Road America Fall Vintage Fest 2016 - Pt. 4

The continuation continues continuing today with some tracking shots! This is the part of the day where we make the long walk over a few bridges to the part of the track they call the "carousel". The course comes out from under a bridge and goes around a long, sweeping turn that's just over 180 degrees.

This is a good place for tracing shots, as the cars follow an arc around the camera, and as they pass, their distance from the lens changes less than it would if they were on a straight.

These are hard to shoot. First, you need a long lens and a tripod that's not locked down. You use a longer exposure than usual, like 1/60 of a second. This blurs the background as the camera rotates. You focus manually on the tarmac at the point you plan to hit the shutter button. Then, rotate the camera towards where the subject is expected to enter the frame. As it comes in, try to follow the car perfectly as you release the shutter. Hopefully, the car will be in sharp focus and the background will be a horizontal smear.

It would be easier to just use a fast shutter speed and freeze the action, but the cars would look like they're simply parked on the track. Very lame. Properly done tracking shots capture the excitement and speed of a racing car. They also result in a lot of throwaway images. My average "keeper" ratio is about one in five, but I'm getting better.

1966 Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto (I think).

A Triumph and a Porsche 356. Not sure who's overtaking who. I think the Porsche was passing on the outside.

Lotus Super 7... although this chassis is still widely used today for track cars. Caterham is a famous maker still using this chassis.

The '59 Volvo PV544 from Monday's post. Shutter speed not quite right yet.

Porsche 356.

Lotus Europa.

1960-something Alfa Romeo.


Jim Dee said...

What a wonderful public service you provide with these. Thanks, Phil!

Steve Miller said...

Absofuckinlutely love the 1800s!

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