Photography

When I started this blog back in 2010 I had a small Canon Ixus camera that I took everywhere and it took some very good photos. I went through three generations of Ixus but then found that my phone camera was equally as good so started leaving it at home. The only issue with a phone camera (even one as good as my Galaxy S7) is that you can’t really take action shots because normally you are too far away (though I got an amazing sequence of photos of Wallace Menzies’ Shelsley crash in 2014 with an iPhone 5). So a couple of years ago Jacqui bought me a secondhand Canon EOS 450D digital SLR and a 55-250mm lens. I don’t always take it to events as taking photos of other people can distract from what I’m supposed to be doing there, like checking tyre pressures or fuel level or even getting my helmet on and having the engine warmed up ready for my run. However, yesterday I was not competing at Loton Park because it was a two day event and I was busy doing something else on the Saturday, and I went along with the camera to capture some action.

There are two types of action shots I like, ones that capture the essence of speed and movement and others that are frozen moments that reveal something out of the ordinary (things which people who aren’t enthusiasts probably don’t even notice). Here are my best efforts from yesterday.

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This is quite a good panning shot of Richard Spedding in his GWR Raptor in that the background is blurred but the car is clear. It was taken on a preset programme designed for sports with a 1/800 sec exposure on f/5.6 with an ISO speed of 400.  I think this was lucky because normally my best panning shots are in shutter-priority mode with a 1/80 or 1/100 sec exposure.

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This one of Nev Rollason in his Jamun Formula Ford was taken in shutter-priority mode with a 1/80 sec exposure, f/11 and an automatically set ISO speed of 200.  Setting the exposure at 1/80 is what I normally do for panning but it’s difficult getting a completely sharp car in the middle of the blur. This is almost sharp but not quite.

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Graham Rose, Porsche 924.  This is at 1/80th but although the number 36 appears to be in focus, when you zoom in, the stickers on the front wing are clearly not.  When I achieve that, I’ll be happy.

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Martyn Pike in his Escort. 1/100 sec. f10. ISO-200. Again, almost but not quite.

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Sarah Bosworth braking hard for Fallow in her Elise, the front wheel almost locked up, the rear still rotating, a nice bit of blur from the pan. 1/100 sec. f9. ISO-200

The second type of photo I like is more static in nature but captures something so that you can forensically examine it. I take these with a very fast shutter speed with the camera on a pre-defined Sports mode. Here are a few of those from yesterday.

IMG_7355.JPGEric Morrey at the end of Cedar Straight, the back coming around to overtake the front. Actually this isn’t a fast shutter speed as I was all set up for panning but Eric decided to put on a show.IMG_7267.JPG Jason Mourant turning the front wheels of that Gould GR55 a little more than we are used to seeing at Museum. Now this is in Sports mode hence we don’t see any movement but we have captured the moment.  1/800 sec, f6.3 ISO-400.

IMG_7194.JPG Trevor Willis in the OMS. Again it is the angle of the front wheels which makes it interesting. Sports mode – 1/1600 sec, f6.3, ISO-400.

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Front wheel drives raising a rear wheel are not an uncommon sight but this one of Rob Wilson going around Fallow is better than some I have taken in that you can see the motion of the front wheels in contrast to the static raised rear.  Panning on shutter-priority mode with 1/100 sec, f11, ISO-200.

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If you sit under the tree at Fallow long enough someone will oblige by running wide. I’ve done it myself no end of times.  Here is Ed Hollier.  The photo isn’t good but the subject matter makes up for it.

And finally fourteen images I took with my finger firmly pressed on the shutter button with the ‘Continuous Shooting’ mode turned on, shutter priority mode set and the exposure set at 1/100 sec. They aren’t all good photos but are just what you need to create an animated gif. (Tt should be moving – if it’s not, then it’s your phone or browser or something).

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I posted this (and some other photos) on the Unofficial Loton Park Facebook Group and people have been asking me how I made it. There are many ways to make an animated gif but the easiest way is to upload your images to an online service like http://gifmaker.me/ . It then does all the work and you can download a single image file which contains animation. You can’t upload it to FB but you can upload it somewhere else (like imgur.com) and put a link to it from FB. It’s Eric Morrey in his Imp. By the way, did you know you can search this blog? There’s a search box somewhere (dependng how you’re viewing it) – you’ll find loads of photos of Eric.

That’s all for now. Next big event is Saturday when my standard GT86 will have something done to it which will make it a little less standard and a little faster 😉

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