Razzle Dazzle 'Em With Canon Cameras - Part Three

on January 30, 2017

Apologies to the lyricists for " Chicago "...I couldn't let that one go. Because that is what you can do with the Canon cameras and lenses at the motor racing track. Here are more thoughts from Manuel Goria for the shooter - and seller - of car images:

a. If you are taking a picture of a car, the car should fill the screen. It should be in the place on the screen that you decide upon. This decision can be based upon art aesthetics or sure knowledge of where the editor is going to put other elements of the design. If you are going to need to have a vertical image, shoot a vertical image. But shoot the car close enough and big enough.

b. If you shoot multiple car images with different backgrounds, you have a chance to sell multiple copies to the owners or editors. Variety pleases.

c. If you are shooting for a sponsor's needs and that sponsor has a logo on the car - or on the track - the logo is the thing you must show. In most instances you will want to show it very clearly.

d. Sharpness is the ultimate test of the salability of any image. It can be lost through wrong movement or technique, through overexposure, or through the heat haze and mirage that affect motor sport tracks.

Note: Barbagallo proved this to all the shooters. Even with magnificent lenses that could come to very sharp focus, too much exposure let the images waver.

e. To get sharper images, a shorter exposure time is needed. To get enough depth of field for sharpness on the contours of the car you may need to use a smaller aperture. Both of these factors may dictate a high ISO - up to 5000 ISO in some cases. The Canon 1DX can do this easily with good low noise, but it is still open to reduce the ISO as far down as you can to preserve quality. As with everything, it is a balancing act.

f. Salable images can be unusual or iconic - if there are structures like Dunlop bridges or famous locations, shoot some of these as they are expected. But also shoot location shots that show where the race is taking place. Accept the fact that some of the best shots happen in front of some of the worst backdrops and plan these shots with a shallow depth of field or a blur.

g. Compositions that do not show all the car can sometimes work, but you have to choose the right car. People who know the shape of iconic cars want to see ALL of it. It is possible to use trackside elements and colours in an artistic motif to make an interesting shot out of an ordinary one - it is all about quick design as much as capture.

Note that Manuel always likes to see the front wheel of the car in sharp focus...unless it is an occasion where he doesn't...and that is tomorrow.