Sorry for the absence, but work has been a little busy of late (woohoo!) and the knee has been particularly bad, necessitating assistance from Matt for this shoot.

Yesterday entailed an assignment I’d been looking forward to for some time. Lotus Car Hire provide trackday events for corporate clients and individuals. The day includes full tuition from some of the best mentors available with tangible results. My remit was very loose, simply capture the day with images that could convey the essence of the day’s experience to potential clients.

Did the usual reportage thing of capturing the events as they unfolded, along with detail shots and the sort of stuff to add interest. However, I wanted a few shots that would grab the imagination of the potential client, and what better than a racing image of one of their cars gaining ground on another Lotus, which just so happens to be one of their other cars (no point in giving away free advertising to another trackday organiser!).

Once the day with the clients finished, I set about organising this shot. Before I begin to explain, have a close look at the shot and write down whatever you believe the car speed was, and the camera settings used before reading any further.

Done the writing down thing? ok, lets move on –

The total time, start to finish, including set-up and pack-away time for this shot was a shade under 10 minutes. Oulton Park was closing shop, and I had very little time to get it organised, set-up and shot, before we were likely to get thrown out.

I attached two suction mounts to the rear deck of the car, before zip tying (cable ties) a tripod to them both. The tripod head was swapped out for a pistol grip quick set type head, onto which I attached a D3 with a 24-70mm f2.8 lens, which promptly caused the quick release plate to disengage, allowing the camera and lens to fall the 3.5 feet to the track, with the fall broken by my foot (ouch!). No damage to either camera or lens, but my Calumet pistol grip is destined for the bin. The problem was down to a worn locking lever, and a new grip will now be ordered (and it won’t be a Calumet model).

To get around the problem with the quick release plate, I zip tied the locking lever in position and that seemed to stop the problem. The car was then pushed by three members of staff and several shots taken at a slow shutter speed to accentuate movement.

1st run was pretty good, and a re-run got us the keeper I was after.

Nikon D3 with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 1/13th sec f14 ISO 100 (that would be LO 1.0, as the D3 has a lowest ISO of 200)

So, considering the shutter speed was a mere 1/13th sec, any guesses as to the speed of the car?

About 3mph, or something like walking pace.

The camera doesn’t lie, but perceptions can be skewed.