Archive for August, 2014

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Last weekend I had a event at Square Deal Riders Flattrack in Hapuresville, NY. I am the track photographer there, and have been shooting races there since 2009. The place is wonderful, great people run the events, and great riders participate in the races. The riders support me by buying prints from me on a regular basis.

After five years of shooting it is tough to get something different that the riders will like. I move around the track area, inside, outside, turn one, turn 3, you name it I have shot it. So last weekend I brought along my Minolta X700 35mm Film camera. This is just like the one I used when I was shooting for GATOR Racing News back in the 80″s. I loaded up a roll of ASA 400 film and went to the infield to get some shots. I had my Canon DSLR with me as well to make sure I captured the nights events. The film camera was just something that I wanted to try, and see what I could get with it.

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With a 50mm 1.7 lens mounted on the front of my X700 I was ready to give it a shot. I started in turn one on the infield. I prefocused on a area of the turn where I wanted to capture the riders as they flew by. My shutter speed was 1000, and my aperture was set at f8. It was a sunny day so I needed to cut down the light with the aperture. This camera only goes up to 1000 shutter speed. Not like my Canon 7D that goes up to 8000 shutter speed. During practice I snapped a few shots and went back to my DSLR to get some good shots of the riders as they made a few hot laps. All I had was 24 shots on this roll of film, I filled it fast during second round of practice. I saved my second roll for later on in the night during the heat races.

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At first it was weird shooting blind, I mean not knowing what my exposer was, or how the composition was. I thought that I was getting everything in the frame, and I hoped the exposure was good. My meter was saying it was good so thats what I went with. I continued to shoot with my 7D for the most part getting 300 shots within 25 minutes. Isn’t that crazy? one camera I had 24 exposers, and no way to see what I was getting, and with my DSLR I filled a card with 300 images, and I knew exactly what I was getting for shots. It felt good using my Minolta, I was getting into it.

During the heat races the sun was still out so I wanted to burn up that second roll before sundown. Well that was no problem with only 24 shots. A couple times while I was pre focusing I snapped a couple shots of the track, bummer “not cool”. After I snapped my final shot on the Minolta I put it away and got back to business with my 7D. It was a great night of racing at SDR as it always is.

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Sunday morning I woke up early to get started on my images, so I can get them done and uploaded to my site for the riders to enjoy. After a couple hours of editing I took my Film to Walgreens to get them developed. I was nervous and excited to get them back, just like back in the 80’s. As my images were uploading to my site http://johnzacharyphotography.com I ran out to pickup my prints. Boy was I shocked when I went to the register to pay for them. $30 for 48 prints? WOW I hope they are decent. So when I got home I opened them up, and well they are ok, but not digital. The colors are bland and the sharpness is soft. I don’t think the lab does any color correction, or anything. They just run them through and put them in a envelope. I put a few of them in my scanner, and imported them into light room to try and bring them to life.

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I messed around with them for a while, and got some keepers from the two rolls. I like the Black n white images a lot better than the color prints. Next time I plan on shooting Black n White and developing the film my self. Then I can scan them into lightroom for editing. All n All the prints came out ok, and I will shoot a little different next time I shoot film. I do plan on shooting more film and trying to capture something different from the normal stuff. Stay tuned for more images from my film cameras. I just picked up a Agfa that I plan on shooting a roll of color film through. Like me on face book at John Zachary Photography to keep up with all of my photo shoots.

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Here is a interview with a young man
that is fun to watch and fast at the same time.

Name: Brandon Michael Price
Age: 14
Home town: White Hall, MD
Occupation: Student and Amateur Dirt Track Rider

Hello Brandon welcome to under the helmet. Thank you for

How did you get started in racing, and how old were you when you started?

I was 6 and my dad took me to watch the Timonium indoor races. I watched everybody race and some kids I know, too. I told my dad I wanted to race. Soon after that my dad got me a bike to ride.

What make and size was your first motorcycle? Do you still own it?

It was a 50 Honda, and no we don’t own it anymore we sold it to buy a cobra 50.

What is your favorite track, and what type of surface do you enjoy racing on the most?

I would say my favorite track is square deal and I love racing pea gravel.

Why do you think this type of track serves your style best?

It is the kind of track where you can be really aggressive and just rip around the corners.

Is flat track racing the only form of motorcycle racing you participate in? If so what other type would you consider racing?

I did a little motocross but I would consider all forms of racing if I had the opportunity.

Who did you look up to in your sport? Has there been a rider that has giving you advice through out your career?

I really like #44 Brandon Robinson’s riding style. He is a local rider and I grew up watching him race. I’ve had many pro/expert riders give me advice throughout the years, I couldn’t choose just one.

How many times a week do you race? And what tracks do you race at?

I race usually about once a week. I race at SDR, Shippensburg Speedway, Path valley Speedway, Timonium indoors/outdoors, Delta, Lampeter, York, Trailways, Gratz, Piston Poppers TT, Airport speedway.

I’m sure that you have had one or two races slip through your hands in your young career, what one do you wish you could do over again if any and why?

At DTGC on the tt track at Springfield. I was going around the outside of everybody in turn one, and I stalled the bike while trying to go for the lead. If I got a good finish on that race I would’ve gained enough points to possibly win the National Championship on my 450 Mod.

Brandon what has been your biggest win or championship that you are most proud of?

My biggest win of my career would have to be the Springfield half mile in the 450 open singles class this year when I battled against Hunter Edwards the whole race.

How many hours a week do you and your crew spend on preparing your bike for the next race?

About 10 hours a week.

How is your season going so far? What has been you biggest accomplishment so far this season?

My season is going great so far, I moved up to the A class so its made me a better overall rider. My biggest accomplishment this season would be winning the 250 modified amateur grand national championship.

What rider do you wish you could race against, but haven’t had opportunity to compete against yet?

I would like to race against Henry Wiles at the Peoria tt. I’m looking forward to it when I go expert.

Traveling seems to take up a lot of riders time during the season, how do you cope with the long drives and still stay fresh for the event?

I talk race strategy with my dad and try to get as much rest as possible, so I can be on my game for the races.

Is there any other sport that you enjoy participating in?

I like playing football for a rec sport and I’m going to try out for my high school’s JV football team. I enjoy deer season, so I can hunt with my friends and family.

What advice would you give to a young or new rider trying to make in the sport?

Have fun and if you don’t win the first time never give up.

It seems like everybody has a traing program do you have one? If so what does it consist of? How much riding do you do during the week and off season?

I weight train for 6 hours a week and run for 3 hours also I practice on my dirt bike for 3 days a week.

What are your goals for the 2014 season?

I would like to get an expert win at square deal. I also want to win my race classes at York Fairgrounds.

Where do you see yourself in five years, as far as
Flat track Racing?

I see myself as a top contending expert rider.

Please mention your sponsors and anybody that has helped you throughout your career.

my Dad, Mom, Family, Don’s Kawasaki, Don and Erin Kissinger, Blettner Powersports, F3videos, Thor, Alpinestars, TXR Construction Inc.

I would like to thank for your time, Good luck to you.

Get out to support Brandon at some if the tracks that he rides. He is going to be some one to reckon with soon.

Check out my images at John Zachary Photography

I’ll see you at the track.

Take care
John

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Primes Or Zooms

Posted: August 1, 2014 in Photography

What do you use when shooting racing?

The Photography Lounge

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I would like to ask you a question. What do you prefer shooting with a prime lens or a zoom lens?. This seems to be a hot topic in the photography community.I myself use more zoom lens’s then primes. For my Canon 7D I use a 28-75mm 2.8 and a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 for most of my shoots. As far as my fugu XE2 I use a 18-55 2.8-5.6 zoom when I’m shooting with mirrorless. The reason for me using zooms more, is the subjects that I shoot. Like shooting sports this is a no brainer, any thing that is happening on the field, we must use a zoom of some kind. Now as far as shooting on the sidelines or the fans I guess I could use a Prime lens.

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When I am shooting Fltatrack racing I have always used my 70-200mm 2.8. For the last five years it…

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