Motorsports Photography General Discussion Thread

NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,954Member
It seems like we have a lot of automotive (and 2 wheeled) enthusiasts on the forum and I figured it'd be great to start an all encompassing automotive/motorsports/motorcycle thread where we can discuss everything car related- photos, photography, photographers, technique, and even off topic stuff like what cars you drive or are interested in.

I'm sure many other members here have automotive backgrounds, so I'll bring up mine. My dad was a certified Honda technician from around the late 1980's to early 1990's and then when his dealer closed he started his own business and ended up branching out into other cars, mostly Japanese cars but some US domestic car and less so European cars. As a result, I grew up as a petrolhead favoring Hondas/Acuras and Japanese cars. Offhand we must have owned at least or been around 5-6 Honda products. Funny thing, it wasn't really until I met a good friend in middle school who liked cars and photography because his older brother liked it too that I got pulled into photography... mostly because I can be around cars more.

So to add to the thread, I also saw a short video interview with Larry Chen, whom I've never heard of before but based on the work in the video seems to do some high end photoshoots for Magnus Walker known for his hyper expensive Singer Porsches and Monster.



Feel free to contribute what you wish, because sometimes the rainbow thread becomes a string of motorsports photos anyway.
Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S

Comments

  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,954Member
    A list of all the cars I remember being in-
    - 1981 Accord hatchback- I was too young to remember much of it
    - 1983 Accord Sedan- we kept this car for 35 years until it rusted out and it sprung a power steering pump leak and parts were impossible to find for it. Otherwise, this was the car that brought me home from the hospital when I was born and I also learned how to drive in. Also took us on trips to Toronto when I was 2-3 years old.
    - 1989 Honda Integra 4 door hatchback- dad once loaded 1500 lbs of river rocks into this car on a trip to Home Depot once. The tires rubbed the inside walls over minor bumps. Oh, and the car was a customer who didn't want it after water logging the engine. My dad fixed it up and used it as a beater car and often ran on 3 cylinders. Oh, and there was a severe battery acid spill in the back seat floor, the carpet bubbled up at highway speeds.
    - 1995 Civic Si hatchback- this was the first and only car I drove stick in, because the summer before I got my permit someone towed this car from our front yard and stole it, likely parted it out. And I only drove it once. It was supposed to be the car I was to learn how to drive manual on.

    What we still have-
    - 1995 Acura TL- still in our stable, has a weird inline 5 cylinder engine. Very rarely driven, so it sits a lot. Has a weird quirk where the electronic door locks like engaging repetitively randomly, so we often find it with a dead battery.
    - 2001 Subaru Forester- The first non-Honda car we've owned in over 30 years. Took me to interviews everywhere and is my dad's daily driver.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 392Member
    First, a bit of vehicular biography. Born in '53. My first memory of cars is from about 3 years when the passenger door on my dad's '50 Studebaker convertible flung itself open in a left turn and tried to toss me to the curb. I managed to latch on to the frame of the triangular vent window and fluttered in the breeze until my father realized what was going on and stopped the car. From then on I was hooked.

    Starting in '68 and ending in 2014 I went through 20 or so motorcycles, mostly Japanese (all Hondas) with a couple of Brit-bikes thrown in (Norton and BSA). Haven't ridden since 2014 when a cellphone addled driver ran a light and broke both of my arms and wrists, a half dozen ribs, and parts of each hand. I still have a project bike I was working on at the time I got hurt. I need to get it running and sold.

    As far as cars go, it's been pretty pedestrian. The high points were probably a '70 Chevelle SS 396, a couple of late 80s Acura Integras and, now a '15 Subaru BRZ (to replace the motorcyles I can no longer ride).

    Started take pictures of cars and bikes in the late 70s with a couple of Minolta SRTs, an X-570, a 200mm Vivitar and a 300mm Rokkor-X. Did a bit of amateur road racing in the early 80s and made several trips to Daytona either running in the AM end of a Pro-Am superbike event or wrenching/crewing/photographing for a pro-rider friend.

    In 2013, Circuit of the Americas opened in Austin and I've been to several MotoGPs and a couple of IMSA/WEC weekends. Started out photographing them with a D5100 and a 70-300G and eventually, graduated to a D7200 (still using the 70-300). I've since replaced the 70-300 with a 70-200 f4. I haven't made a race meeting with the new combo, but I think the IMSA series comes back to Austin next spring and there's always the F1 circus.

    I could continue to wax nostalgic, but I'm sure I've bored everyone enough.

    Next?
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,954Member
    That's a wonderful biography in terms of vehicles. Shame about Studebaker, it went toe to toe with the best European cars could offer at it's zenith. Interesting to hear you went with a Subaru BRZ. Do you tend to like Japanese cars? If I were to buy a car now, I'd either go with a Subaru Impreza WRX or a BRZ. Unfortunately, I don't need a car for my job, otherwise it'd all be just wasted money in terms of insurance and car payments.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,365Moderator
    mmmm.... sounds like my kinda thread... My car history... 1958 VW bug, and in 1960 got a 1958 1600N Coupe Porsche, in late 1965 went back to a new 1966 VW 1300 bug, eventually in about '68 obtained a '66 Porsche 912, plus a '66 1275 MiniCooper S, oh a SAAB 996 was in there, and about 1972 cleared out the garage with a new 1972 Porsche 914... put 135,000 on this, then in 1980 240Z, I think, '83 saw a Toyota Landcruiser, somewhere in there a Fiat 128, Toyota p/u truck, then 1990 a Nissan 300ZX Turbo.... which I wrecked, switched to a Lexus 400LS sedan, in '96 a Porsche 993 4S, '99 traded for a 996 Cabriolet, added in 2004 a Cayenne Turbo, replaced by a 2005 with fewer issues, somewhere obtained a Lexus 300RX, eventually in 2008 a RAM/Cummins P/U to pull trailers, couple Smart Fortwo's, one behind a 44' motorhome... LOL. Gosh a couple Subaru Foresters, Impreza, and now I have a Legacy along with the old 996 and RAM truck.
    Motorcycles..many, but sold my Hayabusa at age 66....currently have CanAm Spyder

    Just returned from Road America where the IndyCars ran...

    Coming in September replacing the Airstream I just sold, a Leisure Travel Van from Canada.... small enough to actually drive around like a car.

    Will be shooting some more cars at VIRginia International Raceway later this year, and lots of close images of drivers at the WOO in Charlotte, NC Dirt Track in November.

    Enough for now...
    Msmoto, mod
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,365Moderator
    I have recently sold my 400/2.8 primarily due to the weight. My plans are to go to APS-C using shorter lens with less weight. However, I have discovered at Road America that panning is more difficult, at least for now, with a lighter shorter lens than the big 400/2.8. Will develop a new technique, possibly one I saw at VIR by a top pro, the monopod is set into a pouch secured around one's waist. Allows panning with the entire body.

    And, looking forward to the new Nikon mirrorless the "mf"? Maybe I can do this for a couple more years.
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,874Moderator
    Tommie, My brother is 83 and still sails his 40 foot sailing boat with little to no help. You'll be 'clicking' for ages yet!
    Always learning.
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 318Member
    Msmoto said:

    I have recently sold my 400/2.8 primarily due to the weight. My plans are to go to APS-C using shorter lens with less weight. However, I have discovered at Road America that panning is more difficult, at least for now, with a lighter shorter lens than the big 400/2.8. Will develop a new technique, possibly one I saw at VIR by a top pro, the monopod is set into a pouch secured around one's waist. Allows panning with the entire body.

    And, looking forward to the new Nikon mirrorless the "mf"? Maybe I can do this for a couple more years.

    Hey you were going to let me know if you wanted to sell the 400!

    Denver Shooter
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,365Moderator
    edited July 5
    Oh, shucks, sorry.... I will come to Denver and take you out for dinner.... LOL

    And, yes, I plan on shooting photos for a long time. But, the newer technology, i.e., mirrorless I think will allow for some new shooting techniques and I am all for that... no more 16 lbs. of gear to hang onto.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 318Member
    I consider schlepping all of that gear around to be my "workout". Certainly better than going to the gym!

    I carried my Nikon 800mm around for a couple of hours on a Gitzo monopod on my shoulder. A couple of Aleve later I was good to go.

    LOL

    Denver Shooter
  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 625Member
    First car a 4 door 66 Chevelle, three on the tree, 6 cylinder. Thing ran for two weeks on a tank of gas. Bought it for $100, sold it 2 years later for $125. Then a 67 Ford Fairlane. Next a 1970 GTO I bought used from a lady that wanted to get rid of it. Traded that (stupid) for a lift kit and 40" tires for a 74 GMC Jimmy I bought. Sold all my vehicles, joined the Army and many many cars until I retired. Middle age crisis set in after retiring, bought a 2007 HD Softail Custom but that wasn't enough. Bought a 1970 Challenger R/T SE and restored it. Still have both. Daily driver is a 02 Dodge Ram.

    I love action/motorsports photography. I've had the opportunity to shoot 5 AMA Pro Motocross Nationals and numerous local races. I would love to shoot some FIM Superbike events but I have no access to anyone that could make that happen. Nor do I have a reason to shoot it other than I want to. I shoot a lot of local car shows through the summer and give the photos a friend that promotes the events and distributes a paper in the MA, NY, CT area with a circulation of >20K.

    @Msmoto I grew up going to Dirt Ovals with my uncle and love watching Late Models and Open Wheel Modifieds. Never around wing cars but I'm sure that would be a blast too. I need to get out and shoot those one of these Friday/Saturday Nights.
    P.S. I have a photographer friend that shoots the new Nikon 600mm FL handheld (no monopod) at the MX Nationals. I don't know how he does all day long.

    Looking forward to discussions about shooting such events.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,365Moderator
    As an experiment, I have taken my cameras into the stands of the World of Outlaws Finals at the dirt track in Charlotte, North Carolina on the first night when it is less crowded. Here is one with the D500, 70-200/2.8 with TC-20EIII. Shot at 1/250 sec, f/11, ISO 2800.

    WOO_10.28.2016_TFL-8

    Camera to subject distance about 175m. From the same place, the year previous, this was shot with the D4, 400/2.8 with TC-14EII at 1/400 sec, f/4, ISO 10,000. I think the lights were improved for the first shot above.

    WoO Finals 2015 11.05.15-16

    So, from the top row of the stands just as they enter turn one, shooting across the track at turn two, photos are possible. The D500 with 70-200, TC20 is far more manageable than the 400/2.8, especially when one has to climb about three flights of stairs just to get to tone's seat.

    Maybe a youngster like DenverShooter can get to a dirt track race someday and carry the big 800/5.6 up to Row 46... LOL
    Msmoto, mod
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 318Member
    LOL You forget I live at 6,318 foot altitude. Anything below that is a walk in the park with the 800mm. At sea level I have a two to one "adult beverage" advantage. :)

    Denver Shooter.
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