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Photo and video tips

Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:14 pm

Maybe we can have a sticky?

Use this this thread to post your photo or video taking tips so we can have more, and better gtfour photos. Add whatever info or links that might be helpful for beginners and elites.

HDR photography:

http://backingwinds.blogspot.com/2006/1 ... mages.html

Car mounts for driving videos and photos:
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Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:16 pm

(From the my350z forum)

Action Photography 101

powermark wrote:Here is a thread from a local forum I made about a year ago, figure I would pass it on here. I am going to use a lot of drifting because i think it is the best form of motorsports to get a really good motion blur.

Also I do not photoshop my pictures in anyway, except for my stamp. I dont even crop them

Most of these were shot on a rebel XT, 20D and 30D, a few are on my new 40D. I do not own any fancy 1D series. If your good, all you really need is good glass. Action photography is a true testiment to a good photographer. I just dont care much for stills.

i think that in photography, shooting action shots is one of my good traits, so im going to do a little article for all who cares.

When I shoot action, i just run the camera in shutter priority (TV on canons) and let the camera figure out the lighting in MOST situations, and sometimes ill fine tune it with AE shifting. Some situations I run full manual, generally in odd lighting conditions. Make sure you run AI servo and not single shot when shooting action, this allows the camera to continually focus after each picture when shooting bursts- Thats what its there for, shooting action, so use it

The key really is a good lens with a good image stabilization system, this allows you to run a much lower shutter speed. Dont be fooled by some Canon lenses such as the 70-300. It has a single stage stabilizer that only stabilizes vertical movement. Make sure you get a 2 stage (only found in L glass) stabilizer that controls vertical and horizontal movement. There really isnt a formula to shooting action. Ive heard people say a 1MPH: 1MS shutter speed is good, but i dont quite agree with that, I would START with 1.5-2x and then go down from there.

the main points of shooting action are:
1) angle at which the object is traveling, I.E. coming at you, front 1/4 shot, side, rear 1/4, etc.
2) speed of whatever your shooting
3) your distance from where you are shooting
4) focal length (which can tie into 3)
5) lighting sometimes, if you have a good F lens, u dont have to worry about this so much
6) objects in the background

here are some examples.

covering 1
Dont bother at trying to run a slow shutter on something coming straight at you. Whatever you might be shooting needs to be coming across you at some point to start getting a sense of motion. If im at a race in a photo hole shooting straight shots, I generally jack up the shutter pretty good, (1/250th) esp. if you cannot see much of the wheel rotation


at that point you start getting the 1/4 shot, then shutter speed starts to become a factor

covers steps 2-4
When Im shooting with my telephoto at focal lock (or close to) at a good distance, your body movement isnt as fast, this allows you to run a slower shutter. keep in mind i have a 2.8L IS which is about the best lens for stabilization, allowing me to run really slow shutters. for non IS lenses, I would start at 1.3-1.5x the speed of whatever your shooting and then move down from there, not going below 50-60th.

formula D Irwindale: car traveling about 40-50 mph, at focal lock, probably 30 yards away, shutter speed 1/40th



shooting about 5-10 mph faster, but much shorter distance, moved up to 1/60th


shooting at 70mm on the 70-200 again, moved up to 1/125th.

The key is finding that sweet spot. Sometimes you can shoot REALLY slow, but can end up with a little more blur, in which basically your focus point is in focus, but the surrounding areas start to blur. Plus some drivers are faster then others. The shots look awesome, but when it comes to selling them, can be a little harder.

Generally, shorter the distance, shorter the focal, the less speed you can run. If your whipping your camera around fast, its going to be harder for you to hold that camera as still, allowing less shutter.

burn out, probably about 17-20mm in this shot, in the burn out box only traveling maybe 5-10mph, shutter was around 60th. As you can see, this is the same speed I was shooting cars traveling 50-60mph, but since it is MUCH closer, this really cuts your ability to run a slow shutter, 80th would have probably been prime in this shot


whats in the background
This doesnt really come into play so much, but for example, when you have a backdrop that doesnt look different as you move, as in, shooting into the inside of an oval, you dont have to shoot so slow because the background all looks the same anyway.

shooting direct side shots are the most rewarding and dont require really slow shutters, this was shot at 100th.

1/80th - 150mph

1/60th - 100mph

Your Aperature settings adjusts your depth of field/lighting, it doesnt have a lot to do with motion. Motion is reflected thru the shutter speed. If your looking for not much motion blur, but just want the tires to be moving, you can stay conservative on your shutter speed, around 1/200th depending on glass.

The only time aperature effects motion is when running your iris wide open. As you decrease your available light, your going to start increasing the amount of blur at the same shutter speed.

All the shots you see above are what I deemed as the best shutter speed for the given situation, in which the car looks crisp, but the tires and backgrounds are moving.

If you wanted to get really aggressive, you can set your focus points to pick up the area you want in focus. Then from that point out it will get progressively more blury.

Here is a perfect example taken at 1/40th. I adjusted my focus point to the far left field and took the shot, as you can see from the front of the car moving back, the blur gets progressively harsh.


Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:21 pm

350z photo link thread:
http://my350z.com/forum/photography/232 ... hread.html

Automotive Photography TIPS & TECHNIQUES:

Camera Filter Guide:

Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:11 pm

From my350z:

crossroads bmx wrote:theres quite a bit of snow in chicago right now so the Z is stuck in the garage, but i just built a new rig for my car/camera and had to test it out.


Edited- still needs some work but I did this in a couple min while eating :)


Edited- same as above

Not the best shot but kinda shows what it looks like on the car. Can't wait to play with it more once the weather breaks!

thanks guys. i'll explain from the very basics so for those of you who know this already you don't have to read much farther. basically the rig holds the camera in place focused on the car. they move together while everything moves around it. for these shots the car is off, in neutral. i set the self timer on the camera (which is ten seconds) run to my position behind the car and begin to push/pull These shots were taken at ISO 100, F11 and shutter of 5 seconds. The slow 5 second shutter causes all the blur of everything moving... background, wheels, ect. so in a nutshell thats basically everything. i thinki hit a max MPH of like .5 on these lol. I'd just back it up to that brown box by the work bench and then push it forward 5-7 feet or so. looks like im flying though

Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:05 pm

Awesome thread i need to take a closer look at these when i have more time.

Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:13 am

Here is a project I have been working on.

I wanted to be able to get more angles with my cam mounted to my car and the extensions are around $35 each. I made these with some PVC fittings and some 1/4-20 hardware. I just need to choose my lengths of PVC then I will glue it all together. I am using a lightweight lipstick camera so weight will not be an issue on the PVC and its fairly strong as is. I am using Giottos mini heads for my pivot points.

Here is a standard sticky pod with a Flip cam.

The parts I used. 3/4 PVC caps and plugs. I drilled the hole small enough to thread the bolt through and I used the washer and a two sided extended nut to act as my female end.

Final product. I can use this to get some cooler angles since the sticky pod is restricted to certain body panels.
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