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Bike Race

Discussion in 'Other Genres' started by zpierce, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    For father's day, the family and I went out to watch a bike race. We positioned ourselves at the bottom of the big hill where they have to make a sharp turn at speed. I shot several hundred, practicing my panning technique. I used the 14-140 and 100-300, both worked well. I found that the panning worked best when I turned from my waist rather than my upper body. I was smoother and when using my upper body I had a much greater tendency to slow or stop briefly when pressing the shutter. I put the stabilization in mode 2 which only stabilizes up and down to ensure I got smooth pans, and for the first time I used the new "half press release" function, which shoots with a half press of the shutter button. I found the less movement I had to do with my trigger finger, the better. Focus worked flawlessly for the most part. I even saw my first OM-D in the wild on another photog!

    I had a blast taking them. It was a great place to practice as they just kept coming around for 20 laps of the 1.4 mile course. Here's a handful of the keepers, as always, feedback and constructive criticism is most appreciated!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachpierce/7390152464/" title="P1250987.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr"> 7390152464_1a9d005307_c. "800" height="600" alt="P1250987.jpg"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachpierce/7390149570/" title="P1250976.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr"> 7390149570_d1bdb40fce_c. "800" height="600" alt="P1250976.jpg"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachpierce/7390144206/" title="P1250939.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr"> 7390144206_29febbf004_c. "800" height="600" alt="P1250939.jpg"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachpierce/7390134740/" title="P1250883.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr"> 7390134740_07dcb753e3_c. "800" height="600" alt="P1250883.jpg"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachpierce/7390132416/" title="P1250879.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr"> 7390132416_5b487e8847_c. "600" height="800" alt="P1250879.jpg"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachpierce/7390127320/" title="P1250856.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr"> 7390127320_45b6f8aced_c. "600" height="800" alt="P1250856.jpg"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachpierce/7390124976/" title="P1250836.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr"> 7390124976_48069533dc_c. "800" height="450" alt="P1250836.jpg"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachpierce/7390120868/" title="P1250819.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr"> 7390120868_f8aa33af9e_c. "800" height="600" alt="P1250819.jpg"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachpierce/7390108396/" title="P1250758.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr"> 7390108396_32815cbf2a_c. "800" height="600" alt="P1250758.jpg"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachpierce/7390100202/" title="P1250616.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr"> 7390100202_855078a509_c. "800" height="600" alt="P1250616.jpg"></a>
    • Like Like x 19
  2. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Great shots! What was your shutter speed on the panning shots?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN

    Generally I had the shutter at 1/100. I think I tried slower, as I used to use 1/30-1/60 with my son on his bike, but these guys were cruising by WAY too fast for that :) 
  4. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    Wow those are great shots.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Great photos!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    Great shots, that first was is just awesome.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    You don't understand - you can't use :43: cameras for sports photography. You need a DSLR! :rofl: Really nice shots! :thumbup:
    • Like Like x 1
  8. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Yeah, I've never owned a DSLR, so I don't know what I'm missing. I've never had another option ;) 
  9. rich00

    rich00 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2011
    These are fantastic....

    There are a couple of races that I'm keen on taking shots on. Good to see what you used and shutter speed.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Good stuff Zach. You nailed those first 2 pretty well, but I really like that last shot most, all other stuff aside regarding framing, subject etc etc.....I'm digging the transition between the riders at the back captured relatively 'still' to the motion blurred riders right in front of you. A really dynamic scene.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Steph

    Steph Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 18, 2011
    ^^ me too! The last one is very nice!
    • Like Like x 1
  12. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thanks! That last shot was my favorite too, and it was a complete accident. I accidentally switched the drive lever to bracket and it shot a longer shutter (the photo started out very overexposed). Everything else just worked by accident. Next time, I'll try to do it purposefully and cleaner and probably never get it again :) 
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Great shots Zach! Criteriums are really fun to shoot because they just keep coming around and around and around. Miss a shot on this lap and you can try the exact same shot a couple minutes later. We have an annual crit in my town that's coming up in a couple of weeks. Last year I shot it with my X100 and panning is definitely possible with high speed riders at 1/30 and even 1/15, but maybe not with a longer focal length?? And maybe using an OVF makes it a bit easier as well - not sure. I'll have to try it with the EM5 this year and see how they compare. It'll be fun to shoot with a longer lens too, and try to get closer like you did. Here are a couple from last year, just to show the slow shutter speed panning.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5921136941/" title="DSCF0467 by ramboorider1, on Flickr"> View attachment 212446 "1024" height="680" alt="DSCF0467"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5921701566/" title="DSCF0420 by ramboorider1, on Flickr"> View attachment 212447 "1024" height="683" alt="DSCF0420"></a>

    • Like Like x 4
  14. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Great shots, Zach! Forgive my ignorance on sport photography, but did you use manual focus to pre-focus to the spot you plan on capturing?
    • Like Like x 1
  15. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Those are great shots, I love the edge treatment and how it flows with the lines in the image.

    I probably should have tried more at a slower shutter, but the keeper rate would have been quite a bit lower. Also, I was being pretty anal trying to get them very sharp (which I realize is not 100% necessary in shots like these). I was just ahead of a 90 degree turn on the outside, so they cut in toward the apex right before reaching me, so they were moving very fast relative to my field of view, I think panning any faster would have taken more core exercises hehe.
  16. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    No pre or manual focus. The GH2 with both lenses I used (14-140 and 100-300) focuses very fast. Also with the relatively small aperture and reasonably good depth of field, the camera was able to autofocus just fine. I just used center focus and tried to keep the rider in the middle as I was panning.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    Great shots .. you have to visualise me standing in my office practising the panning technique ... but isn't the guy in the 3rd photo cheating a tad :wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  18. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Great stuff Zach. I really liked the last shot and the first. Did you pre-focus everything or did you CAF w/ Tracking? (or something entirely different?) Never mind on pre-focus, I found your technique, if you wish to elaborate ... I'm all eyes.

    • Like Like x 1
  19. zpuskas

    zpuskas Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2011
    Santa Barbara, CA
    All really good images. You really captured the essence of the race. I also really like the last shot...I feel like I'm there.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Jermonic

    Jermonic Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2012
    Really cool results. I especially like the last one.
    • Like Like x 1
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