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Thread: Portoflio pieces...

  1. #1
    John Thawley
    Guest

    Portoflio pieces...

    September 19th, I'll be presenting at Apple, San Francisco. These are a few images from the presentation.

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  2. #2
    Quite an entrance John, some of the nicest images I have seen. Welcome to our photography forum. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

  3. #3
    Rugspin
    Guest
    Wow the pictures give me insperation but also make me want to give up...


    Amazing pictures

  4. #4
    Not sure what to say.... The English language doesn't have words adequate to express what I feel when looking at those images. Any scale that I can use for evaluating photos just doesn't have a category for something so good..... Absolutely fantastic images!

    Until the past few days, I had an idea of what I considered a spectacular image, and most of the time I sort of think that with enough hard work, I can do something similar. Not so with these - I don't think I will ever be able to create....... artwork like this, no matter how hard I try. Technically, they're perfect. Artistically they are equally perfect.


    I especially like the first one - it's the kind of image that I would have thought could only be done with a paintbrush, not a camera. The second photo I like, but the third photo I can't begin to figure out what it is.... something to do with a tire, but ???

    The fifth photo, with the track reflected in the visor - was that an actual photo during an event, or did you arrange things? It's perfect, almost too perfect to be a photograph!

    The two cars coming down the track side by side... Again, it's perfect. A split second earlier or later and it wouldn't have the same impact. The track winding away in the background adds SO much to the image. It must have taken a tremendous amount of work setting that up.

    The Porsche being hit sideways.... you had to have been in the perfect place.... but if I was there to take that photo, I think I'd be looking for a safe place to hide, not taking the photo. Again, perfect. Good action, perfect exposure, sharp, with lots of detail.

    I look at that last photo, and I know it isn't, but part of me tells me it had to be some kind of studio shot. Everything about it is too good to be real - but it's obviously real.


    Not sure what to say... I think Rugspin said it perfectly. Part of me looks at these images, and realizes how great they are, and another part of me tells me that I'll never ever be able to create images like these. I knew before that I had a lot to learn, but now I realize it's even more than I thought it was.

    Thanks for joining the forums.... When you have time, maybe you can tell us a bit more about HOW you captured those images?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Like I said in the other thread, very nice!
    f/8 and be there!

  6. #6
    John Thawley
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Not sure what to say.... The English language doesn't have words adequate to express what I feel when looking at those images. Any scale that I can use for evaluating photos just doesn't have a category for something so good..... Absolutely fantastic images!

    Until the past few days, I had an idea of what I considered a spectacular image, and most of the time I sort of think that with enough hard work, I can do something similar. Not so with these - I don't think I will ever be able to create....... artwork like this, no matter how hard I try. Technically, they're perfect. Artistically they are equally perfect.


    I especially like the first one - it's the kind of image that I would have thought could only be done with a paintbrush, not a camera. The second photo I like, but the third photo I can't begin to figure out what it is.... something to do with a tire, but ???

    The fifth photo, with the track reflected in the visor - was that an actual photo during an event, or did you arrange things? It's perfect, almost too perfect to be a photograph!

    The two cars coming down the track side by side... Again, it's perfect. A split second earlier or later and it wouldn't have the same impact. The track winding away in the background adds SO much to the image. It must have taken a tremendous amount of work setting that up.

    The Porsche being hit sideways.... you had to have been in the perfect place.... but if I was there to take that photo, I think I'd be looking for a safe place to hide, not taking the photo. Again, perfect. Good action, perfect exposure, sharp, with lots of detail.

    I look at that last photo, and I know it isn't, but part of me tells me it had to be some kind of studio shot. Everything about it is too good to be real - but it's obviously real.


    Not sure what to say... I think Rugspin said it perfectly. Part of me looks at these images, and realizes how great they are, and another part of me tells me that I'll never ever be able to create images like these. I knew before that I had a lot to learn, but now I realize it's even more than I thought it was.

    Thanks for joining the forums.... When you have time, maybe you can tell us a bit more about HOW you captured those images?
    Mike, you're too kind.

    Actually, I usually think of the first image as the toughest. It was panned using a (11lb.) 500mm f/4 Canon L Series lens.. hand held. Normally, that lens remains on a mono pod. But for this shot, the mono pod was confining and would restrict the angle I needed as the car got close.

    The tire shot is two tires stacked on top of each other. I had just arrived at Petit Le Mans and was walking through the back opening of a team's tent... I noticed the sun hitting them... since I was shooting (it was setup day) I only had my Leica Digilux 2 around my neck.. and that was the perfect camera to shoot this type of shot. I always walk around with a Leica when I'm not trackside. I especially like this because I had just arrived from the airport and was only 15 feet from my car. I like to think of this as hitting the ground running.

    The photo of the reflection in the visor is actually a bit disappointing. Not my fault... but; I like this because it demonstrates using lenses for creativity and composition. Everyone thinks you use a 500mm to get a big close up of the car or reach across the track. This was shot in pit lane .... with a 500mm. It allows me to get candid head shots and provides a neat way to create fabulously soft background via it's depth of field. Also, he didn't know I was anywhere around.... probably 20-30 feet away. Anyway... he was waiting for his car to come in for fuel and tiers. (Lowes Acura prototype). This was during the race (hence the helmet). I waited and waited. I saw the Vette coming down pit lane and shot a few frames. A few minutes later, he jumped up and out of frame... then the Acura arrived. So... you'd probably never get his car in the visor... because at soon as it comes into HIS view, he's moving... quickly.

    The two car shot is a rolling shot and is a promotional set-up shot. We did a full lap of the circuit and shot 400-500 frames. These are tough because you are rotating around the light source and your backgrounds are continually changing. You bounce around and roll around the back of a van on your belly... and it hurts. Shutter speed has to stay below 1/50th sec or you get no blur. If you get 20-30 clear and in focus shots to choose from, you've done well. For this shot I cropped to a cinemascope aspect ratio and removed a billboard in the background. I normally don't remove objects... only for commercially used images. Normally, I'll choose an appropriate background ahead of shooting. You don't have the luxury with a rolling car-to-car shot.

    The Porsche being turned was in turn-one at Road America. Location and knowing when and where to be and making your own luck. This was a start shot.

    The last shot was another bit of luck. This is between turns 5 and 6 at Laguna Seca... Moneterey, California. It is the nighttime practice session. There is a bridge you can't see... he has just come under it. I'm shooting into the sun... but for about 10 minutes, the bridge serves to block the direct sunlight so all you get is the orange glow. I was waiting and waiting for the color to get right.... we heard there was a red flag on the session... a safety car came by... then this car came over the hill and I shot it. No other cars came by and the red flag negated the 10 minutes of magic... for at least another year. Later when I downloaded that memory card, I saw this image and realized what had happened. He had experienced an "off" down the hill approaching the bridge. The spectacular color is the huge plume of dust that exploded into the air when he went off. The gravel is what you see falling out of the car's bodywork underneath. HE was the guy that brought out the red flag. LOL

    It's funny how these shots come about... many aren't really difficult nor do they involve any tricks. But when I'm being honest with myself... and being serious, I'm fortunate enough to have a backlog of experience that results in the right choices when these things happen. So, while it is often luck, you do need to be ready to make your own luck.

    Thanks again,

    JT

  7. #7
    Mongo
    Guest
    Man, some really fantastic stuff here! Id love to have full creds for a road race at some point. Hoping that when they open the COTA next year, I will be able to figure out how to do it, but until then, I will just have to marvel at your stuff and take lots of notes.

  8. #8
    John Thawley
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
    Man, some really fantastic stuff here! Id love to have full creds for a road race at some point. Hoping that when they open the COTA next year, I will be able to figure out how to do it, but until then, I will just have to marvel at your stuff and take lots of notes.
    It's not about full creds. I shoot LOTS and LOTS of unique things from "the other side of the fence." That is a huge misconception. The biggest mistake I see hobbyists making at races is they wait for the shots to come to them. I'll often walk over 5 miles throughout the weekend looking for different vantage points. With credentials, you can shoot from the photo holes. Hmmmmm... do that and guess what you get? The same thing everyone else does. Shot opportunities are created. You have to walk the entire circuit and sometimes the full outer perimeter of the facility to find unusual vantage points. I know for a fact that many of the images I've posted in a few threads here could have been had without credentials.

    We used to have a saying in RC racing... factory drivers aren't fast because they're factory drivers... they're factory drivers because they're fast.

    The guys that are good at what I do.... and there are only a few I consider good, get good by digging. It's not the camera, it's not the location, it's not the "settings".... it's the eye and the ability to dig... then dig some more.

    Credentials are granted if you have an assignment letter from an accredited or recognize news outlet. Those outlets want to see examples of what you can do. My clients are the same way... they want to see what you've done. Get to club races or track days... make that stuff look dynamite and someone might pay attention to you. They're not going to buy the excuse "I can't get credentials." Not ripping on you, just giving you some insight to what it takes.

    You've got to shoot... shoot a lot, then shoot a lot more. Since the advent of digital, there's 200 guys a week that sign up and get creds and would happily do my job for free. That's a lot of pressure.... I know what I have to do to deliver and make my stuff worth "not free." LOL

    Good luck.

    JT

  9. #9
    Mongo
    Guest
    Definately good info. Guess I should have been more clear in my post though. Ive had credential to dozens of sporting events, just not a road race. And I definately know about moving around to get a different shot than anyone else. I shot the SCCA Solo Nats a few years ago and I managed to get around their "no sitting or kneeling" clause by finding an opening in the fence that I could sit just outside of and get an ants view of the cars. Sold quite a few of those shots that week.

    And my comment about trying to figure out how to get them for an even at COTA, that was just because Ive stopped shooting for pay and just do it casually now. Just gotten spoiled to having the access.
    Last edited by Mongo; 08-29-2011 at 03:56 PM.

  10. #10
    Thanks for the detailed explanation of how you did those shots. For the most part, all people know/see is "the shot"; they don't know any of the details that went into how the shot was created. As a photographer, I'm real curious about that sort of thing. It all gets filed away in some little corner of my mind, and it adds to my "toolbox" as I'm wandering around someplace trying to capture what I hope will be interesting photos. In your case, I'd say you have the "knack", the "experience", and more importantly, the "eye" to put it all together - but just having the eye isn't enough.... then you've got to know how to use the tools at hand (cameras, lenses, etc.) to get the results you're trying for. I've been very happy with some of the r/c car racing photos I've done, and lots of them were taken from someplace other than where all the "official" photographers go. I went to the IFMAR 200mm Worlds in Bangkok a couple of years ago, and was going to what I thought was a good place to capture the first few laps of the race - but all the other photographers were going to the same spot, so I picked some other spot. I got lucky - the place I went to was the perfect spot to view some unexpected action. I guess what I'm trying to say, is I try to do what you describe much of the time, but I'm not always satisfied with the results. For every photo that I "like" there are 500 or so that didn't work as expected.

    I know why I've got my M8.2 (even if in retrospect it might not have been the best thing to do... still undecided) but I'm curious why you use the Digilux? It's an awesome little camera, with a great lens, but isn't the electronics a bit old? Hey, when you get some free time, also check this out:
    http://www.sgrid.com/forum/showthrea...finder-Cameras
    There's also something there about you, written before you joined up here. You'll like it, and can maybe add to that discussion as well.

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