Some Race Day Favorites
Under racing conditions, exposure can be tricky with white then black then red cars blasting past you and the glare off shiny windshields and car bodies only complicates matters. For daytime practice and race day conditions I usually set the ISO at 200 and make continuous adjustments using the camera’s Exposure Compensation controls. This dinged Ferrari was captured with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel and EF 100-400mm IS lens and an exposure of 1/250 sec at f.16 and ISO 200.
Most of the images I made at this ALMS series race were made at one-half to one full stop less exposure than indicated as determined by reviewing images (aka “chimping”) as I shot them and making corrections. This was especially important during actual race day when lighting conditions were not ideal. Remember that the car that just passed you will be back in a minute or so so you’ll get another chance to photograph it.
Take advantage of any downtime during race practice or yellow flag (caution) conditions to make images of the safety workers in action. Here at Laguna Seca’s famous “Corkscrew” they’re cleaning some sand that was tossed onto the track when a car went off course during practice, I liked the way they aesthetically arranged themselves around the curve and made a few shots, of which I liked this one best. Image made with Canon Digital Rebel, EF 70-200mm ƒ2.8 L lens at f/16 with 1/500th of a second and ISO 200.