Some Non-Photo Tips for Photographing Motorsports

Joe Farace Sports Photography

Guest post by Joe Farace

Joe Farace Sports Photography

Some of following suggestions about photographing any kind of motorsport event may seem obvious to some of this blog’s readers but if you follow them I’ll guarantee that it will result in your capturing better images because there won’t be any non-photographic distractions.

Park your vehicle in a designated parking spot. The last thing you need to hear when you are getting ready to photograph a championship event is the race announcer calling “will the owner of the orange Gremlin, please move your car or be towed.”

Remain behind safety barriers at all times. But safety barriers are not set up everywhere so use your judgment when choosing a place to photograph the races. If you’re not sure about the location you have selected, chances are a safety worker will shortly arrive and ask you to move. Be nice to them; they have a tough enough job.

It may not be hot at the track but it surely will be loud. Bring earplugs. If you don’t have a set, most tracks’ concession stands sell inexpensive earplugs but plan ahead and make sure to have several pair in your camera bag. They are easy to loose but are inexpensive to replace. As Emeril always says: “Make a friend.” Share with someone who forgot theirs.

Be alert while in the pits because there will be many scooters, 4-wheelers, motorcycles, or golf carts transporting people around. Be alert for cars getting ready to enter the staging area. Racecars don’t have horns like the family jalopy but you should hear them coming—even with earplugs.

As with most professional sport facilities, photographers are typically only allowed to make video or still pictures of the vehicles for personal use and they may not be sold or marketed without having a prior arrangement from the speedway and/or the sanctioning body. Save yourself any legal hassle but taking care of this when obtaining your track credentials. That doesn’t mean you can’t sell photographs to the teams and racers on the track, which can help make you a few bucks.

Today is Joe’s Birthday, wish him well on Twitter or Facebook. You can find more tips about photographic cars in Joe’s eBook “15 Tips for Better Car Photos”.

You can also read more from Joe’s own blog at Saving the World, One Pixel at a Time

Lightroom 4 Beta – 5 Tips!

Lightroom 4 Beta

While I may not have access to the beta stuff like the bigger players in the photo industry, I have been toiling through it as I have time since it’s release a short while ago.  I’ve been working hard at putting together a nice repository of videos and tutorials to help answer some of the more common questions people are having about this new software.

There are pros, and there are cons to the new software.  I’ve already talked about a couple of them, and the videos are coming – I promise!  (I know, famous last words, right? 🙂  )  But, while I continue to pound away at some new videos that feature some of the best tricks and secrets to deciding whether LR4 is right for you (and how best to leverage it into your existing work flow), thought that sharing a few nuggets on using it might be in order.

So, without a lot of fancy intros, music, teasers, or any of that other rigamarole, here are 5 quick secrets that anyone using the beta edition of LR4 simply must know:

  1. When you’re in Soft Proof mode, the default background your photo appears on is called Paper White, but you can change this fairly easily!  Simply right-click anywhere outside the edge of your photo and choose a different background to view your images on!
  2. When you Export photos,  there are some new metadata options to include (or not include) various types of info that get shared when you share your photos online.
  3. Previously, you were unable to move multiple folders (in the Folders panel) from one drive to another. So if you had 10 folders you wanted to move you had to do them one at a time. Now you can shift-click to select multiple folders and move them if you need.
  4. Hiding less frequently used modules is easier.  Simply right-click on the Module Picker (along the top right of your Lightroom window), and choose which modules to exclude modules that you simply don’t use.
  5. Emailing photos natively became a reality in LR4 – simply navigate to the file menu and select the option to “Email Photo” (the kb shortcut is Shift+CMD+M).

Like these?  Have you started using LR4 yet?  What are your favorite features?  Got any “must-haves” you’d like to share?  Sound off in the comments section!

Quick Tip Day – Photoshop Crop Tool

Crop Guides in Photoshop

The podcast was supposed to go live today, but I have been sorta swamped with some other stuff (including fixing the RSS feed for y’all – now fixed w/ my apologies for the technical glitch).  So, in lieu of that, a quick tip to share:

In Photoshop CS5 one of the JDI (just do it) features that was “fixed” was to add a Rule of Thirds guide to the crop tool.  It’s quiet handy to have and is turned on by default:

Crop Guides in Photoshop

Most people I know (granted they are photographers and not graphics designers) absolutely love this functionality!  However, a few have asked me if there is a way to disable it.  Naturally, pretty much anything in Photoshop is customizable for your own purposes.  So, if these “Marching Ants” lines are distracting to you though, and you want to turn them off, you can do this from the Options bar at the top of your display.  Simply look for the dropdown menu just to the right of “Crop Guide Overlay”  and choose the option that best suits your needs.

No Overlay

As with most tools in Photoshop, the Options menu gives you a lot of flexibility to configure things however you like for most purposes.  So, be sure to check the Options bar the next time you are inside of Photoshop!

Got an idea for another Photoshop or Lightroom tip?  Feel free to share your own ideas and questions in the comments section!  Have a great day and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow…