Following on from a recent top 5 placing in a Photocrowd competition, PhotoPlus Magazine published my 'Twister' image of a drag car at York Raceway. PhotoPlus, The Canon Magazine is the biggest and best magazine for every Canon EOS DSLR photographer.
This is what I had to say about my image with my interview with the Technique Editor at PhotoPlus:-
"I have taken hundreds of shots of the drag cars at York Raceway, most using a fast shutter. I tried using a slower shutter speed to produce background blur and discovered that it made the cars 'pop' out of the image.
I improved the final results by varying shutter speeds to achieve the background blurring I was happy with. 1/50th didn't blur it enough and 1/30th made it very difficult to get the cars nice and sharp, 1/40th was the best compromise. I set the focal length and pre focussed the lens to where I expected the car to be for the shot, to stop the camera potentially hunting for focus when panning I then switched the lens to manual.
Test shots revealed that using a slow shutter required a small aperture, I used a polarising filter to allow me to use a wider aperture to reduce lens difraction.
Whilst the cars were on the starting grid I placed a focus spot in the viewfinder over part of the vehicle and used that as a reference point to track the car as it set off. I found this to be a fairly reliable method to get the car composed correctly in the frame and to get it nice and sharp, making sure I panned the camera to match the speed of the vehicle. When the car was captured perpendicular to the camera the whole of the car was sharp and crisp, if the shot was taken before or after this point, part of the vehicle showed motion blur.
Minor colour adjustments were made in Lightroom, the composition is pretty much as per the original RAW file but it needed straightening a little and I cropped it to achieve a panoramic format."