/08 21:53 by gary1

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