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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Shooting my first car race
Ben Liu, Photographer
Yuba City | CA | USA | Posted: 10:56 AM on 11.30.07
->> I'll possibly be shooting my first race this weekend. Never even been to a race track before.

Will I need a 300? Or will I be able to manage with my 80-200?

All advice greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Jason Orth, Photographer
Lincoln | NE | USA | Posted: 11:03 AM on 11.30.07
->> where are you shooting? track, position at the track etc.
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Charles Ludeke, Student/Intern
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 11:19 AM on 11.30.07
->> Bring both, just to be safe.

Don't forget to get motion in your photos. Try some panning. If you just stop the movement, the cars tend to look parked.


Good luck!
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Ben Liu, Photographer
Yuba City | CA | USA | Posted: 11:57 AM on 11.30.07
->> I dont have any information yet about the track, about where I will be, etc. I dont have a 300mm that is available to me at this time... I'd have to drive 3 hours south (6 hours round trip) to my parents to get it. the track is 2 hours NW from my location....

So I'm pretty much limited to a 20-35mm and 80-200mm right now.

All i know about the track is that it is about 3 miles. It is called Thunderhill Park Raceway.

As mentioned earlier, never shot this sport before.

Todd Corzett and Mark Rebilas, can you please offer some advice?

Thanks again!
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Norm Cabana, Photographer
Milpitas | CA | USA | Posted: 12:11 PM on 11.30.07
->> Ben,

When you get to Thunderhill check in at my trailer. I'm parked across from the main building. It's a big yellow and white box with the words Photos on it. I'll give you a safety briefing and check your credentials. An 80-200 is definitely not enough for this track. We have a 70-200, 300, 400 and 500 to cover everything.

Norm Cabana
Head-On Photos
Get Today's Photos...Today!
Right Here! Right NOW!
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Marc Gewertz, Photographer
Santa Ana | CA | USA | Posted: 12:49 PM on 11.30.07
->> Ben,

Try to get the lay of the land before you start shooting, be sure to look at the track map. You want to know where the good spots are and what time of day you need to be in those locations. As Charles said, try experimenting with shutter speeds to show motion. Not sure what your assignment is but don't forget the human element in motorsports: drivers suiting up, helemt shots, crew shots, things like that. Good luck.
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Ben Liu, Photographer
Yuba City | CA | USA | Posted: 2:10 PM on 11.30.07
->> Thanks for everyone who responded. However, I will no longer be shooting this assignment. Unfortunately, the magazine that contacted me had already hired someone else before I was able to return their phone call. They just notified me earlier this morning.
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Gary Rather, Photographer
Santa Cruz | Ca | US | Posted: 4:00 PM on 11.30.07
->> Norm

I would guess maybe you have been to THill a time or two.
Maybe even three times.

I haven't heard from you in ages.
How is life in the car world?
Gary Rather
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Norm Cabana, Photographer
Milpitas | CA | USA | Posted: 8:07 PM on 11.30.07
->> "I would guess maybe you have been to THill a time or two."

As have you! Things are very well. I'm sitting in the middle of the paddock as I write this. How's things in the AFM world? If things go well we'll have our second trailer ready to go for the 2008 year but we still won't be covering bikes.

Ben, while it may not seem like it, it's a good thing for you that you were cancelled for this event. The 25 Hours of Thunderhill is no place for a newbie to the sport to be trying to figure out what's going on. If you are interested in photographing race cars, give me a yell after the first of the year. I can probably put you into one of my track days at Thunderhill and help you get your feet wet without having you get run over by a 3,000lb race car in the dark.

Contact me at headonphotos@yahoo.com
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Nina Zhito, Photographer
bay area | CA | | Posted: 8:44 PM on 11.30.07
->> best advice i ever got: bring ear plugs!!!! and find out where the important turns are...
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Steven Cabana, Photographer
Milpitas | CA | USA | Posted: 9:12 PM on 11.30.07
->> And bring a jacket, it's cold up here.
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Christian del Rosario, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 9:50 PM on 11.30.07
->> Ben,

Great advice by everyone (especially the safety track side, and protecting your hearing with earplugs).

Also wanted to add even if you don't have long glass, don't let that be a concern mentally. Best thing to do is make the most of what you have and work it. Since you are starting out especially, try to eliminate as many mental roadblocks as possible.

In the end you may find you were better off with a 500 F4 after all, but you may also surprise yourself with wonderfully different images from experience.

- Christian
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Thread Title: Shooting my first car race
Thread Started By: Ben Liu
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