Sometimes you have to get dirty to get close

dirty pictures grossinger photography

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Sometimes you just have to get dirty in order to get close to the action. Dirt race tracks are one of those places that give you the choice of getting a poor picture or getting the right picture.

grossinger photographyWhen confronted with this type of situation I would rather go home with no pictures than put up with poor pictures.

Click on image for a worser view

The only other choice is to get close enough to stick the lens through the fence. Whenever I go to events like this I try to get a pit pass. That generally doubles the price of admission but to me it’s worth the money to be able to wander around, talk to mechanics and drivers and then get the close-up race shots.

Get close, get dirty, get the picture! race car grossiner photography

I’m no pro but that does not mean I have to accept bad shooting conditions. Yeah, I got a bit dirty, looked a bit foolish but I went home with the pictures! Situations similar to this one come up all the time. Sometimes you have to get rude and push, other times you have to beg and whine, while most of the time opening the wallet with some cash will get you the desired results.

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More Speedway Photography

Bringing out the racer photograph grossinger photographyWhen I spotted this car being brought out from the top of the trailer I knew I had a funny caption. Of course the Barnett Harley-Davidson team was very professional and did not drop off the deep end.

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I photographed this with the Nikon D5000 and my walk around lens, the Nikkor 18-200mm. ISO was 400 because this was late in the afternoon and with a lens aperture of f/9 I was able to shoot at 1/320th. The vibration reduction on the Nikkor comes in really handy for this kind of shooting.

dirt track racing photography grossingerClick on image for a better view

The races started around 7pm, so it was starting to get a bit dark. I took this picture with the Nikon D90 and set the ISO to 3200. I don’t worry much about high ISO settings with my Nikons because the noise even at ISO 3200 is very low. My advice is “don’t sweat the ISO – get the picture!” I was shooting with the 18-200mm vr Nikkor set on f/9 in aperture priority and that gave me a shutter speed of 1/500th. Some folks would choose shutter priority when shooting this kind of scene and that’s fine but I like to keep things simple and stay in aperture priority. If I want a faster shutter speed I simply go to a larger lens opening (smaller f/number). I could be perfectly happy if the only choice my camera gave me was aperture priority. The only other shooting mode I use is manual for my studio work.

grossinger photography dirt track racing Click on image for a better view

I was about 100ft or 30 meters from the action. See those mud balls on the cars? They were on me as well. It’s the price you pay. I was feeling a bit foolish about the mud balls but as I looked around there were about 10 other brave souls watching the race from this close distance and of course they were wearing mud balls as well but I was the only one taking pictures!

into the turn grossinger photography
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I snapped a lot of photos when groups of cars were in the turn, that seemed to give me the best action feeling.

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A Fine Day At The El Paso Speedway Park

Portrait of a beautiful young lady Grossinger Photography

Lila and I had a great time at the El Paso Speedway.

I met this gorgeous young lady at one of the cars being prepared for the race. Her eyes are so beautiful I just had to get this shot.

I took this picture with the Nikon D5000 and the Nikkor 18-200mm lens.

ISO 400 f/9  1/250  70mm Aperture Priority

It would have been a crime against humanity to pass up this gorgeous woman.

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The Speedway is a photographer’s paradise!

When we arrived at the speedway about 2 hours early I checked into getting access to the pits. This is crucial at one of these events because some of the best photo ops take place before the race when you can talk to the drivers, mechanics and fans.

A helping hand Grossinger Photography

Nikon D5000 ISO 400 f/9  1/16oth  29mm aperture priority

I like to get in close!

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A moment of contemplation Grossinger Photography

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I used the same setup for all of these images. The D5000 with it’s swiveling LCD  makes composing a snap and the 18-200mm Nikkor is a super “walking around” lens.

Beautiful woman grossinger photogaphy Click on image for a better view

This young lady was actually posed like this when I walked up and asked if I could take her picture. All I had to do is ask her to turn her head a bit for a better composition. I think the background helps this image a lot. Beautiful women and cars are a natural match.

American Racer grossinger photography Click on image for a better view

Mud Removal Service grossinger photography Click on image for a better view

This young man was taking off a lot of mud the car picked up from the last race. El Paso Speedway is a dirt track that gets watered down just before the race. Yeah, I came home with quite a bit of mud on me. The price you pay for getting close to the action.

Racing El Paso Speedway Grossinger Photography Click on image for a better view

I told you I would get to the actual race. I did get very close to the action. Close enough to get mud all over me.

Tension grossinger photography Click on image for a better view

Slinging mud grossinger photography Click on image for a better view

My final photo for this post shows a car sliding into the turn and slinging mud.

Please use the provided links for your shopping. Stay safe and have a fun time with your camera.
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