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Long live the Fritchie! How-bout some flattrack Timonium style

Well…. image processing from the 92nd running to the Barbara Fritchie Classic is finally done. Had a ball shot and processed a lot of good images, but that was weekend before last, time to move on.  

This Friday night (July 18th) the Baltimore Country Trail Riders’ Timonium Short Track Series finally return after a 1 year hiatus.  Always good for a bucket full of images I love it, when the sun’s out,  hate it when the sun goes down and I have to rely on fast lenses, and faster ISO’s to get the shots I like.  Might even be the initial nighttime appearance of the “PedderWinkle”  Have to see.  But it will be good to see the local riders rejoin the forays locally (for me).  

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Inside the shot: "To Fast for this frame"

As I mentioned earlier I like to shoot with a relativity shutter and pan for optimum motion blur At a track like Frederick with higher speeds and longer sight distances this can be a challenge. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but sometime is does.  The Canon 5DMIII tracked focus perfectly and provided some really cool motion blur from the mirrors of a large group of street bikes parked over the fence.  At this juncture, dust was not an issue. More on that later.  

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A day at the Fritchie. A retrospect.

The 92 running of the Barbara Fritchie Classic 070414: Perfect Weather, Fantastic day of racing, Old friends and New.  Dust, clouds of dust.  

 Lucky for us Arthur was a no show even though one could see the outer cloud wall in the South-South East 250 miles away, Seeing it’s size even at that distance was pretty impressive.  But I digress slightly.  In the past the Fritchie was always HOT, but not this year, cooler temps assured the only heat was on the racing on track track. From my perspective the racing looked to be very intense, Green to Checker.  Steve Nace and his All-Star National Flat Track Series and Richard Riley of Fredericktown Yamaha, the staff and volunteers for making this event happen. 

Local Riders were out in force 

 

As were some of the National Pro AMA riders warming up for the Hagerstown event.  

 

Glad I got to see #18 Josee Stedding win her Seniors 40+ heat.  Her happiness was hard to hide   

The battle between #15 Cameron Smith and #92 Brandon Price during their 450 Amateur heat was as intense as i ever seen. Cameron won the heat, but Brandon won the feature. 

That about all for now as I’m only just into the opening ceremonies,   I’ll be back so we can talk about the dust. 

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Smile it's our Birthday!

Happy 4th of July to all. Remember it more then barbques an fireworks today. It's the birthday of a grand social experiment. Not perfect by a long shot, but way better then some of the other alternatives. That said, Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, let's go racing boys and girls. Sorry Darrell I couldn't help the steal.  
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On the Eve of the Fritchie,

July 4th 2014, a big celebration for the anniversary of American Freedom and the almost as old Barbara Fritchie Classic. Since 1922 providing the Frederick Md area with world class MC racing.  Now promoted by Steve Nace and an event on The All-Star National Flat Track Series.  Don’t know about you but I can’t wait. 

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Inside the shot. VW RallyCross DC

I titled this shot “No time to Blink”, blink and you’ll miss the shot is more like it. I had pre thought this shot before the start of the race. I used my 70-200mm with a 2x extender instead of the 100-400mm because I could stick the 70-200mm lens shade through the safety fence and get a clear head on shot of the cars. While this position offered the potential for great shots, it had some major drawback as this is the gravel section of the track, high speed gravel was sprayed directly at the  camera lens each lap which drove most of the media photogs away. Not wanting to miss a head on shot I knew I could get at least three frames before the gravel forced me to turn away and the ensuing dust took over covering everything. The plan worked, here is the lead car dust free on lap one of the main event.

 

 

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"Something Gained, Something Lost" P.II

Before todays update on the second day of VW Autocross in Washington DC.  Let me announce to the world that:

#1 That which was lost has now been found. My backpack miraculously spent the night, outside where I left it….  In Washington DC for crying out loud.  Maybe the heavy downpour later in the day just drove everyone inside? Sure the bag and contents were wet from the storm, but everything of real value like my favorite raincoat ( which who cares if it gets wet?) H4N in it’s storage case, favorite sun hat, If not unaffected soon dried out just fine.   

#2 The media support provided by Andretti Sports Marketing’s Peter Minning and staff was first class, FIRST CLASS, there i’ve said it. Can a bottle of icy cold water ever taste so good?

 

VW Rallycross DC day two.  

Turned out I had a really great time and even got over not being part of the “chosen” who had inside track access. Shooting through fences has never been my favorite as it forces one to rethink ones normal shooting style.  Which in my case is to pick out the subject far enough out to lock focus and track until it gets to my selected capture area, shoot and continuing panning, hopefully so I can get a bit of motion blur.  We were able to shoot sans-fence at the jump so all was not lost.  I took a lot of “car in the air” images, shocker? 

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"Something Gained, Something Lost"

Spent the greater part of the day shooting the action at the Red Bull Global RallyCross “VW Rallycross DC” event which was run in the parking lots of DC’s RFK Stadium, former home to the <warning politically offensive.> Washington Redskins.  The 600hp Rallycross cars on this slightly over 1 mile track, really give the crowd a good bang for their buck.  Kinda loud and just fast enough for the hybrid  cinders/asphalt racing surface.  And of course the “Jump”

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  While the ever present fences provided constant shooting challenges some holes could be found that gave a limited but unimpeded fence free shooting opportunity.     

The events media support was pretty good even thought there were a few shortfalls.  Over all I had a good time and came away with more then one image that will bear “Work-up” 

Oh yea the “Lost”  My backpack which i stupidly left at the track..  Such is life in the Fast Lane.  

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"Just Six Good Images"

Yesterday’s adventure was an outing to the second Piston Popper MC  (Fastest TT track in Pennsylvania ) race of the season, one of my favorite venues on the local District 6 and 7 flat track circuit .  In a pre-race conversation with fellow photographer and Graphic Artist  Ryan Henderson we were exchanging opinions on post event marketing.  As my new direction is more focused on my “Art of Motorsport”  collection and hopefully a gallery showing  vs rider action shots and sales I told him I had set my expectations low for this event.  “Just six good shots that’s all I want”. Well the 6 shots will end up coming from a pool of 1785 event images, of which about 800 have merit. Decisions, decisions, decisions. 

So far I have two, only 4 to go.. <snig>


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Third time's the Charm?

Weather and Health permitting I will once again head out into the Hinterlands to explore a new direction in Motorsport Imagery. This time revisiting the hallowed twists, turns and jump of “The Fastest TT track in Pennsylvania”, Piston Poppers MC    My old model of shooting massive amounts of photos at an event, and all post event overhead that entails, for maybe a few sales, frankly isn’t working.  However culling the catch for a few images that can be (Processed) (Altered) (Changed) (Modified) (Manipulated) <Pick one or More as needed>  into something other then that microsecond of reality captured on the sensor has proven much more rewarding, at least creativity.  Let me clarify, I love the challenges of shooting motor sport, it in-fact  one of the harder branches of photography to master.  Mastering the subtle intricacies of a panning shot on a nearby speeding motorcycle is hit or miss at best.. But when you can catch it just right: It’s a true work or art. 

Another bane of the MotorSport Photographer is racing images with busy backgrounds, like cones, necessary on the track, Yes  but in an image distracting.  I just hate orange cones over years I must have hours of time making them and other distractions just go away………………… 

Hard Stop!  Wow am I getting off track from my original thought on this post, maybe for another.  What I wanted to talk about is this will be the third appearance of what I like to call “The PepperWinkle” a three flash contraption named after a former co-worker we called Dr. PepperWinkle after his sometimes bizarre solutions to mechanical failures.  In theory an off camera rig such as this “should” allow images in which the subject (read racing motorcycles) are highlighted while the background is noticeably darker, possible.  Well in theory maybe so, but in the real world, much more of a hit or miss activity.  First outing was at TrailWays with very limited successes, Second outing was at the first Piston Poppers of the season, with a much higher success rate, but with some mechanical issues..  Sunday will unveil a third generation mode, with new enhancements (36 AA cells for starters)   hence more capability.  Don’t laugh please, Fingers Crossed.   

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