The above photo of USF2000 driver Aaron Telitz was taken at turn 1 of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2014. It was shot using a Canon 60D with a Canon 70-200 F/4L IS lens. The camera settings were 1/400 sec., F/8, ISO100, with the lens zoom set to 200mm.
For this shot, the main setting I wanted to control was the camera's shutter speed. Past experience has taught me that shooting around 1/400-1/500 of a second would be slow enough to show motion in the wheels and tires for this type of tight shot, so I set my camera to a shutter speed of 1/400 of a second. So how do you know what shutter speed you should use for panning shots at the track? There really isn't one correct answer. A lot of variables come into play, such as your distance from the track, the zoom setting of your lens, and your ability to hold the camera steady while panning, so you just have to experiment. The main thing I want to avoid is using a shutter speed that is too fast where you would not be able to see any motion on the wheels and tires. So how do you get to that point? Start shooting at a relatively fast shutter speed that your are comfortable with, and then if you like, start to challenge yourself by slowing the shutter speed a little at a time. Don't worry if you end up getting more blurry photos the more you slow down the shutter speed. It happens to everyone, even the pros. Finally, whenever I shoot sports, my camera is set for continuous focus (Servo AF in Canon speak) and the highest continuous shutter setting (5.3 frames/second for this particular camera).
Post-processing of this image consisted of initial adjustments in Adobe Lightroom, with further processing made using the Nik Collection software to make adjustments based on my artistic preferences.
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