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Moving Target advice needed.

XXWIDE

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Newbie here... Just bought a T3i with a kit lens. Im trying to shoot a motorcycle coming toward me, passing me, and going away from me. I thought the sport shooting mode would be best, but every shot is way out of focus. Can anyone offer some advice?

TIA
 
You need a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion. Anything under half a second should do. Also point the camera at a specific spot in the motorcycle's path and focus there.

I don't have a lot of experience with moving subjects yet but this is what I know so far.
 
A half a second is nowhere NEAR fast enough. Depending on how fast it is coming at you I would try 1/200 second or faster. Get your focus on the bike as far away as possible, and make sure you have continuous autofocus enabled so it will continually change focus as the bike approaches. Pan with the motorcycle as it passes you.

This was shot at 1/160 second, and he was probably doing 50 or so coming out of a curve:

2011-09-24-064.jpg


This was shot at 1/320 second and panned with the motorcycle. He was probably doing 150+ coming off the front straight but he was hard on the brakes so I'm not sure how fast when the shot was taken:

2011-04-17-003.jpg
 
Beautiful shots SCraig....
Now Im going to really make you laugh. My motorcycle is going about 20MPH... LOL
Its just my son wanting a picture of himself on his facebook.

Im a real camera newbie. Im not worthy enough to be here with you professionals.

The sports mode "continuous shooting" should be plenty fast enough right?
Im not sure why its not focused. Will try again tomorrow.
 
With Nikon, you can select AF-C, or 3-D Tracking. You might have to try various focusing options to see which one works best for your application. Practice panning with the moving subject, and try to keep more of the frame ahead of the moving motorcycle. Stand with both feet comfortably planted, and pivot your body from the waist as you move the camera steadily with the bike. If you wish, you can also try "burst mode".
 

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