The world of motorsports is a fast paced, exciting and sometimes glamourous environment setting. You want to capture every single moment, but along with that, you want those moments to be clear so you can look back at them and remember them fondly. If you’re taking pictures at these events, you want your camera to capture every moment and in this high-speed dominion, you only have seconds to secure that perfect picture. For the photography enthusiast, here are some tips to help you take that impeccable picture.
This is obviously the most important part of motorsport photography. Due to the speed of the cars moving at a fast rate, you will need a digital or film SLR camera. Acquire a camera with a zoom lens, with 70-300mm being the advised lens as you may not be able to get close enough to the track to take a picture. The shutter lag on a digital compact camera will not be up to the challenge to capture the moment.
Get in the Right position
While you cannot get right up close and personal with the cars, you can find a good location to take decent pictures from. Finding the slowest corners will allow you to take a good picture of the cars. Ask a professional at the tracks where the best places are to take a good shot. It will also reduce the blur issues that you may find with taking pictures of the cars on other areas of the track.
You should switch to manual mode for focus. Even with auto-focus, it may struggle with keeping up with the pace of the vehicles. With manual, focus on the point of interest on the track, and then lock the focus. This should give you pin-sharp images. The apex in a bend is a good place to set your focus.
Panning is an excellent technique to show movement in your photos. If you have a DSLR camera, this can lock focus onto a moving object. If you don’t have this type of camera, focus on the car the moment it comes to close to you and keep focused on it until just after you have taken the shot. Try and follow the car at the right speed to get a perfect picture. Use a shutter speed of 1/60 and 1/20 of a second. You want the shutter speed to be as slow as possible, while keeping the car in focus.
Be creative with angles
Take photos with a mixture of angles to create different effects. For example, tilting the camera for an angled shot will convey the sense of speed. Take pictures from various heights, like the pit stop if you have access to the pit lane. Before going to the track, experiment at home with different angles to see which ones look better.
It is better to practice taking pictures of (Slow) moving cars in the street, just to get into the mind-set of photographing moving vehicles. The next question is, which race would be best to photograph? Speak to a company that offer Motorsport holiday packages always know the best races to go watch, they can advise you on which races you can get the top pictures from.
Harry Price is a football fanatic! He loves watching his favourite team Chelsea play but nothing, for him, beats the experience of playing for his local team. It’s his favourite way to spend a sunday.