Fast action shots - Motorcycle... advice needed!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Becky, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Becky

    Becky TPF Noob!

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    Y'ello. So I've been asked to do shots of motorbikes on the move by a guy who used to be my boss where I worked. I can't say I've really done anything like this before and don't know whether or not I should accept, and whether I have suitable gear to do it or not.

    I know this guy well and when he says fast, he means FAST!!! I know he's on a gsxr 750and his friends are riding similarly fast bikes and upwards including the 1000 etc.

    So I don't even know if I can catch these guys if they're flying past me...HELP! :( I'd really like to do this if possible as I'm a bike dork and would love to get into this sort of thing more regularly. :lol:

    My gear is:
    Canon 30D
    -50mm f1.4
    -17-40mm f4
    -70-200mm f4
    -speedlite, if thats any use
    -er and a tripod

    I don't know yet how close I will be able to get to them etc, so am a bit concerned about what lens I should be using (though probably not the 17-40mm widey).

    Can anyone offer some advice on what setup I should be using and good techniques for this type of photography with regard to aperture, iso etc?

    Would be really appreciated, thankyou and please. :blushing:


    EDIT: ok just confirmed with the guy the shots will be mostly from close range, but he would like from a distance also.
     
  2. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    depends how close/how fast, dont try too close unless the bikes are poodling along, use the 70-200 at wide aperture and go for S. speeds of 1/500 sec if possible, try panning along with the action with slower speeds, best shots will probably come from tight corners, face on to the rider, practise practise practise, have a trial run on the verge of a dual carriageway, take cars etc till happy with the results before attempting the bike day. H
     
  3. David

    David TPF Noob!

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    You could also try taking some shots with a slow shutter speed and your Speedlite on 2nd curtain sync. This can give you some good 'trails' whilst leaving the subject itself sharp.

    The following is a page from the Canon site showing a second curtain sync image in darkness, which leaves a light trail only.

    http://www.canon.co.jp/Imaging/flashwork/functions/curtain/index.html

    Try it on a nearby road sometime to work out the relative shutter speed to light conditions. If I can find some of the images I've done I'll post later.

    David
     
  4. Orgnoi1

    Orgnoi1 TPF Noob!

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    First of all... being a fellowbike rider... and ex-sportbiker... just be sure that YOU are safe taking the pics... people tend to ham it up for the camera and it ends up putting the photographer and gear in situations more times than I can remember...

    As far as the shots... the "essense" of speed doesnt necessarily need to be done with ACTUAL speed... a lot can be done at 40-55mph and slower shutter speeds... but if they insist on blasting by you I would try and be further away from a 90 degree angle and pan... if you are close you wont get a good pan in... but if you are say 30ft away and they come by at 100mph its much more possible... find a good vantage point and have them come by once or twice at slow speeds so you can test lenses to see which is going to work out for your situation... and then play around with it... if they are coming by over normal highway speeds you should be able to go up to 1/125 or 1/250 and keep the pan still working for you...
     
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  5. Becky

    Becky TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice everyone... I told him I wanted to have a few days to practice it and then would let him know if I was happy to do it... not much point doing it if they'll turn out rubbish so I thought it best to have a go first! I'll keep you posted!

    Thanks again :biggrin:
     
  6. sniper x

    sniper x TPF Noob!

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    I've been shooting motorcycles at speed for years and use to use my 30d and 70-200 f4. Good combination if you have enough light, and can learn to pan and press without stopping your pan. If you can't practice the pan a d shoot method on a track, just go to a road where traffic is whizzing by at about 60 and practice on cars and bikes.

    Also, I suggest Google Search using go motorcycle pics and look at the composition and where they shoot and what and steal ideas on how to shoot well.
     
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  7. .chris.

    .chris. TPF Noob!

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    I'm pretty sure they've had enough chances to work on their technique over the 10 years this thread has been around.
     
  8. sniper x

    sniper x TPF Noob!

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    I hope so, I nnver look at the date the thread was posted.
     
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