This had been on my “list” for awhile and last Friday night during their Test & Tune evening, a buddy and I headed on out to the dirt track at the Willamette Speedway. It’s just unfortunate that I can’t push some dirt, exhaust, and engine rumbling through the screen to you.
This was the first time I’d taken the opportunity to shoot fast moving cars and, truth be told, it was a heck of a lot of fun. The Test & Tune format really provided a great opportunity to get some daylight images without a lot of distraction.
At the Willamette Speedway, these Test & Tune nights are free to attend but for $15 you can get yourself in the pit. If you’re asking – it was worth the $15.
And if I have my classes right – #25, #90, #31, and #22 are Street Stock. #0 is Modified and #33 and #2 are Super Sports.
In late August, Galen (#38 above) invited me up to the 2Fast Motorcycle Track Day and Instruction at Portland International Raceway (PIR) to do a bit of shooting. A great opportunity – as I hadn’t yet tried motorsports.
And to be honest – I didn’t really know what to expect – and after 4 or so hours out there – I came home with +5000 frames. Did I need that many shots? No – not at all. But I also didn’t know the next time I was going to get the chance to shoot at a race track – so I just kept experimenting. What’s a few more bits, right?
A couple of things I learned:
- Motorcycles are really fast (seems obvious, yes?). I kept my lenses on autofocus – and the L glass / 50D combo did a pretty good job keeping up – but I understand why many will recommend manual focus – and to anticipate a shot at a particular point on the track.
- Earplugs. I threw some disposable ones in my bag. Glad I did. It’s loud out there.
- Sunscreen and water and an energy bar. If you’ve been to racetracks – you know how big they are – if you haven’t – they can be big. Walking to a far corner of the track can take some time – once you’re out there – having water / food on hand is a good idea.
- There can be a lot of walking at a track. A lighter gear bag will make the treks easier.
- There’s a lot of chain link fence at race tracks. Finding clear access points may be difficult if you don’t have credentials.