Blackhawk Vintage Classic 2014 Group 1 - Pre-War & Early Vintage.

Open wide your eye-holes, vintage racing fans! This week we begin the photo-spew of our trip to the 2014 Blackhawk Vintage Classic. Overall we saw lots of cars from last year's events. After all, there are only so many owners and drivers in the Midwest, and familiar faces are part of the reason to go, right?

So rather than just letting our cameras drip over the cars as we did last year, our photographic safari team resolved to level up their photo skills and have a go at getting some shots of the cars on the track. This is tricky, as it requires a pretty long zoom lens, making it difficult to follow the car while keeping it in focus. Secondly, to get a really decent race photo, you want the background to have a little motion blur, which calls for a slow shutter speed, but that makes it harder to keep the car sharp. Some attempts worked and some didn't. I'll explain when we get there.

The Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association, or VSCDA or "Vinspocadras", as nobody calls it, separates cars into groups based on era and car type. I can't reliably make some of the finer the fine distinctions between the groups, but today is Group 1 day - Pre-War & Early Vintage. These are the cars that Monty Burns would have raced ("Beep beep! Out of my way! I'm a motorist!"), and are pretty distinct from all the other groups. I'd be grateful if any owners/drivers would correct any mistakes I make, via the comments section.

I hope your eyes are thirsty, because the vintage racing juice is loose!

A pretty valuable Bugatti... as if there are any affordable ones.

A pretty successful picture of the Bugatti. Car is sharp and background is blurry. Could be better.

I immediately remembered this car from last year. But now it's more complete, with added sheet metal and stuff. Sure enough, it was here to race. I don't remember what make it is, but I think it's kind of a mixed breed.

A row of MGs. There may be something else in there too, but I can't be sure.

Starting to get the hang of panning shots. Slow down the shutter speed to get some blur. Turn off auto focus because it will probably isolate some weeds in the foreground and piss you off. Then set the focus where you plan to take the shot. Focus on something at the approximate distance of the subject, like the texture of the asphalt, which is what I used. Start following the car and hit the shutter button when the car is in the sweet spot. Maybe 30% of these worked out for me, but this will probably get better as I get better.

This is kind of a rich man's game, but not so much that they don't do their own work. The owner, driver, and mechanic are usually the same person, with a few exceptions. The guy in the red shirt is the owner of this car, seen above. Competition is super friendly and people tend to help each other out with mechanical issues.

This MG has it's headlights turned around the wrong way. Why not? All the races were held in the daytime and you don't want rocks chipping or breaking your headlight lenses unnecessarily, right? How hard can is be to find new lenses for an early 20th century MG? Really hard, probably. The lenses were also covered with red gaffer tape. I'll bet he did that first, and then had the idea to just flip them around for good measure.


Ypek said...

Re: the MG (the last three pictures). "MAF" translates "foolish" in Dutch. Not that this beautiful automobile is anything but.

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