Photographing fast moving objects!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by WilliamDSLR, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. WilliamDSLR

    WilliamDSLR TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone,


    I may be going with a friend of mine to one of the Formula1 races and was wondering what the best way to photograph something travelling at huge speeds?


    If you had any tips on getting the best shots, camera settings or whatever, I would greatly appreciate it!


    Thanks


     
  2. Deo

    Deo TPF Noob!

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    You will need a dslr and a long telephoto lens.

    When shooting F1, you will be standing/sitting behind the fence. Usually i used lens with FL of 150-300 and get near as possible to the fence. the goal is to make the fence out of focus or if possible unseen in the photo. This will give you a better photo then a photo dominated with fences.

    use on Time Value or Speed Priority, with shutter speed around 1/2000 to freeze the movement, or around 1/20 for panning shot which will require some practice.
    Set the focusing mode to AI Servo or AF-C , use zone AF points or spot incase you want to need more precise focusing. Set the aperture as wide as possible. set the iso around 250-800 although you could put it on auto. In addition set your shooting mode to continues assuming you have enough memory card.

    The thing is, be creative, try many setting, try panning, and just enjoy it.
     
  3. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Make sure the camera is in continuous focus mode (e.g. if you have a Canon, make sure it's in "AI Servo" mode.)

    Set a high shutter speed initially and "pan" to track the cars.

    Slowly start decreasing the shutter speed to allow the background to blur while keeping the car sharp (takes practice). You don't have to get particularly low on the shutter speed. The lower you go, the harder it will be to track the car.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Panning and shutter speed are the keys.

    To stop motion, the direction movement is, relative to the plane of the image sensor, has an effect on how much shutter speed is needed to stop motion.
    Motion parallel to the plane of the image sensor requires a faster shutter speed relative to motion on a diagonal or perpendicular to the plane of the image sensor.

    The big trick to shooting racing cars is to use a shutter speed slow enough so the wheels/tires are motion blurred, yet fast enough to stop the motion of the rest of the car. This is particularly important when the car is moving parallel to the plane of the image sensor. Panning also plays it's part with the swing of the camera allowing use of a slower shutter speed.

    Panning is best done from the waist. Plant your feet and only move at the waist. To do so you have to anticipate the pan so you can set your stance in advance.

    F1 cars are going the slowest in the corners, and are going the fastest at the ends of the straights. Fortunately F1 cars don't attain as high a top speed as Indy cars do, but F1 cars can corner a bit faster.
     
  5. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Actually, no. Prefocus to the point where the cars will be passing. Disable the autofocus and hit a blast as soon as the cars start to approach the pre-focused point.
     
  6. Deo

    Deo TPF Noob!

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    Thats one way to do it, especially if you have limited gear
     
  7. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you're going to try to pre-focus, you'll probably want a higher f-stop to offer a bit of "wiggle room" on the DoF so that focus isn't so critical.

    It's probably not a bad idea if you don't have a lens with snappy focus motor.
     
  8. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My advice would be to go to a place beforehand and practice. Practice shooting street cars at about 1/50 second and panning with the cars. It's going to be difficult to avoid motion blur caused by you at shutter speeds that slow but you need to practice there. When you go to the actual race increase your shutter speed to about 1/200 second and plan on panning with the subject a LOT faster.

    KmH's advice is good. Plant your feet solidly and pan from the waist. I shot action pistol competition for years and actually use the same stance for photography as I did for shooting. I lean slightly over my forward foot, never move my feet, and pan at the waist.

    I haven't shot F-1 but I have shot several motorcycle road races and they were screaming at the end of the straight where I liked to watch from. A shutter speed of 1/150 to 1/300 worked best for me but the slower you can get it and keep good, sharp focus on the cars the better your shots will look.
     
  9. Steve5D

    Steve5D TPF Noob!

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    You're going to learn to pan come Hell or high water!

    But that's okay. You want to pan. Panning along with the car, you'll want a high shutter speed, but not so high that you freeze the wheel motion:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. HughGuessWho

    HughGuessWho TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Nice shots, Steve5D
     
  11. Steve5D

    Steve5D TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!
     
  12. imagemaker46

    imagemaker46 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This is old school thinking that almost always works. It would take a few laps to figure out the correct line the cars take, if they are doing things right, the line will be the same almost everytime. I used to do this when shooting downhill sking, focus on the pine needles they would put on the course, and just wait, the only difference was that most of the time it was blind and someone would yell just before the skier went by. Speeds are different, but the concept is the same.
     

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