Idiot question alert - 52 focus points

Started Jan 2, 2014 | Questions thread
TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 4,619
Circle of Traction -- Came in handy yesterday

Holy Moly!

I was just talking about the Circle of Traction the other day, and it totally came in handy yesterday.

Driving to work it was cold, cold, cold. The guy on the radio was warning about black ice.

On the off ramp, I hit a patch of black ice. I had already slowed myself right down because of the possibility. But . . . as I was on the off ramp, I was applying the brakes a bit and I could feel the tires slipping . . . so . . . based on the Circle of Traction I immediately took my foot off the brake and straightened out the car a bit and just steered over the ice.

Unfortunately the guy in the car behind me was not so fortunate.

He hit the black ice and his rear end slipped out and hit the barrier. Then he steered the other way and hit the barrier on the other side with his front end.

He was okay. At the lights he got out and looked at the damage.

Luckily no one else got hit in the process.

Boy am I glad I at least knew about the Circle of Traction yesterday!  

. . .

TacticDesigns wrote:

frank-in-toronto wrote:

I get out with a lot of new photographers. if asked, i tell them all to set the camera in Aperture priority, select an iso appropriate to the light and worry about composition and getting pics of what they like. if they have auto-iso, even better. i suggest they set it to give 1/fl or faster.

As I pointed out. There are many different ways to approach photography.

i.e.: when i drive to florida, i'm not learning how an engine works. i want to get to my destination. in photography, pictures are the destination. later when they need to, they can learn a little bit of manual. no rush for that.

But if someone wants to learn manual exposure, why not learn it when they want to.

As far as the analogy of driving a car, yes, most of us don't need to know how it works . . . but if we did learn a bit of what's under the hood, we could probably get more performance out of it.

I'm sure the best race car drivers know how a car works inside and out. Their knowledge of how the car works (tires, suspension, engine, center of gravity, etc.) allows them to do things with their cars that most people can't.

Now . . . I don't know a lot about cars, but there is one example that I know that is useful . . . especially now that some of us have snow on the roads.

Its that rule . . . when steering on ice, don't apply the breaks! Simple rule. But as a rule its sometimes hard to remember.

But if you understand the physics behind the rule, then you don't have to remember the rule, you understand the physics of what is happening . . .

The reason you don't want to apply breaks when steering is because of something called the circle of traction.

Basically . . . it just means that your tires only have so much traction with the road surface. If you use all of it to break, you don't have enough left to steer. So if you want to steer, don't use up your limited traction on stopping.

Same thing with accelerating through a turn. If you are using up all your traction on turning, don't suddenly gun your engine to accelerate. You'll lose traction.

I kinda think the exposure triangle vs. exposure modes is the same thing.

If you don't really understand the exposure triangle, then using the camera's different metering system may seem like a bunch of rules. But . . . if you understand the exposure triangle and what's happening physically in the camera . . . all the different exposure modes make so much more sense, because you can visualize what is happening in the camera.

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