Moto Photography.

Related:
Create New Tag

9/19/2018 11:53 PM

So I know there are plenty of photographers here with plenty of experience shooting moto including our very own GuyB. I'm looking to get into this for a bit of fun with friends at the track and doing some fun stuff when I'm not riding. Nothing professional is just I generally don't race anymore so I thought photos would be cool. So with that I've been looking at entry level DSLR and feel a bit overwhelmed by the minor differences between each of them much less the step up "intermediate". models. So I have almost made up my mind on the nikon d3400 due to its being $500 with a 18-55 and 70-200 lens and shoots 24mp with a burst rate of 5 shots per second. My question is will I be happy with this style camera for a decent amount of time or will I out grow it quickly? Is there anything else I should be looking into? Is this setup going to be good for local track pics?

|

9/20/2018 2:06 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/20/2018 2:09 AM

I am not a moto photographer but I am a photojournalist in the Air Force who shoots jets and you will not be wanting more quickly with the d3400 camera body. I would go for it. Its a good beginner camera.

Edit: I did shoot with at Budd's Creek 2017 and did not shoot on burst mode so I wouldn't worry about using that. Just get good at waiting for the right moment and take 1 photo.I shot with a D600. Here is an example of what the D600 can do. https://www.instagram.com/p/BdWETtxlNjz/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

|

9/20/2018 4:14 AM

I just bought a camera (first full frame) in May, I wanted to get into photography just for fun. Planned on getting a DSLR but after looking into it, I ended up going with the Sony A7iii. It’s a mirror less camera, and to get a similar spec DSLR it’s well over a grand more. Not sure what your budget is, but I love this camera. It’s definitely something I’m growing into, with a entry level camera you will grow out of it quicker than you think. Also, the Sony shoots 10 shots per second.
https://www.instagram.com/millerrr973/
Photo

Photo
Photo
Photo

|

9/20/2018 6:30 AM

The GF and I are using my canon eos rebel sl1 dslr camera. It was a 2 lens bundle back when I got it. Using some settings I learned from in a different thread on here dramatically changed the picture quality and its a good budget friendly camera.

We are still learning so they're not pro grade and none of these photos have had any photoshop to clean them up.
Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo

|

2018 KTM 250sx
Instagram CamaroAJ

9/20/2018 2:24 PM

Regarding the question of will you outgrow it quickly, is tough without knowing you. If taking photos is as you say, for a bit of fun with friends at the track, then no I don't think you will outgrow it too quickly. At the same time, even if you did, I think it's maybe better this way to go through the learning curve of discovering what you're after. One thing I'll say is, don't get sucked into the game of pro-body AF and a billion focus points and a hundred frames per second and all that. Center point AF and a few FPS on almost any modern consumer grade will do just fine. Stick a little Canon 200/2.8 on an old 20D and take photos that you couldn't distinguish in a magazine from a photo taken with $15k body/lens combo. Go learn about exposure and sharpness and the effects of shutter speed and capture those sick moments you know about because you understand moto.

|

9/20/2018 2:26 PM

I used to do some hobby snowboarding and mx photography a while back and what I learned going through some gear is that the camera is 'not that important' as oppose to the lens selection. Entry level cameras nowadays are so good that 10 years back a semi-pro cameras were not even close to the specs. So you should be fine there. I would focus on high quality lenses instead. Whats good about MX is that it most of the time happens outdoor, so you dont always need a fast lens (2.8 or lower) You can ger some pretty good deals on some pro f/4 lenses, althought a telephoto at 2,8 helps a lot, appart from the weight smile

|

9/20/2018 3:51 PM

Thanks for the input and byke you hit the nail on the head with the last line. I don't plan to become a pro photographer or anything but I know the photos I would have liked to have over the years and thought this would be cool. Also I chose the nikon because it is entry level and affordable but the specs looked impressive for basic sports photography.

|

9/20/2018 6:39 PM

I think just about anything from Canon or Nikon will get you some shots you’ll be happy with outdoors. It’s when we head inside with limited light that you’ll really start noticing the difference in bodies (as the ISO starts increasing), as well as the difference in speed and sharpness that faster glass affords.

|

9/20/2018 7:42 PM

Be careful... photography gets addicting. Before you know it, your gear will be worth more than everything else that you own combined haha (there's a heavy sigh behind that half-hearted laugh).

|

9/20/2018 8:28 PM

If you're planning on buying something higher-level, look up release dates for the newer models. I bought my 5D MkIII as soon as the MKIV came out and saved quite a bit. Like GuyB said, the biggest difference in spending more on a body is going to be low-light performance (and obviously FF vs. crop frame). Good glass is a better investment than a good body if you're going to be shooting outdoors mainly. These are with my 5DIII and 135mm F/2
Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo

|

9/20/2018 8:52 PM

I'm going to look at a d3400 with 3 lens tomorrow. Unknown shutter count but it's an older lady and she didn't seem like she used it a lot. She said "used it for 2 weeks" so we will see tomorrow. As for how serious I take photography that will depend on how good I get. I have a couple ideas in my mind and I'm sure I'll upgrade cameras in future years but for now it's just for fun. I'm actually just getting to work now but I'll post more about my ideas later if I get some down time tonight.

|

9/20/2018 10:12 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/20/2018 10:14 PM

Surprisingly got some down time early. So here's what I have in mind in the near future.

I always hated going to the track and not being with the people that had the cool camera and they never cared what I was doing. I could have the best turn or whip and they wouldn't look at me. So I want to take pictures of everyone but with no expectation of such. I'm not professional and won't be hired by anyone.

I want to take these pics and post them online free to download for anyone. No water mark or fees. If I get a good shot of your kid by accident then you should have it.

Also I think I would like to do moto "team photos" with Jr and the bike or mom dad Jr and the bike type thing but I gotta get some photo editor first.

I know doing this free leads people to expect it for free but I'm a strong willed guy who knows when to say no. I do think I might eventually charge for anything I spend time editing or something like that but again that will be down the road if I ever feel like I'm good enough. In the meantime I thought about adding a link for donations. If you get some good photos and want to donate to keep the goodwill going you can but no obligations.

I live for motorcycles and motocross in particular. It's my happy place away from work (paramedic with Denver Health) and keeps my sanity and this sounds like something fun when I'm not the one riding and something to learn.

|

9/20/2018 10:16 PM

I managed to shoot with a vest at Anaheim, San Diego, Hangtown, and Glen Helen using a Canon Rebel. I'm sure a Nikon D3400 will do just fine! It sounds like you have a good idea of what lenses are good, so you're off the right start! I'm looking forward to seeing the shots you get! The more photographers at the track, the better! It would always motivate me to ride more and go faster if I saw someone there shooting!

|

9/21/2018 12:01 AM

You will be fine with that for quite a while.

"Is there anything else I should be looking into?"
Maybe strobes down the road. But far, far, FAR more important
than that gear stuff is how you use it. Look into really understanding lighting
and composition and developing a style. Way more important.

|

9/21/2018 8:14 AM

Current bodies are all pretty good, glass will make a bigger difference if you want to assign a little $$ to upgrade a bit. Work at it. Paul Buckley had a massive Q&A going in the photo section; might have to search a bit, but worth it, Paul is one of the motophoto greats back into the 70s

|

Twitter: @ftemoto
Instagram: @mstusiak

9/21/2018 8:44 AM

Racer142 wrote:

Surprisingly got some down time early. So here's what I have in mind in the near future.

I always hated going to the track and not being with the people that had the cool camera and they never cared what I was doing. I could have the best turn or whip and they wouldn't look at me. So I want to take pictures of everyone but with no expectation of such. I'm not professional and won't be hired by anyone.

I want to take these pics and post them online free to download for anyone. No water mark or fees. If I get a good shot of your kid by accident then you should have it.

Also I think I would like to do moto "team photos" with Jr and the bike or mom dad Jr and the bike type thing but I gotta get some photo editor first.

I know doing this free leads people to expect it for free but I'm a strong willed guy who knows when to say no. I do think I might eventually charge for anything I spend time editing or something like that but again that will be down the road if I ever feel like I'm good enough. In the meantime I thought about adding a link for donations. If you get some good photos and want to donate to keep the goodwill going you can but no obligations.

I live for motorcycles and motocross in particular. It's my happy place away from work (paramedic with Denver Health) and keeps my sanity and this sounds like something fun when I'm not the one riding and something to learn.

This is what my wife does at our club track. She started doing it just for fun. She takes pics of everyone on race day and post them on the internet for free. Besides just our friends getting some sweet pictures anyone that shows up for race day gets access to free pics too. Hopefully that will encourage people to come back and maybe tell others to race our track. She has recieved some donations from people too. She is using a Nikon d750 and loves it, but it wasnt frikkin cheap. She can get some super bad ass pictures, and even the slow guys look fast!

|

9/21/2018 9:00 AM

Tip- get a clear filter for the end of your lens so rocks don't chip it.

|

It's impossible for a corporation or government to love you or care about you.

9/21/2018 11:07 AM

Avoid the "kit" lenses if you can. Besides technique and skill, the next most important thing is lens quality. Although I would love to, I have never shot moto but I can say that after many years and many bodies, the equipment I grow attached to and become skilled with are my lenses. Look for glass with the fastest aperture you can afford, sharp optics, and fast focusing speed.

|

9/21/2018 11:11 AM

FreshTopEnd wrote:

Current bodies are all pretty good, glass will make a bigger difference if you want to assign a little $$ to upgrade a bit. Work at it. Paul Buckley had a massive Q&A going in the photo section; might have to search a bit, but worth it, Paul is one of the motophoto greats back into the 70s

Listen to what FTE said... Glass is more important than the body these days, and spend time working on it. Learning to pan, working with various lighting conditions, etc. Photography is about 80% photographer and 20% gear.

Here's a few I took several years ago. It's been a while since I've owned a DSLR...

Photo
Photo
Photo

|

9/21/2018 4:12 PM

Some good info here for later but right now this is entry level stuff for me. Gotta see if I stay interested or not before I spend tons of money. The only accessories I'm looking at right now are tripod, monopod, lens hood, and a clear filter now lol.

|

9/21/2018 4:24 PM

If you end up using filters, make sure you get a good one from companies like B+W or Tiffen. Cheap UV filters will turn your photo quality to crap immediately.

|

9/21/2018 8:56 PM

Will I purchased the camera tonight and couldn't be happier. The lady was really nice and had the paperwork. She bought it 8 months ago for a two week vacation and hasn't used it since. She only took 1160 photos with it. It's in like new condition. May be going to thunder valley tomorrow to get some practice.

|

9/22/2018 3:50 PM

Gang,

I’m sort of in the same boat.

I’m just about being forced to buy a different camera,I’ve been using my 2 Cannon 35 mm cameras for a long time.

But it’s getting to be a real pain to find film & then get it processed. I know that my lenses will fit the newer digital cameras.

Not sure which model will work best for me, the 35 mm are EOS rebles.

Might just try & find a used body.

BTW: Where is this photo forum the FTE spoke about?

|

00' BMW K1200 RS
83' Maico 490 ( The Project bike)
81' Maico 490- FOR SALE
03' KTM 525 SX (In ICU)
14.5 KTM 450 Fe- FOR SALE

9/22/2018 7:25 PM

Racer142 wrote:

Will I purchased the camera tonight and couldn't be happier. The lady was really nice and had the paperwork. She bought it 8 months ago for a two week vacation and hasn't used it since. She only took 1160 photos with it. It's in like new condition. May be going to thunder valley tomorrow to get some practice.

If you ever head up to Milliken id love some shots of my slow ass!

|

9/22/2018 9:19 PM

whyderp wrote:

If you're planning on buying something higher-level, look up release dates for the newer models. I bought my 5D MkIII as soon as the MKIV came out and saved quite a bit. Like GuyB said, the biggest difference in spending more on a body is going to be low-light performance (and obviously FF vs. crop frame). Good glass is a better investment than a good body if you're going to be shooting outdoors mainly. These are with my 5DIII and 135mm F/2
Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo

Looking at these photos compared to the others on this thread. The basics of composition, depth (image depth and depth of field) and getting focus on the subject are far more important than the equipment.

But also having a lens longer than 100mm is always nice.

My recommendation would be a second hand Canon 7D and a 70-200mm F4 to get started - they can be had very cheap on Ebay and the 7D was always a sports camera so is well suited. The glass will also move up with a full frame body.

I just shoot on film for fun and im not that good haha https://www.instagram.com/zackafilms/?hl=en

|

9/22/2018 9:45 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/22/2018 9:48 PM

Took these last Tuesday at Fox Raceway (Pala) with my Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 70-200mm f/2.8:

Photo

Photo

Photo

Photo

IMO, the lens is almost more important than the camera, and I think it's safe to say that the industry standard for sports is a 70-200 of any brand. The real pros will sometimes have a 300mm or 400mm, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.





|

9/25/2018 10:18 PM

OK so last weekend was my first go with the camera. Decided to leave it on the auto sports setting and try some different shots and here are a couple results

[LINK TO IMAGE]
[LINK TO IMAGE]
[LINK TO IMAGE]

I will say each of these are cropped and slightly edited. I don't have any real editing software yet so all I did was crop the pics and play with the color and dark balances. I noticed each photo was a bit washed or pale looking but look pretty good with minimal effort (less than 2 minutes per Pic.) I decided to let the camera choose the settings so that I could review them myself and see why it picked what it did. On average it was something like:

Shutter 1/1800
Iso 400
Ap 5ish.

I realize the Ap is related to the zoom but why would it choose an Iso of 400 over 100 when it was a bright sunny day with virtually no clouds? Is this something I should take into account in the future?

This weekend I think I'm going to go play with individual settings more. I was reading as well Sunday so not a lot of camera time.

|

9/25/2018 11:37 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/25/2018 11:39 PM

"I realize the Ap is related to the zoom but why would it choose an Iso of 400 over 100 when it was a bright sunny day with virtually no clouds? Is this something I should take into account in the future? "

Because at 1/1800th and f5-ish, ISO 100 would be under a couple stops. Either drop your shutter speed or open up at the lens if you want a lower ISO. Though the cameras are so good these days that ISO 400 is fine.

To add: I think learning how to effortlessly flow (with intent!!) up and down through ISO/shutter speed/aperture is pretty crucial.

|

9/26/2018 12:13 AM

FWYT wrote:

"I realize the Ap is related to the zoom but why would it choose an Iso of 400 over 100 when it was a bright sunny day with virtually no clouds? Is this something I should take into account in the future? "

Because at 1/1800th and f5-ish, ISO 100 would be under a couple stops. Either drop your shutter speed or open up at the lens if you want a lower ISO. Though the cameras are so good these days that ISO 400 is fine.

To add: I think learning how to effortlessly flow (with intent!!) up and down through ISO/shutter speed/aperture is pretty crucial.

Yeah its all just doubling and halving. Each stop is a half/double the amount light so can compensate with either a half/doubling of the ISO or a half/doubling of the shutter speed.

And they all work together. Change one and you can change one of the other two to compensate.

Generally you will choose an ISO and leave it all day, leaving you to adjust the other two valuables.


Often people who shoot proffesionally or at least event photography shoot in Aperture priority mode. For this they set the ISO from the start and then choose what ever aperture gives them the most pleasing image (Depth of Field) for that particular shot and the camera automatically sets the shutter speed to get the correct exposure.

Although this is mostly used for relatively static shots where depth of field (Aperture) changes the image more than shutter speed. Wheras something like motocross where you are capturing action, shutter speed has a more prominent impact and needs to be a higher enough level to stop time. For this you might use Shutter Priority where you adjust you shutter speed and the lens will adjust exposure automatically.

Although if you ever see the shots where the background is blurry and the bike is flying through the shot really fast but is extremely sharp - they use a slow shutter and pan with the rider. Its super hard to do but can look really cool, Ive attached a couple of attempts at this. Im Photo
Photo
Photo
sure ive seen some old cudby stuff that was amazing with this technique but i cant remembers

|

9/26/2018 12:44 AM

I did realize each setting alters the next I was just under the impression lower iso was kind of the start point and wondering if the slightly higher iso was the cause of the slight color wash/greying of the image.

|