Olympus UK E-System User Group
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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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  #1  
Old 26th May 2011
JohnGG JohnGG is offline
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Motorcycle Racing

We had a trip to Brands Hatch to see some motorcycle racing last Saturday. The weather was kind and, because it was only a clubman's meeting, there were not too many spectators competing for vantage points. I crossed the footbridge to take shots from the inside if Druids hairpin which gives a clear view of the riders without fences in the way.

These were all taken with E-5 + 50-200SWD with the camera set on manual with a slowish (1/160s or thereabouts) shutter speed to get a bit of blur in the background. I set the zoom to leave some space around the bikes as it is easy to clip wheels when panning on a fast-moving rider. I sharpened and cropped as necessary in the computer using Olympus Viewer 2.







As you can see, the day was very sunny and it was difficult to avoid blowing white number plates, helmets etc. without also losing shadow detail. Any hints and tips would be gratefully received

Cheers,

JohnGG
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Old 27th May 2011
meach meach is offline
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Re: Motorcycle Racing

Blimey - I nearly fell off my chair when I saw these as you've captured the movement so well!! I don't think you need any advice - you've got it well sussed as far as I can see.
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Old 27th May 2011
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Re: Motorcycle Racing

Excellent professional shots and no obvious worries with highlights. It is possible to use HDR software with this type of image by using ISO bracketing on the E5 which can produce three images from one shutter actuation. I've used Photomatix Pro with wildlife under these circumstances with some success.

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Old 27th May 2011
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Re: Motorcycle Racing

Three very good pictures
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Old 27th May 2011
IPWheatley IPWheatley is offline
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Re: Motorcycle Racing

Hi John, Three excellent shots, they took me back to my youth (1960s) when I would travel the length and breadth of the country to watch the greatest of them all, Mike Hailwood. His duels with Agostini were the stuff of legend. For him to die in the way that he did, along with his ten year old daughter, was tragic beyond words. ( There is a campaign on Facebook for him to be awarded a posthumous Knighthood, sign up) Have you any more shots with more than one rider in them to convey the atmosphere of the racing, if so I am sure we would all love to see them, well done, regards Ian W.
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Old 27th May 2011
gazza95 gazza95 is offline
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Re: Motorcycle Racing

Hi John

Great set of pictures from one of Brands better locations.

Welcome to the world of oly digital photography and blown highlights and shadow detail. Maybe others have different ideas but either raw or auto-gradation are probably the only two ways of addressing this at the camera level. With raw you have a chance of using curves of lifting the middle section and bringing more detail into the shadow areas and keeping blacks. When you look at dynamic range graphs in DPReview you get a better idea of why some cameras handle highlights better.

Better answer is be much more aware of where the sun is. On a couple of the pics the sun is fractionally the other side of the bike. If you could have got bikes slightly earlier in corner you would have had some light on your side of bike. also the reflection of red/whit markers would have been stronger. Other option is later in day. When I am at mallory I tend to start at Hairpin in morning for this reason.

Would also be interested in other ideas as this is part of fun of taking pics.

Gary
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Old 27th May 2011
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Re: Motorcycle Racing

You can probably lift the shadows and even recover some highlight detail. Did you shoot RAW? If you can send me a file I will have a go.

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Old 27th May 2011
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Re: Motorcycle Racing

Thank you, all, for the kind comments

I will have a browse of the E-5 handbook, David, to bone up on the ISO bracketing. I wasn't aware of that feature

I agree with you, Ian, that the accident that claimed Mike The Bike and his young daughter was an appalling and ironic waste and that the idiot who caused it got off very lightly. I regret very much that I never saw him race, although I did see Agostini a few times. I do have more images to process and have a couple of multi-rider shots in mind

This was the first time I'd visited the inside of Druids, Gary, and I'm kicking myself for never having been before. Having said that, it was the first time I'd been back to Brands Hatch since the 1994 WSB meeting so I've not really had the opportunity. I was not able to move around the circuit much this time as we were based in the paddock with friends who were racing but I take your point about moving to different corners as the sun moves round. I found myself shooting with the sun directly behind the bikes as the afternoon wore on but it actually looked quite dramatic when I got it right

I was shooting RAW Ian and I did have a little play to try and bring out more detail but it ended up looking a little weird I think I was bringing up the blacks rather than the bits in the middle so it all looked a bit washed out! I need to get my head round these techniques so I'm going to have another go to see if I can do better. There seem to be lots of tutorials out there aimed at Photoshop users specifically but I need to find some that go through the general principles of PP. Can anyone recommend a good web resource or book that might get me started on the basics?

Cheers,

JohnGG
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Old 27th May 2011
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Re: Motorcycle Racing

Excellent captures, highlights don't seem too bothersome, but you should always use 200 ASA to preserve them.

I know you needed slower SS, for that some light ND filter would've been the best.
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Old 28th May 2011
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Naughty Nigel Naughty Nigel is offline
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Re: Motorcycle Racing

Brands is one of the better short circuits for photography. Donnington is not so good whilst Snetterton and Silverstone are boring.

Mallory and especially Cadwell are well worth a visit though.
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Old 31st May 2011
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Re: Motorcycle Racing

Just seen these ! WOW ! Sell some to MCN ? Terrific shots !

p.51 for iso/b. It will be great to see Ians treaments???
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