Saturday, July 26, 2014


When I photograph a race, a goal is to try to get a strong photo of every competitor.  Strong for me means sharp focus with the person looking athletic against a great background.  Many times because of the logistics of the course layout,  you get one chance and if you miss it, you don't have a photo of that athlete.

At the recent Cranmore Hill Climb, the course layout provided several great opportunities to photograph nearly the whole field.  This allowed me to be a little more creative and as folks ran the home stretch to the finish, that meant making some panning shots and taking advantage of the wonders of motion blur.

I don't use this technique that often.  Honestly, it can be sort of elusive for me and, like I said, you hate to miss getting a usable image of a competitor.  But after a few test shots at Cranmore, I was getting pretty reliable results and I'm pretty happy with the images.  Best of all, the runners seem to love them!

It takes a few shots to dial in the settings when shooting motion blur.  Panning your lens is obviously a key element to these shots.  Twist your body towards the subject and pan your lens it moves by you. The key to the shot is definitely shutter speed.  Start at around 1/200 and tune it from there depending on the light and the look you're going for.  The slower the shutter speed, the more blur you'll create.  All of these images where made with at f/18 and shutter speeds between 1/15th and 1/40th.

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