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Lancashire Automotive Photography – Vintage Cars Hit Leyland

Lancashire Automotive Photography – Vintage Cars Hit Leyland

Winters coming and the weather is getting a bit more un predictable. For this reason the show seasons over which means I have to grab every opportunity I can to get out there and photograph cars (or anything else for that matter). This time my cousin had told me of a small display of vintage cars in Leyland at Worden park where I had been earlier in the year for the Un-phased Show.

I headed off one Sunday to go have a look it was only a small event with a handful of cars but the quality was good and attention to detail and hard work gone into the preservation of the cars made up for the small amount of cars.

The cars ranged from little minis which are still on the road today to big rare Mercedes 350’s the likes Adolf Hitler used to own. This was the makings for some interesting images. As the cars of yesteryear are always that bit different of the cars of today as design and materials are massively different due to safety and cost issues of todays market.

Where else would you find wooden spokes on a car? or belts holding the bonnet down? The whole look of the cars are unique to the times they were produced the big box like shape of the old Austin’s to the silique lines of an MG Midget also the technology vastly differs like crank handles for instance what was the means of starting the car 70+ years ago would never be dreamed of in today’s world and probably if you showed a kid of today a crank handle they wouldn’t have a clue what it was for and wouldn’t believe them if you told them.

I might not photograph or pay attention to the older cars in my photography but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them I found the day a breath of fresh air looking round the cars, Looking how different the cars were back then. Unlike now how advanced the technology has come from good old mechanical problem solving ways back then. To the 1000’s of sensors I have on my 5 series BMW that seem to do nothing apart from bring up warning lights and flash at me when something as simple as a cd skips.

Overall I saw the day as an education on how far we have come in the car world with technology and design rather than a day for photographing. Not that its bad thing as the cars on show were really looked after and couldn’t fault the time and work that had gone into the preservation and restoration of the cars on show. Hopefully I will get myself to some more events like this in the future possibly a few hill climbs events or the super car Sunday that runs through the summer at mitten hall.

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    Car Show Photography – Trax 2013 Silverstone

    Car Show Photography – Trax 2013

    Automotive Photography - Honda Integra DC2 seen at trax silverstone 2013

    Last Day of the season had come and the destination was Trax 2013 modified car show at Silverstone. Trax is the last car show of the season for me but I also class this as my favourite. It has so much to offer from Drift racing to time attack there’s something for everyone to watch. On top of this the infield of the famous Silverstone track is full of modified cars to look at.

    I arrived at the show at 9am after a little wait in traffic, the sun was out and Really bright making me think that any shooting would have to be before dinner due to the harsh light and strong shadows the sun would create unless we had rain but from the blue skies this didn’t look like it was going to happen.

    Automotive Photography Silverstone - Honda CivicI entered the Silverstone  grounds and parked the car up and got the camera gear out this was all I had with me was my D200, 50mm and kit lens I did have my flash but the remote triggers I had on the day decided they didn’t want to work (which have now been replaced) so that made the flash out of the question as I am not a fan of on camera flash.

    As well as photography I also run a car club in my local area, this gives me opportunity to go to the shows I do and means I normally attend with a big group of friends as I had to shoot quite quickly due to the sun I decided to have a walk round the show by myself grabbing shots when I could this also gives me time to sit and wait for people to pass the cars as I’m by myself I can shoot in my own time without anyone having to wait about for me to get the images I want.
    Automotive Photography Silverstone - Seat Leon Stanced out on some Rotiforms alloy wheels
    I managed to get round the show before dinner but the weather had took a turn from the worse and from the bright sun I was fighting against at first, it now looked like I would be trying to shoot before a storm set as a big dark cloud had appeared over Silverstone. I checked the weather on my phone and the rain was too set in for the rest of the day as I hadn’t had much sleep that weekend due to a couple of nights on the town in Milton Keynes I decided to call it a day and pack the camera up and head off for my 3 hour journey back up north.

    _DSC0038The show was great it had lots to offer the only problem I had with it is due to health and safety Silverstone has surrounded the track with 6 foot high fences making it very unfriendly for me as a photographer. This ruled out me getting any track action images as I didn’t have the views I would at other tracks like Oulton park and Cadwell which means if I am to attend Silverstone again for any motorsport images I am going to either need a media track pass or a bigger telephoto to capture the images I want.

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      Motorsport Photography – Legends Fire Rally Blackpool

       

      Motorsport Photography – Legends Fire Rally Blackpool

      Here was my annual trip to a local rally in Blackpool the past few years I have gone to watch the rally on the Blackpool promenade at night but this year I thought I would take the afternoon off work and go and have a look at the cars checking in at the start stage at the Blackpool Norbeck Castle hotel.

       

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      There is a wide variety of cars that enter the event so I knew I would capture some nice cars if I sat round the pits and watched the cars coming in to be checked out for scrutenearing. The cars ranged from small Sunday rally minis to competition level Subaru’s and ford focus’s and even the odd group B rally car thrown into the mix such as metro 6R4 and a Ferrari which nobody would picture on a rally course

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      I only spent a few hours at the event but managed to get quite a few images I was favouring my Nikon 70-200 f2.8 lens on the day I hadn’t used this before on static shots but the quality of the lens blew me away on how crisp the images were

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      I also opted for my new 35mm lens f1.8 for the close up detail shots giving me the shallow depth of field (blur background) I like when taking close up shots throwing the background out of focus which I think makes the image more attractive and giving the subject more importance. I solely picked the 35mm as I already have the 50mm but with places like shows and events I have to stand quite far away with the 50mm to get a car in frame due to the 1.5 crop factor of the d7100 body thus making the 50mm lens more like a 85mm so by using the 35mm lens I get the 50mm focal length I desire.

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      I have still yet to get to a proper daytime rally stage yet to capture rally images so hopefully I can get to the Grizedale stages which are staged in the lake district in November

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        Motorsport Photography – How I have progressed

         

        Motorsport Photography – How I have progressed

        Since a young age I was always interested in cars, probably cos my dad was a mechanic so spent time at the garage after school waiting for him as a kid. As I grew up so did my love of cars reading magazines like max power fast car etc and watching the world rally, f1 and British touring cars. So when I picked up a camera for the first time this gave me the chance to capture the images I saw in the magazines as a kid and recreate my own.
        Gordon shedden on track at Oulton park in the BTCC

        Over the past couple of years as a photographer I have been to multiple races up and down the country experiencing the Hightower of the time attack series to the side ways action of the drift racing all capturing this at the same time

        Jap performance rb25 engined Subaru in the euro drift all stars at Birmingham wheels

        As with any profession you get better with time and from looking at my images I can see how I have progressed as a photographer by applying new skills and techniques to my Motorsport photography as well as gaining better knowledge of my cameras so let’s have a look how my images have developed.

        2011

        image

        Here we have a Vauxhall Vectra taken on the pit straight at Oulton park as you can see I have managed to get a bit of a pan on the picture where the car is in focus but the background is blurred to give that element of speed found in Motorsport photography but as the spokes of the wheels are still quite defined this therfore let’s down the element of speed I originally aimed for and the whole picture but i was young and less clued up but still find this a good attempt for what was my first outing at a motorsport event with my camera.
        2012

        Here we have a BMW at the BTCC Oluton park here I have managed to drag the shutter open for that bit longer and therefore the element of speed is increased making the car look like it’s going fast.

        2013

        Rob Austin Audi a4 in the BTCC at Oulton park

        Here we have the fans favourite rob Austin in ‘Sherman’ the Audi a4 here I have used for ground to help with the element of speed if you can see the grey blue in the foreground is actually a lamppost so this is adding to the blur effect also I have managed to drag the shutter for 1/60th of a second as oppose to shorter shutter lengths I have used in previous years.

        2014

        Alfa Romeo 90's British touring car running in the super tourers at the gold cup Oulton park

        Here’s this years attempt and now able to pick up the camera and dial in the settings and coming out with a good pan pretty much every time and keeping the background blurred and the car in focus which can be seen in the car lively which isn’t distorted I’ve even started to experiment with different lenses this was taken with my 50mm lense which would normally be used for portraits which also proves you don’t need a massive telephoto to get Motorsport pictures

        hopefully I can continue with the progression until I can one day create flawless Motorsport photography you see in publications.

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