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Thread: Use of flash for night motorsports

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    Use of flash for night motorsports

    I have a 430EXii flash on my 7D used with either an EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II USM or a 50mm f1.4 USM. I have a shoot to do that will run from late afternoon into the night. I was hoping someone could give me some advice on techniques to shoot motocross (inside a stadium with lighting) that will help me get some nice shots.
    Any help will be greatly appreciated

    Thanks in advance!

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    I guess I must be 1st to see your post...

    There's just one thing I would ask, not having done this at such an event: Would it affect the riders? Like, dazzle them?
    Am.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Second thing. is check with the organisers re using flash.

    Now flash has a defined distance that the light is effective. Light drop off from the flash increases the further the light travel from the flash head. So you would need to be basically ringside and close to the action for the flash to be effective at all. You see them all the time at events, usually from point and shoot camera's on auto, that cause it is dark, the flash triggers. It serves zero purpose, other than to light up the backs of the heads of the people in the few rows in front of you.

    I would suggest increasing your ISO, using a nice wide aperture and as fast as shutter speed as you can get and use the light provided by the event to get your shots, unless you are doing this as a media person and have access to the arena etc.

    EDIT: The flash has a GN on 141 at ISO100. What this means is that at 105mm, using full power, and ISO 100 your flash will extend to 141 feet. But in real life at about half that distance 70.5 feet, you will have half the light left. http://www.emmett-photography.com/ph...Avg9q-XL-1.png
    Last edited by ricktas; 01-01-2013 at 4:48pm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearson View Post
    I have a 430EXii flash on my 7D used with either an EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II USM or a 50mm f1.4 USM. I have a shoot to do that will run from late afternoon into the night. I was hoping someone could give me some advice on techniques to shoot motocross (inside a stadium with lighting) that will help me get some nice shots.
    Any help will be greatly appreciated

    Thanks in advance!
    I used to do that kind of thing a lot but that was a long time ago. I normally used a flash about the equivalent of the 580.

    If you are along the edge of the track then you should have very little trouble with lighting the subject(s) with flash but if you are in the crowd then forget it as the distance might be too much for your stobes to cope. However I've never used a 430 so maybe you'll have to crank up the ISO to compensate. Stadiums are normally very bright so the backgrounds should be OK too.

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    Thanks for all the advice on this. I was there as media and able to be on the side of the track so my flash was pretty useful. I did have to crank up the ISO a bit though in the more dimly lit sections of the track or where I was trying to photography at greater distances. Some of them turned out ok, some of them turned out pretty rough. I definitely need to spend more time working on this as my photos were a bit hit and miss. I used HSS during the later afternoon to take some pretty good shots but the night time is where the men are sorted from the boys I reckon. I was finding my shots were either 'deer in the headlights' kind of stuff or too dark due to distance.

    Better luck next time I guess (and more practice between now and then!)

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