Earlier this month Todd of Alternative-shots arranged for us to shoot the Oregon Rally Group’s RallyCross event held in Vancouver. It was a wet and muddy day but we had fun and captured many images. I’m proud to present my favorite, Kickin’ It Up, as this week’s Image of the Week.
I must admit that going into the event I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had covered Rally and other Motorsports, but never RallyCross and never an event held in a gravel pit! The weather was going to be another twist, rain makes mud and brings with it the expectation of some good mud-slinging photos! Rain also presents challenges with keeping the lens, the gear, and the photographer dry and functioning! Fortunately most of the rain was relatively light with just a few passing heavy showers that were short lived. I was pretty soaked leading into the lunch break but was able to take a short drive for food with the heat kicked up to do a reasonable job of drying out.
After tech, registration, the driver’s meeting, and a short orientation we were out on course and shooting the event. We got great access and while we were getting our feet wet (literally) we even had a volunteer spotter to keep us safe, point out some of the ins & outs, and of course make sure we were following the rules.
While I was getting acclimated I left the camera in Aperture Priority mode to best deal with the changing skies (and therefore light) so I could concentrate on finding good shooting angles and locations. I knew that would result in freezing all of the action with shutter speeds faster than ideal, but the pictures would still be good and cut down on the variables early in the day. Once things settled down I switched to Shutter Priority and ultimately settled on 1/60th of a second for a good compromise between showing a bit of motion blur but keeping the cars in sharp focus. That was still a bit faster than I would have ideally liked, but with the constantly changing light it was a choice that would work consistently. I shot throughout the day with the D300 with the battery pack for it’s rapid fire burst mode and the 70-300vr so I could bring the action close without having to be so close as to become part of the action!
Kickin’ It Up was my favorite shot of the day for a couple of reasons. I liked the way the gravel being kicked up by the right front obscured most of the background and brought the focus in on the car. I liked the sense of speed that the image conjures up. I also liked the bright colors in the frame and the fact that it wasn’t visibly raining. If the cone wasn’t between the car and I it would have been that much better, but with action shots it’s awfully difficult to control all of the aspects of the image.
While this was my image of choice yours might be different, I invite you to visit the galleries from the day and see what else I shot! Check out the super fast slide shows like the one at left. You’ll see every still image captured during the day shown for 1/10th second makes for the digital equivalent of an old flip book video!
- JPEG image with Nikon D300 @ 200 ISO
- Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens @ 170mm
- 1/60th of a Second @ ƒ/9
- Sunday, April 7, 2013 @ 15:46
- Vancouver, Washington, USA