+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Motorsports photography

    Hi everyone, I'm looking for some advice. I'm new to this site so forgive me if this isn't posted in the correct place? I have been shooting motorsports over the past year or so and I've slowly gotten better, but I'm still struggling in one area particularly I would like to get some help with. I'm struggling to get those Tack Sharp perfect speed shots you would see in a magazine (maybe a little overoptimistic, I'm not a professional lol). I have a few shots I can post so you can see what I'm talking about. They're desent, but they're still a tad grainy and a little blurry around the tires. I'd like to only have blur in the writing on the tires. I usually shoot with a pretty high(maybe too high?) shutter speed, 1/1000th and higher in the daylight. I usually have my ISO up at 600-800 in the day. I'm wondering if that's too high, maybe that's giving me the graininess thus taking away the quality of the image I'd like?? I'm wondering if I'd be better off with a slower shutter and lower ISO?? My problem is I feel I'm not that good, I crank the shutter up to compensate for the fact that I struggle to pan and keep up with them when they pass me at 130mph. Which brings me to my second question..focusing. I've been in AF-C single servo. I'm wondering if I should be shooting in dynamic mode Point 21 or 51? Aka I shoot with a Nikon S750 with a 24-120 F/4 lens. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Shawn Cooper


    › See More: Motorsports photography
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Motorsports photography-0407-2019-12217862669146196743.jpeg  




  2. #2
    Senior Member
    nikonpup's Avatar

    Re: Motorsports photography

    Tires are moving faster than the car. It is nice to have some motion in a racing shot otherwise it looks like a shot in the pits. The guys shooting for magazines are using very fast lens $$$$.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/pups_pleasure/


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Bikerbrent's Avatar

    Re: Motorsports photography

    I have to agree with Nikonpup, your shot really looks like the car is parked on the racetrack. You really need to slowdown the shutter speed and learn to pan so your image looks like the car is at speed on the track.
    Brent: Poway, CA
    D7200, D200, F100
    Tokina 12-24mm
    Nikon 18-200mm
    Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8
    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8
    Sigma 150-600mm
    Nikon 50 AF f1.8
    Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
    Nikon SB800

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Moab Man's Avatar

    Re: Motorsports photography

    Your shutter speed is too fast. The car looks more like it's parked. This is going to take practice as you drag the shutter while tracking the vehicle to get the car sharp but the tires turning and the background blurring.
    D5100, D7100, D600, D750, Df
    Lenses: Nikon DX 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 55-300mm, Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD & 200-500mm
    Prime: Nikon 35mm, 50mm, & 85mm f/1.8G, 300mm f/4
    Wide Angle: Tokina AT-X116 Pro DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8, Rokinon f/2.8 14mm (chipped)
    Macro: Nikon 40mm, Tamron 90mm
    ​Flash: Nissin MARK II Di622
    Stuff: Expodisc Neutral & Portrait
    ​Editing: CS6, CC, Nik Tools, Portrait Pro 12, Topaz
    Spyder4Pro
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/122672034@N04/

  5. #5
    Junior Member

    Re: Motorsports photography

    Thank you soo much everyone for the replies and advice. I definitely intend to mess with the shutter Speed and hopefully get it right. I'm definitely very concerned about the Autofocus on my D750. The shots I've been taking just seem to be out of focus? Including the one I've posted, correct me if I'm wrong?? I have some shots from earlier this year (May-June) that are just sharp clear pics and I took them with my D3500 crop sensor with a kit lens!! I don't understand why I'm taking worse photos with a better camera? Actually getting a little frustrated, invested a lot of money. I have the Autofocus on AF-C single servo. Should I not be shooting in this setting? Should I switch to dynamic 9, 21 point?? P.S. I have the pics from earlier this year, as I mentioned. If you would like to see them to see what I'm talking about I can email them or something. I'm having trouble uploading pics to this site. I'm still new here, sorry lol.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Bikerbrent's Avatar

    Re: Motorsports photography

    AF-C defaults to Release Priority which means the camera will fire when the shutter button is pressed, rather or not the subject is in focus. If you go to menu item a1, your can change this default to shutter priority which means the camera will only fire when the subject is in focus.
    Brent: Poway, CA
    D7200, D200, F100
    Tokina 12-24mm
    Nikon 18-200mm
    Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8
    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8
    Sigma 150-600mm
    Nikon 50 AF f1.8
    Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
    Nikon SB800

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Re: Motorsports photography

    Motorsports photography
    "I crank the shutter up to compensate for the fact that I struggle to pan"

    A tripod with a gimbal head may help with that. I have better luck using AF-C single point focus on moving objects. D9 or D21 resulted in fewer keepers on birds in flight. I also use back button focus which is explained here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzqQskGoURE&t=501s




    D810; D7200; AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED; AF-S 24-120mm f/4G ED VR; Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 Sport; Sigma 2X Teleconverter;
    AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; AF-S 85mm f/1.8G - Old non-AF; 105mm f/2.5; 28mm f/2.8 - Godox V860II & AD200

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: Motorsports photography

    Shawn your shot does show motion the wrinkle in the tire as throttle is applied and the dirt kinked up behind the tires. These thing are just not pronounced enough. If there was signage on the wall as you pan it would indicate motion. On a dirt track if you want to give the feeling of motion imo the best places are going in to the slide at the corners and coming out.


    Looking forward to seeing more.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Daz's Avatar

    Re: Motorsports photography

    Motorsports photography
    This all comes down to shutter speed. The way you get the shots of the movement but the car (or subject) is by slowing the shutter and panning at the speed of the subject.

    Now with most things it will take some finessing to get the speed right and with cars and bikes this can be difficult as they all move at different speeds.

    Here is an example where I got a tiny bit of movement in the wheel at over 200mph but I was still at 1/2000 shutter

    Motorsports photography-2018.03.06-f1-testing-day-1-water-40-71-.jpg

    Yes Lewis is tack sharp but there is not much going on to show the movement.

    This shot however was shot at 1/100 and as the car was doing close to 300mph and with the panning I was able to get the blurred background because the speed of which he is moving through the frame

    Motorsports photography-2018.03.06-f1-testing-day-1-water-53-71-.jpg

    All of this takes time and is not something that comes straight away, the easiest way to do it is to bring the shutter down little by little. Bring it down, nail the shots, then click it again and learn to nail them and go on and on.

    I dont agree with the faster lenses needed. When you are doing panning shots, you are normally at ISO 100 and needing to have your aperture up around the 6.3 - 11 range. Now better glass will give you a sharper image of course, but its not because they are shooting wide open they are getting the shots.
    Last edited by Daz; 07-15-2019 at 07:07 PM.
    Nikon Z 6
    Nikon FTZ Adapter
    Nikon 24-70 2.8
    Sigma 70-200 2.8
    Nikon 50mm 1.4g
    Nikon 85mm 1.8g
    Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro

    Rotolight NEO 2 x 2
    Rotolight AEOS
    Rotolight Anova PRO 2

    Studio Backdrop, Softboxes and reflectors





Quick Reply Quick Reply

If you are already a member, please login above before posting.

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •