Track Exposure

If you have followed my blog at all, you know I like to show motion whenever I feel it adds to the story of what I am photographing.  At the ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip speed is the name of the game and panning is my way of capturing it.  Besides the mechanics of panning, the most important choice I make is to set the shutter speed.  I use Shutter Priority mode and let the camera calculate the aperture and ISO from there.

The Junior Dragster Eat My Fairy Dust racing at the ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip in Cicero, New York on Sunday, May 16, 2010.

The Junior Dragster Eat My Fairy Dust racing at the ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip in Cicero, New York on Sunday, May 16, 2010.

For the Junior Dragster division, I choose 1/60th of a second and got some great panning results but none better then the one I share above of the Eat My Fairy Dust dragster.  Using the Nikon 70-200VR lens, my camera selected an aperture of f/20 and ISO of 200.  I timed it perfectly to get the dragster sharp with the bleachers, track, safety barriers and the wheels a nice blur to show the speed of the vehicle.   Click on photo to see a larger version and you might see Tinker Bell riding along.

Later in the day, I was taking closeup photos of the drivers in the staging area where I got the burnout photos I posted earlier this month.  The Sun was getting lower and started glinting off windshields and visors.  I noticed a particularly bright reflection coming off a visor of the Junior Dragster you see below.  I switched to Aperture Priority mode and stepped down the lens to its smallest setting of f/22 to accentuate the reflection into a starburst. My camera set the shutter speed to 1/30th of a second and an ISO of 200 for a proper exposure.

A starburst off a Junior Dragster racer's visor before his race at the ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip in Cicero, New York on Sunday, May 16, 2010.

Speed Racer. A starburst off a Junior Dragster racer's visor before his race at the ESTA Safety Park Dragstrip in Cicero, New York on Sunday, May 16, 2010.

It reminds me of  Japanese animation which shows large and bright starbursts off anything reflective.

This is my submission for this month’s assignment on Creative Exposure.

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30 Responses to Track Exposure

  1. Wow!! That is the PERFECT panning picture! Great job!

    Like

  2. Mike Criss says:

    Fantastic panning photo Scott. I used to do a lot of panning shots in my film days and drag races are perfect for practice.

    Like

  3. Syd Weedon says:

    Nice job. That has always been a difficult technique for me to do.

    Like

  4. Sean Kane says:

    Wow Scott, that car in the pan is incredibly sharp. Perfectly done!

    Like

  5. milkayphoto says:

    The panning shot is amazing! LOVE the colored lines in the background and I don’t think you could have selected a better car! Goooooo Tink!! :D

    Like

  6. mozemoua says:

    That was an awesome panning you did! I wanted to try some panning too, but I do not have any good enough lens! I’ll have to do some investing!

    Like

  7. montucky says:

    That’s a great shot! I will remember how you did that! I also like the starburst! Cool!

    Like

  8. Love the panning technique, the first photograph is amazing, I like the second one too but the first one is my fav:)

    Like

  9. truels says:

    That first photo is just great. The panning effect is very nice. Panning is “new territory” for me, so thanks for the article “The art of panning” – that was good info. for me :-) . I am sure I’ll take some steps into the panning-world soon.

    Like

  10. karma says:

    Very cool shots, Scott! Wow! Makes you feel like you could feel the wind in your hair. The color is stunning as well.

    Like

  11. kanniduba says:

    The starbursts are very cool. I really love that first shot. How many shots did it take you to get that one? Or is it an “ancient Chinese secret?” ;) lol

    Like

  12. giiid says:

    This is what I call creative exposure, great shot! You must be Mr. Panning himself. I´m getting suspicious now, did YOU invent this photo-style?….at least you know how to use it real well.

    Like

  13. Nye says:

    That’s an awesome shot Scott, love the panning effect of the first image. All this time, I thought panning is the photoshoping technique, I didn’t know that you’ve to do it while taking the picture.

    Like

  14. JenniferA says:

    Wow, what fun shots, Scott! Thanks for showing us such inspirational examples for being more creative.

    Like

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