Monday, April 23, 2007


Sebastien Bourdais in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Houston. The yellow and black sponsor banner in the background provided the perfect backdrop for this car in particular. It was just a matter of actually catching the car in the right spot, in focus, with the right blur, etc.

These cars go really, really fast. Watching them on TV just doesn't give you a clue. This was the fastest point on the track, too, which helped because it was impossible to capture the car in focus and not blur the background.

Having said that, there was a little technique here... I was shooting in aperture priority (I usually shoot in manual, but here you don't want to have to manage exposure, the camera can do a fine job), with a small aperture (like f/11 or greater), to force the shutter speed low enough to get the blur (e.g. 1/200th or so). At a wide aperture, the shutter speed would have been much too fast to get a good blur in the background. I shot in aperture priority (instead of shutter priority) so that I could quickly switch modes and capture a person or other slow-moving subject with shallow depth of field.

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