Glen Helen Motocross Race (C&C Encouraged)

Started May 27, 2009 | Discussions thread
Schwany Forum Pro • Posts: 10,124
Do what you like.

You'll find a style that suits you.

The reason high shutter speeds are used is because it's easier to get sharp focus across the subject, and there is nothing wrong with making a job easier. Readers aren't usually photographers, and don't know how easy it is compared to the slow shutter speed pan shots. Readers just want a pretty picture with some dirt flying off the rear wheel. Good framing and angles are required though, so it's not a total piece of cake by any means. Spectators with a camera don't get access to the good angles unfortunately. So you have to work for those shots.

High speed burst is what is usually set for panning, but you don't have to keep the shutter button pressed, so the option for one shot is still there.

I like the coil up your body suggestion for panning, since that is what I do now that I think about it. I also carry a small folding stool I can stand on when necessary to get my lens over the top of any fences that might be in the way.

Here is another suggestion, and this is not an authoritative my way or the highway thought, merely a suggestion. If you aren't already, try using the rear button for focus, so you can separate the focusing and tracking from the shutter release. You may already be doing this, so pardon me for continuing. If set up right in AI Servo you have many more options at your finger tips. You can use the camera like it is in standard AF for stills, or in full continuous AI Servo focus for tracking during a pan without remembering or worrying about how the camera is set up. It also allows you to separate focus from metering if using any of the priority metering modes. It's non-intuitive at first, but makes a big difference in ease of use later. You do lose some flash functionality while in AI Servo and high speed burst mode, no focus assist and maybe some other stuff, but you can always set the camera to single frame standard AF when those features are needed.

Have fun

ElMateo487 wrote:

No worries, I appreciated your commentary, and the addition advice. A
few questions arise... Is it usual for someone who is panning to have
it in drive mode? Taking multiple pictures at slow rates? Hoping for
a good one to keep? Or is it mostly one shot basis.

I am trying to remember how the majority of the pros shoot in all of
my motocross magazines... I am at college and all my mags are at
home. I seem to think they rarely pan/shoot for a blurred effect,
unless it is a shot that is REALLY close on the inside of a turn. So
they can get a very dramatic effect. I am pretty sure they are using
wide apertures to get a blurred background, but they are freezing
motion with a very fast shutter speed.

I just checked out some of my favorite websites for a reminder, and I
think it is standard for motocross (not other motorcycle sports) but
for motocross that the background is not panned.

Maybe that is just a motocross standard?

jdoo wrote:
I can only guess it was in

response to what I wrote? I hardly think any of the answers above
yours were suggesting "OMG... the OP messed up" anything. Instead -
it was (since he asked for cc / suggestions) a suggestion to slow
down the shutter and pan.
Motorsports (IMO -- since the OP asked.......) are about capturing
the movement of the vehicles. Panning a shot is not an easy thing,
and takes practice. I was shown (more than once) by a photographer
who taught me to coil up my body, from the position I expected to
take the shot. That is.. starting from just a little beyond where I
expected to snap the shot (a little beyond - because you shouldn't
shoot/stop -- but shoot and continue to move your body past the shot)
-- coil up in the direction the vehicle will be coming from. When
the object of focus comes into your shot, you begin to uncoil in a
smooth movement and snap the shot, and (as mentioned a little
earlier) continue to unwind after shooting. It takes practice.
Anyway -- that was the suggestion. Another suggestion, is to
practice, practice, practice. Capturing fluid motion in motorsports
is an art. Here is a shot which does a good job of capturing a bike
in motion.

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