Newbie needs advice

SamsMom11

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I am new to Photography and can not wait to explore. I just got a T3i with the 18-55IS. I have an 8 month old and as all new moms can not stop taking pictures of her. I am considering the 70-300 IS. My husband also drag races and I want to be able to take action shots from a distance. Would this be a good lens? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I think I also need an additional flash if I want to take portrait shots. I guess I really want to know what items are recommended for someone who is just getting started. Flash, lens, filters ect. Thanks in advance for your replies.
 
Welcome to the forum.

You can use your kit lens to take portraits also, it may do a better job at the 55mm end with the aperture set at its largest f5.6. Many people love the 50mm lenses for portraits on crop cameras and there is an EF50mm f1.8 lens known as the nifty 50 thats cheap and great value. It has ability to let in a lot more light than your kit lens. The 70-300 IS lens will give you a lot of reach but I suggest looking at the EFs 55-250mm IS also, it is cheaper and highly recommended and the 50mm from 250 to 300mm is not huge in day to day use.
I am very inexperienced with flash photography but there are loads of threads with great info here, just type it in the search. Enjoy
 
For portraits and low buy in the thrifty fifty is hard to beat IMO.
Adding flash will also be helpful but I'd suggest starting with bouncing and diffusing your onboard flash first. Odds are once you get a flash you'll want to go off board and it's a snowball effect from there.
Now at the track depending on where you will be and the track will decide lens choice. I've used my 70-300 for that in the past and it can work. Are you wanting to get action shots of the launch? Or more high speed through the traps?
If for the launch shot. Friendly advise set to burst and try to time it with the tree.
 
I'd also go for the 55-250IS instead of the 70-300.
Most of the excitement is on the launch at the strip, but if you can get them crossing the line neck 'n neck that's always great too. The burn out pit is great for some awesome shots as well. The launch and the burn out you may even want your 18-55 there.
Fast shutter speed is going to be EXTREMELY important if you are catching the crossing the line shot and probably some of the launch shots.
I so miss drag racing!!! My father and brother raced for years. Brother took a couple of national championships, then his wife shut him down. My dad wrecked at 152mph. End over end. It was the end of our drag racing days. He just gave my daughter the engine... Maybe someday!!!
 

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