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Bicycle Racing

M38A1

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Had an opportunity to go shoot the Thursday night bicycle racing series at The Driveway in Austin last night. Never shot bicycle races before so I figured 'why not'? I got there and the action was already in play. Not knowing how long the races really were or how much of the track was being used I opted to hang kind of close to the start finish area.

Using what I learned from shooting motorcycles, and a beautiful setting evening sun I tried to keep the sun on the side of the cyclists to avoid shadows which gave a warm feeling to the shots instead of deep shadows. Finding good corners with the sunlight was a challenge too.

My take away is, they are fast and kind of hard to shoot. When in packs, you can almost rule out full bike shots of individual riders as you'll never get the front wheel or back wheel out of a shot. They ride that close to one another. I shot most at 1/500th or dropped down to 1/320th with the flash and had decent results I think. I know I can do better, but for sure - a good learning experience.

Full gallery HERE

A few from the night....

#1
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#2
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#3
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#4
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#5
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#6
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#7
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#8
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Nice pictures.

As for those who have the wherewithall to race bicycles.... :hail:
 

M38A1

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...another one I thought was cool as the jersey's matched the background gate color

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.
 
M

mr-roboto

Great pictures Scott!

My fav is the five ladies with their radiant smiles.

RB
 
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Nice pics Scott. I've done thousands of laps out there but haven't been back since 2010. Kinda miss it.

Riders from Ben Spies' sponsored team, Elbowz, regularly win the top category race. Holland Racing which organizes the weekly Driveway series will also be promoting a Labor Day weekend event that includes a tour and race at COTA on Aug 31.

There are a couple of regular photogs (Jim Hick and John McAlister) out there that post on FB. Royce Walston is another but mainly covers the San Antonion scene. Royce does some nice remote flash work.
 

M38A1

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Thanks Greg....

I need to go look up those guys and see how they are doing their shots. I don't have anything to compare them to, so I don't know where I fall in the "are they decent or crap" spectrum.
 
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When I was a kid in Germany, I once tried to take pix of a motorcycle hill climb. In those days, we could stand about 10 feet from the path, so what's the challenge? Unfortunately the only camera I had was a Ricoh double-lens reflex. For a real challenge, try tracking a motorcycle in motion when you're looking straight down into a mirror image. I got a lot of pictures of back wheels that day. :photo:
 
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#5 is the winner for me. :chug:

#4 is very nice technically, but it does not have the context that #5 does.

Ok.. this may sound weird.

But #3 would be so much better IMO if you were down much lower which would have put the pack of racers higher in the frame but kept the same/similar perspective to the rider. :shrug:
 

M38A1

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Thanks Duke for a different perspective.... There's always next Thursday night to try again. If I get better at it, I might actually put them on my 'pro' site and enable the shopping cart. Now I've just got 'em as freebies with right-click/save-as available in high res.
 
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But #3 would be so much better IMO if you were down much lower which would have put the pack of racers higher in the frame but kept the same/similar perspective to the rider. :shrug:
I have the opposite feeling about #3. I like how the rider is in "clean space." If it were a lower perspective, I fear it would have muddied up the image. I like it just the way it is, but that's just my take. :shrug:
 

M38A1

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I'm still uber-frustrated in just the overall 'look' of them. They don't pop, they don't have crisp lines, the colors aren't vibrant. I'm just frustrated not knowing what else to try. Bump in saturation? Greater DOF? I just don't know....

They were shot about 45min prior to sunset, that 'golden hour' so the sun was low and warm in color temp. Maybe that's why they don't 'pop' like I think sports shots should.
 
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photoshop in some motion blur to the background to make it look like they;re going fast instead of on a leisurely stroll
 
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I'm still uber-frustrated in just the overall 'look' of them. They don't pop, they don't have crisp lines, the colors aren't vibrant. I'm just frustrated not knowing what else to try. Bump in saturation? Greater DOF? I just don't know....

They were shot about 45min prior to sunset, that 'golden hour' so the sun was low and warm in color temp. Maybe that's why they don't 'pop' like I think sports shots should.
LR 5 maybe? :shrug: :trust: Surprisingly, I still haven't upgraded to 5 yet, still on 4. I do want to bump up though.

The sharpening tool may be more robust in the newer version. I generally pump the vibration about twice as much as I do the saturation. But, your colors look pretty solid to me.
 
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LR 5 maybe? :shrug: :trust: Surprisingly, I still haven't upgraded to 5 yet, still on 4. I do want to bump up though.

The sharpening tool may be more robust in the newer version. I generally pump the vibration about twice as much as I do the saturation. But, your colors look pretty solid to me.
I'm still on 2.2. lol
That's why I'm wondering how big of a difference the newer versions make.
/highjack

You two just ruined my good nights sleep. I pulled the trigger tonight because of you...

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/end highjack
 
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Cool. Our little experiment will continue. Ck your email.

Scott, I'm not really feeling these edits, but oh well. I think yours look pretty good compared to mine. :doh:

Edit: They look better squished down to 800 pixels on the long side as posted here though.

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Thanks Greg....

I need to go look up those guys and see how they are doing their shots. I don't have anything to compare them to, so I don't know where I fall in the "are they decent or crap" spectrum.
Looked 'em up for you Scott.

Graham Watson (a pros pro): http://www.grahamwatson.com/

John Pierce (a top TdF photog): https://www.facebook.com/john.pierce.7773631

Royce Walston (out of SA):
https://www.facebook.com/roycewalston?fref=ts

Lee McDaniels (out of FW): https://www.facebook.com/lee.mcdaniel?fref=ts

Jim Hicks (regular at the Driveway):
https://www.facebook.com/jim.hicks.773?fref=ts
 
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It was nice to bump into you out there, Scott. You caught a couple of my friends who were riding. I think they are great. And I am NEVER going to ride in a Crit....
 
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Ok, for the experiment, and realizing that PP is subjective and all that. Here is my edits using LR5.





 
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