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Full Critique Dusty Enduro Racing

RyanB

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I had some great although very hot and dusty time shooting these crazy individuals who braved 30C heat and bright sun in full gear for a 3 hour race.

1.
5P8A6965v1010.jpg

2.
5P8A8308v900.jpg

3.
5P8A9171v1010.jpg

4.
5P8A7985-denoise1010.jpg

5.
5P8A9367v1010.jpg
 

Roger S

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It's a great set Ryan. Only the first shows the wheel blur nicely but the stop action mud flying in the second works well without any motion blur.
 

RyanB

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It's a great set Ryan. Only the first shows the wheel blur nicely but the stop action mud flying in the second works well without any motion blur.
Thanks Roger, think I learned a lot about panning and framing the shots the first time I shot this sport a few years ago. This time I was a lot less shy and had chats with marshals and spectators dotting about the course and they were able to point me in the direction of good action spots so I could put what I learned the first time around to use. Quite a step for me as I can really struggle to walk up and start talking to strangers especially as I know very little about motorcycles or motor sport in general.
 

Snips

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The first is super and I like the tiny lift under the front wheel. That few millimetres you've caught adds so much movement to the image.

The second and third I feel are taken with the wrong shutter speed which, from memory, needs to be at around 1/125 sec. Much less (e.g. 1/60 sec) creates great blur but the photography bin becomes very full rather quickly.

Just about got away with it in the last (I'm guessing 1/250 sec) but I suspect you have just moments to capture this one. If me I'd have used a wider aperture to blur out the more of the background and isolate the bike more. I think this wouldn't have increased the shutter speed too much as it's quite a dark area but if it would then some negative exposure compensation would probably sort that out.

*** It's so difficult not knowing the situation and light and guessing from the images without seeing the EXIF data so what I've said above might be exactly what you did or there were compelling reasons why you couldn't or didn't but this is the sort of thing I would be looking at. ***

No.4 is just waiting to be used as the next Facebook profile picture :) If that rider ever sees that one I'm sure he'll be wanting it.

Out of interest, did you machine gun these or just wait for the moment to take a single shot?

This set also highlights a difficulty I frequently come across in my equestrian world - the best shots are probably going to be in the worst light conditions ... into the sun - the course planners just don't think about photographers and how we're going to capture the action :( The third and last proving this point quite well :)

Good set though!
 

RyanB

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The first is super and I like the tiny lift under the front wheel. That few millimetres you've caught adds so much movement to the image.

The second and third I feel are taken with the wrong shutter speed which, from memory, needs to be at around 1/125 sec. Much less (e.g. 1/60 sec) creates great blur but the photography bin becomes very full rather quickly.

Just about got away with it in the last (I'm guessing 1/250 sec) but I suspect you have just moments to capture this one. If me I'd have used a wider aperture to blur out the more of the background and isolate the bike more. I think this wouldn't have increased the shutter speed too much as it's quite a dark area but if it would then some negative exposure compensation would probably sort that out.

*** It's so difficult not knowing the situation and light and guessing from the images without seeing the EXIF data so what I've said above might be exactly what you did or there were compelling reasons why you couldn't or didn't but this is the sort of thing I would be looking at. ***

No.4 is just waiting to be used as the next Facebook profile picture :) If that rider ever sees that one I'm sure he'll be wanting it.

Out of interest, did you machine gun these or just wait for the moment to take a single shot?

This set also highlights a difficulty I frequently come across in my equestrian world - the best shots are probably going to be in the worst light conditions ... into the sun - the course planners just don't think about photographers and how we're going to capture the action :( The third and last proving this point quite well :)

Good set though!
Thanks for the detailed and helpful critique Edward.
I rarely went below 1/320 of a sec during the day and mainly based my shutter speed on the light, keeping it as low as I could for the aperture I 'thought' I needed(mainly wide opens as the lens would go). I tried lower speed shots early in the day but on review kept getting blown highlights even shooting at ISO 100. I gave up on real low SS after that and kept it around 1/250-400 most of the day for that reason although I did switch things up a time or two just to see how it came out.

For #2 I probably could have used a wider aperture but I was really close to the turn and wanted to try and make a feature of the purple flowers in the background. The dust kind of ruined that idea but I still liked the angles of the shot and think the flying dirt gives the sense of movement the shot would ideally get from wheel blur.

Every section of the course seemed to have different lighting characteristics which completely changed over the course of the day. The jump in the last shot was in full sun a couple hours earlier and I couldn't get a shot right there for love or money. I kept the camera in high speed continuous but never really machine gunned it, usually as I knew from which direction and where the rider would be in the frame I would fire one or two shots.

I have another to go to next month so all these pointers will really come in handy.:)
 

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I've just taken the camera out into the garden and in full sun you'll probably need ISO 100 or 50 if your camera allows and then to get down to 1/125 sec you're going to have to have a wider aperture, about f/11. If you add 1/3rd or 2/3rd's positive exposure compensation that will bring down the shutter speed a little more and the shots will easily be brightened up in Lightroom.

I usually use 1/3rd +exp comp for equine activities because the camera tries to darken the grass so this will lower the shutter speed another notch.

Good to read your interesting response. Despite my fairly good experience I still usually take a few shots as soon as I arrive at my event just to see what happens - if I feel the shadows will be quite dark (especially in full sun) I tend to use raw files but if it's an overcast day and up to ISO 400 I usually opt for large jpegs instead as it makes copying, uploading and processing the images much quicker.

And just before closing I just *had* to scroll up to that first shot again!!
 

RyanB

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I've just taken the camera out into the garden and in full sun you'll probably need ISO 100 or 50 if your camera allows and then to get down to 1/125 sec you're going to have to have a wider aperture, about f/11. If you add 1/3rd or 2/3rd's positive exposure compensation that will bring down the shutter speed a little more and the shots will easily be brightened up in Lightroom.

I usually use 1/3rd +exp comp for equine activities because the camera tries to darken the grass so this will lower the shutter speed another notch.

Good to read your interesting response. Despite my fairly good experience I still usually take a few shots as soon as I arrive at my event just to see what happens - if I feel the shadows will be quite dark (especially in full sun) I tend to use raw files but if it's an overcast day and up to ISO 400 I usually opt for large jpegs instead as it makes copying, uploading and processing the images much quicker.

And just before closing I just *had* to scroll up to that first shot again!!
Cheers, some more useful tips there Edward, I am still getting to grips with my 5D. I haven't played with expanded iso ranges but I am pretty sure after some reading it can be done through the menu so I will have a play about. Might even push the boat out next time and create some custom modes for on the fly switching in the field. The bloody thing is so complicated I hardly know where to begin and up until the race barely used it for anything outside my comfort range i.e. macro.

I pretty much always shoot in RAW out of habit more than planning. I always have plenty of backup cards dotting about the backpack so storage isn't an issue and I have none of the pressure shooting for clients who expect a quick turn around you must do as a professional.

I have been editing more and see I managed to get that little gap under the front wheel of quite a few of the riders :D , trying to find a good selection of the top 10 riders to post up on the clubs FB page.
 

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A good set, agree with all said regarding shutter speed. A polariser is a handy tool in these circumstances just to drop your exposure by two stops to give you better options for slowing the shutter speed down.
 

RyanB

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A good set, agree with all said regarding shutter speed. A polariser is a handy tool in these circumstances just to drop your exposure by two stops to give you better options for slowing the shutter speed down.
Cheers Barry, now a polariser what a great idea. I even have one on my desk for the 100-400 but never thought to bring it along, in the bag now for the 13th.
 

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All great action shots Ryan. The spin blur tool would work great on #3. Nice work.
 
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