Bike Race action - X-Pro (and OMD)

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Did some shooting at our local criterium last night, which has become something of a major regional event. The first few were during an early race when there was still enough light to shoot with longer lenses and stop the action, so I shot them with the OMD and longer lenses. The first is with the 45mm and the second and third are the 75-300 at full extension. I was shooting with the 4fps burst mode for these. Just sort of standard freeze action shots that get at the participants a bit but don't convey much of the feel of the event. Then for the later race the light was getting pretty sketchy, so I pulled out the X-Pro and 18mm and just did some panning and motion blur shots at slow shutter speeds. I did a bunch of similar shots at last year's race with the X-100 and sort of lucked into them - this year I was doing it with more of a sense of purpose and an idea of what I was doing... Processed with the Polaroid Transfer filter in Color Efex Pro to get the ripped and shredded borders which I really like with the sense of movement and mayhem in this event. Having done a very small amount of racing many years ago (not well, I should add!), I have a vague idea of what it feels like in the middle of these things and I think the X-Pro shots get at it a bit more than the freeze action shots.

For the motion blur shots, the OMD would have done at least as well, if I'd had the right lenses with me. For the panning, I'm not sure how the OMD would have worked - the IBIS might have been at cross purposes with it and I /really/ love the OVF for panning - nothing like real time light pass through without any electronic confusion!

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-Ray
 

Luckypenguin

Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
Brisbane, Australia
Nic
Ooh, I love those last two!

The IBIS shouldn't cause an issue for panning on the E-M5. There are the IS modes 2 and 3 for horizontal and vertical panning, or otherwise just turn it off altogether.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Thanks everyone!

I'd like to try the panning and blurred shots with the OMD - no reason it shouldn't do just about as well. It just might have run out of light a little sooner. Its the more capable camera for the straight reportage - I used just the X100 for this event last year and the straight "here are some racers" shots weren't nearly as good as the OMD with a long lens. But the Fuji just makes me want to try different stuff for some reason. I think that's part of what I've always liked about cameras that are more limited in some ways - they can't do as much so you just have to try stuff, throw it all against the wall and see what sticks. It almost forces creativity...

-Ray
 

Luckypenguin

Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
Brisbane, Australia
Nic
I think that's part of what I've always liked about cameras that are more limited in some ways - they can't do as much so you just have to try stuff, throw it all against the wall and see what sticks. It almost forces creativity...

-Ray
Ha, I like this theory. A bit like trying something with a camera just because you've been told that you can't...
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Thanks! I've always tried panning shots at higher speeds and they never turn out quite right.
Its a bit of a crapshoot, really. I just try sweeping the camera along with the riders and just HOPE I match speeds with some of them or even just ONE of them. Since they're all generally moving at slightly different speeds, I'll usually end up with somebody in focus and the rest motion blurred. And plenty of trash bin shots. And a few where the elements really come together like that fifth one where one guy is pretty much in tight focus, the riders immediately around him are blurred, and then the closer rider(s) are either going so much faster or are passing through the frame faster because of their proximity that it seems to create and almost unrecognizable apparition in the foreground that you just have to take on faith is another rider. I took a fair number of these shots to come up with a few decent ones...

-Ray
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
Ray, I saw these first on my iPhone and was blown away...now that I'm seeing them via my 'puter, I'm still mesmerized - and almost feel slightly ill by that fast whipping by movement! Your 8th one is my favorite...with the onlookers, especially that guy in the baseball hat and sunglasses. Now I want to go back and look at your bicycling shots from last year, too.:bravo-009:

And thank you soo much for pointing out that Polaroid Transfer filter in Color Efex - it is very cool to play around with.
 

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