View 342: At the Starting Line

Dragsters leaving the Start Line at ESTA Safety Park Drag Strip near Cicero, New York.I procured a couple of PocketWizards over the summer and took them for a test drive (so to speak) at ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip near Cicero, New York. PocketWizards

Nikon D7100 camera at the base of the

Nikon D7100 camera at the base of the “Christmas Tree” Starting Line Lights.

are receiver/transceiver units which can remotely trigger a camera’s shutter from a distance. This allows me to put a camera in places which are not safe to photograph from.

At ESTA, I put a Nikon D7100 camera with a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Ulta-Wide Angle (UWA) Lens at the base of the “Christmas Tree” Starting Line Lights. As you can see, it would not be very safe for anyone to sit in front of drag racers taking off within a few feet.  I photographed during the morning time trials as each pair of competitors start at the same time. The object is to get the best time down the quarter mile track.

Below are a few of the captures from the remote camera setup:

Ford Maverick (left) and Chevy Nova (right) pull wheelies as they leave the Starting Line at ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip near Cicero, New York

Ford Maverick (left) and Chevy Nova (right) pull wheelies as they leave the Starting Line at ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip near Cicero, New York.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/1000s, f/3.5, ISO 100, EV 0, 12mm focal length, PocketWizard.

As you can see, in the morning, the camera faces into the Sun causing a little lens glare. Next time, I plan on shooting in the afternoon when the Sun is more behind the camera’s location.

Dodge Challenger (left) and Ford Mustang (right) hook up as they make their run down the track at ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip near Cicero, New York.

Dodge Challenger (left) and Ford Mustang (right) hook up as they make their run down the track at ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip near Cicero, New York.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/1000s, f/3.5, ISO 100, EV 0, 12mm focal length, PocketWizard.

Some of the racers really like to put on a show with wheelies.  Click here for more racing action from ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip in 2014.

Putting the show on the Starting Line at the ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip near Cicero, New York.

Putting the show on the Starting Line at the ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip near Cicero, New York.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/1000s, f/3.2, ISO 100, EV 0, 12mm focal length, PocketWizard.

It is going to be a lot of fun trying out different locations for my cameras using the PocketWizards.

 

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View 341: Magic Hour Football

In photographing high school football, I really do not have the correct camera and lens to shoot into the night.  High school stadiums have lights which are not bright enough for photography without a camera that can handle it.  Like a Nikon D3s or D4(s).

Baldwinsville Bees QB Madison Wolfanger (7) calling a play at the line against the Auburn Maroons at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium in Baldwinsville, New York on Friday, September 5, 2014.

Baldwinsville Bees Quarterback Madison Wolfanger (7) calling a play at the line against the Auburn Maroons at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium in Baldwinsville, New York on Friday, September 5, 2014.
Nikon D7100/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/5, ISO 200, EV 0, 200mm (400mm 1.3 DX).

With kick offs around 6:30pm in my area.  I have the last hour before sunset to get my photos which is known as the Magic Hour.  Magic or Golden hour gives nice light in the red-yellow spectrum of light as the Sun nears the horizon.

Photo Gallery for the Baldwinsville vs. Auburn High School Football Game

Baldwinsville Bees defensive back Sam Mahar (2) on the field against the Auburn Maroons at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium in Baldwinsville, New York on Friday, September 5, 2014.

Baldwinsville Bees defensive back Sam Mahar (2) on the field against the Auburn Maroons at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium in Baldwinsville, New York on Friday, September 5, 2014.
Nikon D7100/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/5, ISO 360, EV 0, 180mm (360mm 1.3 DX).

As I was not photographing for any newspaper, I was able to concentrate on getting sport portraits of some of the players.  Notice the low angle of the light creating shadows and bright colors. You can tell when I was loosing the light by the increase in the ISO number.

Baldwinsville Bees Josh Greer (84) directing his defense against the Auburn Maroons at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium in Baldwinsville, New York on Friday, September 5, 2014.

Baldwinsville Bees Josh Greer (84) directing his defense against the Auburn Maroons at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium in Baldwinsville, New York on Friday, September 5, 2014.
Nikon D7100/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/4, ISO 900, EV 0, 200mm (400mm 1.3 DX).

Back in the day (many years ago) I played center and wanted to make sure I got a photo of B’ville’s starter.

Baldwinsville Bees Center Anthony Emmi (55) ready to snap the ball against the Auburn Maroons at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium in Baldwinsville, New York on Friday, September 5, 2014.

Baldwinsville Bees Center Anthony Emmi (55) ready to snap the ball against the Auburn Maroons at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium in Baldwinsville, New York on Friday, September 5, 2014.
Nikon D7100/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/4, ISO 4000, EV 0, 200mm (400mm 1.3 DX).

There are many rumors that Nikon will be announcing a new camera this week.  I might be in the market.

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View 340: Day at the New York State Fair

The 2014 edition of the New York State Fair is now underway.  Fairs are chock full of photo opportunities and this one is a gold mine.  Here are a few of my photo treasures from just one day there.

This year a mechanical bull named Wild Willy was set up outside, appropriately enough, the Cattle Building.  People could pay $10 for a chance to win $200 IF they could stay on Wild Willy for 8 seconds.  While I watched, no one got past 6 seconds and most, like this cowboy, flew off in less than 4 seconds.

A man about to be dumped off of Wild Willy, a mechanical bull, at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

A man about to be dumped off of Wild Willy, a mechanical bull, at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

This is the second year the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition are sponsoring the Dairy Cow Birthing Center (click the link for a live webcam) which was very popular last year.  It is even larger this year so more people can see the miracle of a calf being born. None of the cows where close to giving birth when I visited but I did meet Sven who was born earlier in the day.

Dairy calf named Sven was born three hours before I took his photo in the Dairy Cow Birthing Center at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

Dairy calf named Sven was born three hours before I took his photo in the Dairy Cow Birthing Center at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

There is always a lot of activity inside the Pyrke House 4-H building at the Fair. Besides each county having a booth there with all kinds of displays, there are live competitions.  I happened across one featuring teams of two in a robot competition. The teams had a set amount of time to put together a robot to do various tasks.  While the robots were fun to watch, I found the reactions from the teams more interesting.  Can you guess what might be happening to this team’s robot here?

Boys react to their robot during a competition inside the Pyrke House 4-H building at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

Boys react to their robot during a competition inside the Pyrke House 4-H building at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 250mm focal length.

With all the exotic animals we can see in zoos, the most popular ones at the Fair are the goats, sheep and llamas.  This sheep was about to be sheered for show and its wool will be used in making shawls in the nearby Wool Center building.

Sheep harnessed up in preparation of getting sheered at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York  on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

Sheep harnessed up in preparation of getting sheered at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1250, EV 0, 180mm focal length.

Even more popular is the International Horse Show running each day at the Fair in the Coliseum.  Breeds from the tiny Miniature Horses to huge Draft Horses compete for trophies and cash prizes.  Here is of of the competitors in this year’s Arabian Traditional Costume class.

Arabian rider and horse competing in traditional costume class at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York  on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

Arabian rider and horse competing in traditional costume class at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 8000, EV +1.0, 180mm focal length.

I have plans to visit the Fair a couple of more times and will be sharing more photo treasures.

 

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The Trouble with Props

I am not referring to props as in objects used to compliment a photograph but props as in propellers on airplanes.  The Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York had a mix of jets and prop planes.  For that reason, I was using Shutter Priority mode.  When a new plane took to the air I had to remember to change my shutter speed for the type of plane.  Why would I need to do that? See below.

When shooting propeller or prop airplanes, you need to slow down the shutter or the prop is frozen (left).  When the shutter is slowed down, the prop show motion and looks like a moving plane.

When shooting propeller or prop airplanes, you need to slow down the shutter or the prop is frozen (left). When the shutter is slowed down, the prop shows motion (right) and looks like a moving plane.

If you photograph a prop plane with a fast shutter like 1/1000th of a second, it freezes the prop and the plane looks frozen in the air.  Not a good look for a flying plane. By slowing the shutter down to 1/200th of a second or slower, the prop becomes a blur and the plane looks like it is flying.

Here is a WWII P-51 Mustang fighter called Quick Silver streaking across a cloud filled sky. The blurred prop really makes the plane look as fast as it was going.

A P-51 Mustang called Quick Silver flying at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

A P-51 Mustang called Quick Silver flying at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/200s, f/20, ISO 200, EV 0, 400mm focal length, cropped.

I tried slower shutter speeds but the older Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED AF VR Zoom lens and I were not up to the task. Still, I like how the B-25J WWII bomber named Panchito, after the feisty rooster from Disney’s animated musical The Three Caballeros, and a member of the 396th Bomb Squadron, 41st Bomb Group, 7th Air Force, stationed in the Central Pacific came out.

B-25J “Panchito,” named after the feisty rooster from Disney’s animated musical The Three Caballeros, was a bomber with the 396th Bomb Squadron, 41st Bomb Group, 7th Air Force, stationed in the Central Pacific flying at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

B-25J “Panchito,” named after the feisty rooster from Disney’s animated musical The Three Caballeros, was a bomber with the 396th Bomb Squadron, 41st Bomb Group, 7th Air Force, stationed in the Central Pacific flying at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/200s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 400mm focal length, cropped.

While I was panning for these photos, without any background objects close to the planes, you do not see any sense of motion behind them.  I hope to photograph more airshows in the future.

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View 339: Thunderbirds over Rochester

The US Air Force Thunderbirds performing at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

The US Air Force Thunderbirds performing at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/1000s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 110mm focal length.

The last time I photographed the United States Air Force Thunderbirds air demonstration team they were flying over Main Street USA at Walt Disney World.  Yesterday, the Tunderbirds performed at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York. Unlike the fly over at Disney, this show lasted over thirty minutes featuring multiple passes in groups of six, four, two and solos.

Two solo USAF Thunderbird pilots perform a flying maneuver during the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

Two solo USAF Thunderbird pilots perform a flying maneuver during the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/1000s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

Instead of one pass, I was able to photograph the Thunderbirds F-16 aircraft as they performed several passes demonstrating the precision flying the team is famous for.

Group of four F-16 Thurnderbird jets fly in formation during the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014

Group of four F-16 Thurnderbird jets fly in formation during the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV 0, 280mm focal length.

Here are a couple of photos showing solo aircraft.

An F-16 Thunderbird jet making a High-G turn during the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

An F-16 Thunderbird jet making a High-G turn during the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/1000s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 400mm focal length.

Like how the plane’s wings seem to cut through the air in this one.

A Thunderbird F-16 jet shows its namesake graphic on the bottom of the aircraft at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

A Thunderbird F-16 jet shows its namesake graphic on the bottom of the aircraft at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/1000s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 400mm focal length.

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