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Fun Day Out

Fun Day Out
Photo Information
Copyright: Miles Herbert (captive-light) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 84 W: 22 N: 266] (1582)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2015-07-31
Categories: Action
Camera: Canon EOS 7D, Canon 100 - 400 L USM, RAW
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/100 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2015-08-23 12:30
Viewed: 1313
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A few weeks ago some of my friends decided that I was spending too long working in the studio and wanted to see what would happen if they took me "outside" into something called "daylight".

Now, I've heard about this "daylight" stuff ... apparently it can be useful for things like seeing where you are going, telling you whether it is daytime or nighttime and most importantly for photography. I've even seen this "daylight" stuff ... occasionally we take people out in it with an owl or some other unlucky bird, tie the unfortunate beast to a tree and let people take pictures of the poor creature.

Now the important bit ... an owl tied to a tree is not going anywhere. They have a habit of sitting there looking sleepy, sometimes they turn their head round, less frequently they fluff up their feathers, even less frequently they might flap their wings a little causing them to fall off their perch and hang their looking a bit silly until one of us puts them back. But they do not go anywhere.

99.9% of what I photograph is fairly static. It's unhurried, civilised and ever so re-assuring knowing that you have all the time in the world to get it right. Okay, there was the tortoise incident where we found that they actually can move quite fast and where it became necessary to try to pan the camera to achieve the desired effect - but, it was a tortoise and no matter how fast it can go it's not going to stretch your abilities too much.

So - my friends took me to Thruxton Motor Racing Circuit for the British Superbikes practice day. This was the first time I have ever been to a race track, and threw me way outside of my comfort zone. No cosy flash lights or wise old owl mounted on a stick ... oh no, just these huge brightly coloured bikes that were screaming past at some ungodly speed just a few metres away. "What shutter speed should I use?" I managed to shout to one of my friends expecting to hear 1/2000th or something similarly close to the speed of light. He holds up his camera so I can see his settings ... 1/100th ??? Seriously??? I use faster then that in the studio!

So ... 1/100th it was. I put the camera in rapid fire, set the mode to TV with the ISO set to a fairly low 200 as it was a bright day and was happy to see an aperture of F14 come up in the viewfinder.

Then it was simply a matter of trying to accurately keep the bike in the same place in the viewfinder as they screamed past at a sedate 150 mph or so just 30 metres away. This was so far away from my usual photography - but exciting at the same time, and insanely difficult to do at these shutter speeds.

After a day spent swiveling my hips to the sound of motorcycle engines trying to pan then accurately I was horrified to see how many pictures I had taken.

Anyone know what on earth to do with 2800 pictures of assorted motorcycles?

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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • andrei Gold Star Critiquer [C: 254 W: 1 N: 226] (1664)
  • [2015-08-23 15:17]

With this post you proved at least one of the 2800 shots was pretty good! I like the panning and the super sharp bike and rider (no catchlight in the eye?) focusing on the track in front of him.


Hi Miles, welcome to the outside world....for a ' novice' to the world of movement this doesn't need any help..As for the count of photos taken on the day, that's what happens when we hit the soccer or surf comps. Oh yeah, and the car shows. Fiona

Excellent shot, Miles, and great panning to get such a sharp shot.
The background blur has really accentuated the sense of speed here.
Can't argue with the framing either. Perfect.

Glad to read in your note that you really were outside of your comfort zone, but you found a way out to put all your knowledge to the test, producing such a great image.

Welcome to my world. 2800 shots is a tad OTT, but on airshow days, I find myself doing the same sort of thing to get a handful of decent shots. Good luck on sifting through them all to remove the dross and keep the winners, it can be a laborious task at best.


Hi Miles

2,800 pics. WOW! I was thinking to myself, if 1/1000 sec produced a shutter speed of f/14 why not use 1/2000 to get a shallower depth of field to put the background out of focus. But then i answered my own question, panning would do that anyway. Great panning and great result.

Nice motion pic with good focus on the target object. Well tried and had good output.

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