Motocross photography?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Gwardys, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. Gwardys macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2006
    I was speaking to a fellow student who motocross's and somehow we started talking about photography. He explained to me that a person who runs a certain racetrack wants photographs taken of the races and he would pay for them.

    As an amateur photographer, I have no idea about what kind of setup I would need, or how to approach the situation. I don't want to agree and get paid until the person sees examples of my work, and says that this is what he wants. I’m planning to go down this weekend and see how some pictures go on my own, and if I feel comfortable I will talk to the manager of the track.
    Any tips or advice anyone can give me?
  2. mromero macrumors member


    Sep 30, 2005
    Los Angeles
    1. How far are you going to be away from the actual action?
    2. What kind of camera do you own?
    3. How is the lighting? Is this going to be shot outside? At night or during the day?
  3. Gwardys thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2006
    Currently I have a P&S, but i'm borrowing a friends D70 this weekend, and i'm purchasing a DSLR soon.
    Very soon.

    I'm going to bring a tripod, and as far as distance, I honestly don't know. I do know however that I can either shoot outside, or inside because they have two tracks. These pictures would all be taken during the day.
  4. cookie1105 macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2006
    London, UK
    I recently faced a similar situation. My first job. They had seen some of my previous work.

    They wanted:

    4 days, Windsurfing action pictures at a resort in Greece. I also had to take pictures around the hotel and all of this would be compensated with free room and all expenses paid for the four days at their 4* hotel & resort.

    I had:

    rebel xt +bg e3
    sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX fisheye
    kit lens
    50mm f/1.4
    70-200mm f/4 L
    and a ladder

    A fantastic learning experience. We were all happy with the results and we got the required results.

    Things I learnt:

    Although I agreed with them beforehand what shoots we would do, what time and where? Be flexible. There might be postponements e.g. riders too tired, not the right weather.

    Agree how many photos they are actually getting. I took ~2500 photos, I released maybe 150 hi-res copyrighted "good" images to them. I had PS'd levels, usm & straightening. Shots that made me, the riders and the locations look good. Everybody was satisfied, but then they wanted all of the shots so that they could select some to give to the riders, who where guests & staff. I wasn't happy with this but went along with it. Moral: Let them select the photos they want (agree on a number) and PS those.

    It's bloody hard work! Don't underestimate the length of time that post-processing takes.

    Advice for you:

    I wouldn't be happy doing it with a P&S. AF, Shutter lag, frames per second aren't fast enough being the main reasons.

    Try and shoot outside maybe with flash

    Try different vantage points e.g. a ladder, underneath the rider etc.

    Beg, borrow, steal:) the equipment you need and be comfortable using it before the job.

    Get as close as possible without endangering yourself.

    ISO 100
    f/4 @ 1000s

    If you are not confident with your ability don't do it, or do it "free" for you portfolio. Good luck with the job.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Not many phtographers would ever let the client see anyhting but the "selects". Showing the images that you don't think are strong brings down the total quality of your work. Show ONLY your best shots.

    If they want shots of staff and customers to give to those people then you select then run then through PS and so on. But even then it is better to know they want these shots before you start.

    As a photographer ALL you have is your reputation for quality work, you don't gain this by showing anyone the images you'd trash.
  6. cookie1105 macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2006
    London, UK
    Thank you, for that revision ChrisA. After thinking about this, it would have been much better to only show them the selects. I did so at first, but felt definite pressure to let them have a look at everything... and I caved.

    But as said, I regarded this as a learning experience. Next time I will discuss more thoroughly with the client what their needs are and will only be showing selects


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