The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

ISO 800, f4, 1/3200 exp. with Variable ND Filter set at 3X

Made it to the Chatsworth Motopark Race yesterday with Colin in tow.  It’s always a fun day if there are bikes ripping round a track and I’ve got my camera in my hands.  The track is a good two hour hike from our place even a little longer if your GPS decides to play silly buggers at the beginning of your journey.  I’m still on the hunt for a decent long lens with a fast focus.  I’m probably going to have to suck it up, bite the bullet and get the L – Glass f4, 70-200mm, which as you know ain’t cheap.  Last week our stove literally blew up and as we decided that maybe we should follow the same logic we used to replace its cousin, Mr. dishwasher (don’t go cheap) it puts any immediate plans for an expensive long lens out of reach for the time being.

Chatsworth has much better track access for photography than the previous track so my Sigma 17 – 70mm was good enough for most of my shots.  As it was a bright day, I threw my variable ND filter on to knock some of the flare out of the glare and decided to shoot ate ISO 800 for the majority of the day.  I may kick the ISO down for future shooting opportunities but I’m finding in post that a higher shutter speed helps the focus keep up in those panning shots that are a staple of shooting motorsports.  That being said, If I was shooting cars, I’d keep the ISO around 400.

This post is going to be heavy on shots of dirt bikes sailing through the air or digging in the dirt.  I’m not going to post up a lot of context other than to say the riders range in age from seven to early sixties.  Most riders are amatures out for a good time but there’s a Pro Am class racing hell bent for leather for points too.  It’s interesting to see the attitude change in a rider when the end result is for points and money.

I don’t know why but this is one of my favorite shots of the day. To give context, the rider is setting the bike to come out of the corner about twenty five feet below this jump.  I think this is the twelve to sixteen year old class.

Even in the younger classes it can get busy out there.

Just to show how high some of these shots are when not in close up.

I like how the start area is off to the side of the track to keep the drop bars out of the way. No false starts in Motocross.

The scrum of the first corner on to the track proper.

Yes, I’m close to the race line for this shot but not that close.

It’s a long way to the first corner when you’re seven.


Digging in the dirt.

Of course the real reason I was out there was to see the vintage bikes race.  Maybe they aren’t as flash as the new stuff, or as fast but they sure are fun to watch.

Little bit different line going into the drop for this old bike.

I’ll post up more later in the week as I’m still going through my shots.  I recommend anybody to go out and catch a race for themselves if they can, they’re lots of fun and the atmosphere is very cool and laid back.  Well off the track at least.

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