Making photographs, not just taking them – Dundee, Tayside, Scotland

Ducati Track Night @ Knockhill 29/07/2011

A friend of a friend who recently bought a very nice stealth 848 Ducati was invited along to a track night.  Basically Ducati Glasgow had booked the Knockhill circuit and for a fee Ducati owners (along with a handfull of Jap bike owners) people got 2 hours of track time.

With the friend being a photographer he went along to take a few shots and asked if anyone else wanted to tag along.  Thinking this would be a great opportunity to try something new (seeing as I missed the British Superbike round at Knockhill a couple of months back) I happy packed my camera and took my own bike to the track.

                                                                    The guys chilling and snapping away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                  

When I turned up I found out quite quickly how serious it was, most of the bikes, being Ducati’s, were very expensive and most arrived either on trailers or in the backs of vans.  In fact a lot of the guys were wearing leathers that cost more than my bike is worth.

During the course of the 2 hours I took almost 500 photos but sadly I knew many would not be kept once put onto my pc, even more sad was the fact that I ended up only keeping under 75 of them which still includes ones that I don’t really like.  Most of the time trackside we were sat at the hairpin hoping for some shenanigans so this is where I shot most of the 500 but this is where my lens didn’t cope well.  I was using my kit Canon 55-250mm lens and it just couldn’t handle the bikes movement into, through or out of the corner.  Meanwhile the other guys, with far more suitable lenses were getting some really great shots.

Here is a couple of examples of what I got, and these are by far the best of the hundreds I deleted:

These were taken at only around 130mm and they are not very sharp or clear at all, the ones I deleted were all 190mm plus so you can imagine how much worse they were.

But the night was not a total loss photography wise for me, oh no because I did manage to get some shots I was happy with at the first two locations.  These were all when the bike would come passed us and I would simply pan with the bike to take the shot.  By doing that I managed to capture the bikes nice and sharp whilst the track around them wasn’t so showing the movement.  Here a few of the ones I’m happy with:

So lesson learnt is that if I want to do more of this type of photography I could really do with a more suitable lens so that I can do different type of shot, otherwise I have to stick to always panning with the bike in order to capture a decent shot.

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4 responses

  1. Hi Craig – Your pics look pretty good to me – I am the Ducati impostor riding the red and white GSXR600 (black helmet) in your first couple of pics above. Did you manage to get any more of me?

    08/08/2011 at 22:37

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