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  1. #1
    Design Slacker mattbikeboy's Avatar
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    First Race of the Season

    I was able to go out and shoot the first DH race of the year. Lots of high speed action.

    First Race of the Season-20130120_mob_0076web.jpgFirst Race of the Season-20130120_mob_0392web.jpg

    First Race of the Season-20130120_mob_0539web.jpg

    First Race of the Season-20130120_mobmojaveb-490web.jpg

  2. #2
    Design Slacker mattbikeboy's Avatar
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    One more...

    First Race of the Season-20130120_mob_0392web.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First Race of the Season-20130120_mob_0392web.jpg  

  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    Good stuff, Matt! I love that second, leaned over berm shot. That one is great! How come you posted it three times? Is the new upload system confusing you?

    Can you tell us a bit about how you shot these? What gear, what settings and how did you decide on your locations and framing>

    Were there a lot of racers out there? Some people asked me if I was going but I don't have time to travel right now.
    Photo-John

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  4. #4
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    Quote Originally Posted by mattbikeboy View Post
    I was able to go out and shoot the first DH race of the year. Lots of high speed action.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Love the first one. Are you using a polarizing filter?
    Shal

  5. #5
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    Yeah they are so bright and vivd! Love the shadow in the second one. Both are super nice and well framed.

  6. #6
    Design Slacker mattbikeboy's Avatar
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    Yes, John I was having issues with the new upload system!! And I don't remember if used the filter, I carry one in each of my kit bags.

  7. #7
    Design Slacker mattbikeboy's Avatar
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    First Race of the Season-20130120_mobmojaveb-64web.jpgFirst Race of the Season-20130120_mobmojaveb-403web.jpg

    I think these are the shots I wanted to add.


    mbb

  8. #8
    Design Slacker mattbikeboy's Avatar
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    How I shot the images.

    Often I'll shoot at the invite of the promoter and I like to cover local events. Then I'll send off a quick email to a magazine like Mountain Bike Action or Velonews and see if they are interested in some coverage. Most of the time they aren't since the races aren't on the Nationals calendar and only a few regional pro enter.

    I shoot with a Nikon D700 with the AF 80-200 f/2.8 and a D300s with the AF-S 24-70 f/2.8 and a couple of SB900 flashes. I carry a circular polarizing filter for each lens -- but don't always use them.

    1) I look for a location where I can catch some great angles and/or air time. ( I also came from another event and didn't have time to hike up to the gnarly sections near the top of the race course). I really wanted heavy lean angles and shadows. It also seems that riders are little more apt to let it all hang out when they are near the bottom of the course -- when they are more careful up top).

    2) I shoot wide open (f/2.8 and low ISO) trying to keep exposure good. I carry a circular polarizing filter -- and use it if it is really bright outside and/or the sky is really boring. It knocks out a stop and a half of light so I can shoot at 2.8 safely.

    3) I look for locations that have sharp turns, heavy breaking or some air and move around until I find the angles that give me a dynamic composition. Then I move because I don't want the same shot for all the riders (even if the new compositions aren't as strong).

    4) Often I'll shoot with some fill flash. It lights the face that is often a little shadowy under the visors. Sometimes I'll bring my daughter to carry another flash so I can have some off-camera light. I'll also let her shoot too (she's pretty good and gets some great shots).

    5) I shoot in fast burst mode (6 to 8 frames a second). This allows me to catch small movements (dust, dirt, wheelies). Normally I'm really looking to pick my shot from two or three frames into the sequence. It's almost a spray and pray approach -- but when the riders are coming in at speeds between 20 and 30 mph having a series is safest to make sure I have at least one or two sell-able shots.

    6) I shoot mostly portrait since it fills the frame better but I shoot some landscape shots when riders are leaning into the corners. It really depends on which best fills the frame.

    7) Sometimes I stay and get podium shots, but since everyone has camera phones that take pretty good shots I don't bother with it unless there are some big time pros racing.

    8) I cruise home and start editing in Lightroom (often before the awards are done). I pick half a dozen good shots from various locations and upload them to the promoters Facebook page before riders are off the mountain to get their attention as they are driving back to the hotel. Then I upload the rest to my gallery and place another link on the promoters FB page and I'll follow up with a quick email to the promoter with some images that he can post too. LV Action Images | 2013 Mob in the Mojave

    9) I'll send out a pdf contact sheet with some sample images to a couple magazines to see if they are interested if I get some really exciting images. Sometimes they are and sometimes they just say "great work" but we're not interested since it wasn't a big enough race.

    10) I wait a couple of days for the other photographers out there to post their galleries. But I've already had a couple of dozen sales (mostly digital downloads). Then I'll start posting a few more shots (out of the ones that sold) to keep people interested.

    mbb

  9. #9
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    Matt,

    Thanks for sharing this. This is great information. I used to be a pretty big time road bicycle racing photographer and I covered races like USPRO Philadelphia, Downers Grove, USCF NRC Races, USCF Nationals, and others back in the film days and your tips on how to shoot and where to set up are spot on. I can't wait to see more of your images.

  10. #10
    Ex-Modster Old Timer's Avatar
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    Love the images and the narrative on how you shoot and promote you images was great info. Thanks for sharing.
    Don't forget about the Gallery. Are your photos there??


    Nikon Samurai #13

    "A photographer is known by what he shows not by what he throws. The best photographers have the biggest trash cans." Quote from Nikon School sometime in the early 1970's.

  11. #11
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    Nice! I love the catching air shots.

  12. #12
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    Nice write-up. What do you do about white balance? Do you use a custom white balance?

  13. #13
    Design Slacker mattbikeboy's Avatar
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    White balance on cameras is pretty good so mostly I leave it on Auto and fine tune in Lightroom if I have too -- mostly I don't have to mess with it. Weddings are another thing altogether, I used to work a chapel on the Strip that had three indoor chapels and each was a different color and had different types of light bulbs. I had different wight balance values for each one. I can't even remember, but I probably would be able to adjust automatically if I was to shoot there again. ;)

  14. #14
    Senior Member armando_m's Avatar
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    Re: First Race of the Season

    The shot of the guy leaning heavily is crazy good !

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