Wild Weds. 14/52 A Wild Good Time at the Races

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

On Saturday I went to a car show, but discovered the night before that there would be drag racing too, so I spent all my time there photographing the racing, and not the many, many cars that were parked for viewing.

Two of my photography girlfriends in our group decided to join me, and we had so much fun.  We were trying the “panning technique”.   It’s not a technique I employ often. This technique requires one to slow the shutter down a bit, then track your subject while it’s moving then when it gets to the spot you want it to be gently squeeze the shutter while following your subject through the squeezing/releasing of the shutter.  It happens in a nano second.  I didn’t think I was doing it very well, but have more keepers than I thought I would.

The idea is to show movement/speed/motion while trying to keep the subject in focus.  It takes a bit of practice.

Settings I used were f/10-f/14, and I varied my shutter speed between 1/125s, 1/100s, and 1/80s in the beginning, and ended up using 1/125s and 1/100s the most.  I had really good light so kept my ISO at 100.

I liked f/13-f/14 the best for keeping more of the car in focus.

I also wanted to stop the action to show different parts of what was going on.  I just raised my Shutter Speed in those instances.

I was using Manual Priority, Auto White Balance, Matrix Metering mode, Single Point Focus, and Single shot shooting mode throughout the shoot.

So, there’s the technical bits, lemme show you some images from the races. “)

N738sp

Drag Racing Car

Dan Nayl Or

Drag Racing Dan Nayl Or

They approach the starting line with attitude, noise, and whole lot of burning rubber. 🙂

Burn Rubber!

These cars are fast! From the start to finish this car did it in 10.962 seconds at 134.44 miles per hour! One dragster later on clocked in over 200 miles per hour! WILD! 🙂

10.962s  134.44MPH

We spent 2 1/2 hours shooting just cars racing up this track. The time flew by! When it was time to head down to the car show to meet the rest of our group we stopped by the pit area for a closer look.

Can you smell the burn? 🙂  Man it was ear drum bursting noise down there!

Can you smell the burn-Burning Rubber

It was so much fun. I can’t wait to go back.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 24-120mm f/4| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

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Author: circadianreflections

My name is Deborah Zajac. I'm a photographer living in Silicon Valley. I am a passionate nature, landscape, night/astro photographer. I shoot predominately in color and use Nikon Digital Cameras, and lenses. I hope you enjoy seeing some of the photos I've taken while on my travels. Please feel free to leave a comment I'd love to hear from you.

42 thoughts on “Wild Weds. 14/52 A Wild Good Time at the Races”

    1. I’m going back to photograph the indy qualifier in September, and I added the garage pass so I can get a bit up close and personal too. I’m looking forward to it.

      Thank you so much for the visit and lovely comment! Your images are gorgeous! I’m heading back over to your blog to peruse a bit more.

  1. Great captures. I’ve read about panning, but have never attempted it. I am impressed!! I’ve been to drag car races and I always wish I had ear plugs, but they sure are impressive!

  2. You have a wide variety of interests Deborah! The different speeds and smoke add to the atmosphere – great you had fun! Can’t remember if I commented on the orange poppy in your post below, but I like them just as much as the red ones!

  3. Deb, forgot to say I absolutely was impressed with the way you captured the beauty in the drag race car and still displayed the speed “blur!” 🏁🎌🚩

  4. Wow, Deborah! I love noisy and fast cars! I haven’t been to a drag race but did watch several demolition derbies in county fair circuits​. Not quite the same but totally unexpected pleasures! 👏❤️👏

  5. I’ve never been to any kind of car race, but what you described is why I love taking photos. You used the event to experiment with something new and had a blast doing it! I”d say you did a mighty fine job of it too!!

    1. Thank you so much Joanne! My mom took me to my first car race when I was about 19. It was a blast. I’ve only been to a few races, but have enjoyed each immensely.

      Thank you for the compliment on the panning. I think before the next race I’ll head up to the top of my neighborhood where there’s a street with a good flow of traffic to practice panning before the event.
      I might have less to delete…one can hope. 🙂

    1. It was! I wasn’t really too excited about the car show, but thought I’d go to get outside my box a bit. I was so excited once I found out about the drag racing. I only took one image of a parked car at the show, and that was about what the license plate said. 🙂

      Thanks so much for the comment and visit Joey! Hope all is well with you and yours. I’ve noticed you’re quieter than normal of late and have missed you in my inbox. Not that I’d be able to read anything in a timely fashion. I’m so behind all the time these days. 😦
      Happy Hump Day! Hope the rest of the week is a good one for you!

      1. I really do like when something you’re meh about turns into something great. I’d like more of that.
        I’ve been in a mode, but we’re all fine, thanks so much. I’m getting back to normal. It’s nice you noticed. ❤

  6. I LOVE drag racing. I almost made it to Sonoma during one of NHRA’s “western swings” but we decided to catch the race in Seattle instead. Buy your grandson some good hearing protectors (get a pair for yourself) and head there July 27th for some Nitro Pro qualifying. Less than 5 seconds at 320+ MPH and a sound that will rattle your liver.

    Sorry, I got carried away. These are great photos. I know exactly how hard it is to pan and capture those cars. It’s not so hard at the start, but at the point where you captured that dragster, he was moving pretty fast – nicely done!

    1. Oh no, I get it! I love the races too. Dragster and stock car are my favorites.
      Ear Protectors are a must if I’m going down in the pit again. Man it’s so loud it rattled my teeth! But I loved it.

      Thanks so much for the comment. I can tell you like the races too. We were talking about going back in July for that event. 🙂

      1. I love to go for Friday qualifying. You see a ton of cars, and if they have qualifying at night, you can get some wonderful header flames. I hope you get some!

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