A Blast From The Past

© Heather K. McFarland

A Blast From The Past

Robert Brent 8/8/2002 9:03:43 PM

Stunning my girl. Simply stunning!
They don't come any better than this !
Great shot again Heather #7342

Dolores Neilson 8/8/2002 9:30:33 PM

Heather, this is just perfect panning!! You are inspiring me to try some of these! I like this alot! I noticed the use of an ND2X filter. You'll think I'm an ignoramus but this is a grad to hold back exposure where?? Highlights on the upper part of the frame? I don't see a sky that's why I'm asking. Is this a gray grad....or....? I'm not too familiar with lens filters. #11060

Heather K. McFarland 8/8/2002 9:45:24 PM

Thank you Dolores. The Neutral density filter does exactly what you said...hold back exposure for the slow shutter. This was taken at 2:15pm in the afternoon with harsh sunlight. So if I didn't use one, I would get hot spots on the car...and the whole image would be overexposed...not just the highlights. I sometimes have to use a ND4X..depending on the angle of the light and the lense I am using. I forgot to put that I also had a 2X converter on the 80-200mm which helps cut down on the light even more and I can usually get away with just a ND2X with that lense combo. It's fun...try it!!! Doesn't cost anything to hit the delete button....LOL. #11062

Christina J. Maze 8/8/2002 9:47:01 PM

Absolutely gorgeous! Wish I could get my panning down pat like this...suffice it to say "still a long way from to go". Can you give me some pointers on how you achieved this? Again, marvelous!!!! #11063

Heather K. McFarland 8/8/2002 10:13:34 PM

Thank you Robert and Christina. I'm glad you both liked it.

Christina: You have all the techincal info in the description..so here is the rest of my so-called "technique".

For these racing shots, I have to stand on a step stool in order to shoot over a 6ft high chain-link fence. So I don't use a monopod or a tripod cause they just get in the way. I brace the mid-section of my body against the fence in order to keep still while keeping my upper body free to "swivel". If you don't have a fence just make sure your lower body stays very still, only moving your sholders/upper body.

If your camera has a continuous focus feature use it. If not it makes it harder to do, but not impossible. I used to get some decent pans with my Coolpix 950 so it can be done with lower-end cameras. My camera also helps me with focus because the D1X has a Dynamic Area Autofocus feature. It will focus on the subject at a point in the frame that you select to start (in the far right of the frame for this one), and then continuously scan all of it's 5 focus areas to maintain focus as the subject moves across the viewfinder or other "focus areas".

So with everything set, I just wait until a car comes into the right of my viewfinder, track it smoothly with the camera going in the direction the subject is moving, and press the shutter at some point. You don't have to "swivel" or pan all that far really. And the bigger the focal length of the lense you have on, the less distance you will have to pan. With practice will you get a sense of how much you must pan the camera.

I always use shutter priority, and generally shoot between 1/40 and 1/60. All depends on how much blur you want, how much light is available, etc. Make sure to bracket your pans. I will shoot at different speeds within one session just to be sure, and I will also use my +/- exposure for further bracketing.

I hope this helped!!! #11067

Mark Oxley 8/8/2002 10:35:27 PM

I have to agree with everyone Heather, a stunning capture!! I like the choice of black and white, it matches the vintage of the subject. #11077

Heather K. McFarland 8/8/2002 10:40:38 PM

Thank you Mark. That was my intent exactly. Since it was a classic car race, I thought that I would do some of my shots in B&W to capture an "earlier era" look and this black car was perfect for it. #11078

Piper Lehman 8/9/2002 9:06:44 AM

Knew this was yours immediately--before I saw your name. Another excellent shot for the lucky race organization. Those cheap bastards! I say you need to renegotiate your contract! You should'nt be doing ANYTHING for free, Heather. I get the feeling you underestimate your own worth. Get your butt in gear and get what you deserve, girl! #11116

Dolores Neilson 8/9/2002 9:12:41 AM

I agree with Piper... they aren't going to get better pics anywhere or from anyone else!!! But I do understand where you're coming from... sometimes that's the investment you have to make to promote yourself. I made lots of pastry for free before I started selling my stuff!!! #11119

Dolores Neilson 9/7/2002 11:08:13 PM

Congrats on this super image making finalist, Heather! I love this one of yours!! I need to learn how to do this!! #13797

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Meadow Brook Historic Races. Panned for blurred background, 1/50sec at F15, ND2X, Nikkor 80-200mm.

Uploaded on 8/8/2002 8:08:53 PM

BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest Finalist

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