View Full Version : Sony F828 action shots.

12-07-2004, 06:04 AM
I am a freelance journalist writing about and testing motorcycles. I own a Sony F828 I use to take pictures of motorcycles. I know it is not an SLR. Still imaging is great, however I seem to struggle to get the action pictures I need and to compensate I ride the bikes slowly past and try to look fast rather than beeing fast if you see what I mean. I own the camera but can`t justify using a proffessional photographer so thought the F828 would be a perfect point and shoot camera for that purpose(to place it in the hands of a amateur photographer I use). Can you give me any hints on how to improve low light action photoes with the F828? I have the HVL-F32X flash as well.

Here is one example: http://www.bikepics.com/pictures/206938/
This turned out good: http://www.bikepics.com/pictures/206932/

12-07-2004, 06:26 AM
Here`s a couple of low light action shot disasters:

12-07-2004, 06:43 AM
You really shouldn't stand out in the middle of the road, you're gonna get run over! hehe

12-07-2004, 11:26 PM
You really shouldn't stand out in the middle of the road, you're gonna get run over! hehe

I am not the photographer here. I am the rider.

12-17-2004, 12:06 AM
Very useful this forum. No one knows nothing. Just like me. Thanks.

12-17-2004, 02:24 AM
How is your photographer taking the photos? I would recommend half-pressing the shutter button and following you with the camera focused for a little bit before actuallty taking the picture. What ISO setting are you using? Try bumping it up a nother notch, also, increase the EV to get more lighting. It should be in 1/3 increments like my Sony. Is your photographer using a tripod, that would help keep the focus aswell?

12-17-2004, 02:34 AM
Also, where is your EXIF data?

12-17-2004, 12:07 PM
Very useful this forum. No one knows nothing. Just like me. Thanks.

Though this is my first post, I've been hanging around here for a while and I think you'll find many knowledgeable folks around here... but they might not be able to answer right away. ;)

That said, I would suggest you pick up a book called "Photographing Cars" by James Mann. He's a professional car photographer and the book has many great tips and ideas, many of which would also apply to motorcycles. This book can be found in most book stores and Amazon, you may even see it at your local library.

If you take a look at his book, you'll learn that the majority of "action shots" are actually taken with the car travelling 1-2 MPH. Long exposure times and panning the camera are used to "create" the action. There's also some great tips for race photography.

Pre-focusing on the spot where the bike will be, can help as suggested. Panning the camera helps as well. ISO settings, exposure times and panning are dependent on the effect you're trying to achieve. If worse comes to worse, get the shot, even if it means under-exposure... you can always fire up Photoshop and brighten things up if needed. Neat Image is a great program to remove any high-ISO induced noise.

Disclaimer: I learned some of the stuff above by taking pictures at autocross events, the rest I learned from hanging around here for a while... thanks folks! :D

- Scott :cool:

12-18-2004, 08:58 PM
I'm no expert, but maybe this will help... :) Here's a link to some of my autocross photos. They're not bikes, but the technique for getting the photo should be the same. 99% of these shots were taken with a Sony P-51, 2.1MP, snappy camera, certainly nothing fancy. ISO was set at 400 to get the fastest shutter speed possible, no other controls are available on that camera. The cars are typically moving 20MPH or so, in most of those photos.

Autocross photos (http://www.ofoto.com/BrowsePhotos.jsp?showSlide=true&Uc=6pc87wq.lfqh1vu&Uy=-xi9j4a&Ux=0)

You'll see that nearly all the shots are clear and usably sharp. The key for me was to pan the camera while taking the shot. This means tracking the subject with the camera and pressing the shutter while panning. I continue to pan the camera until I'm sure the shutter is finished. Also, I have to deal with a little shutter lag, so I have to press the shutter a tad early. A little practice helps here....

Another thought is the angle of the camera vs. the moving subject. I have better luck shooting perpendicular to the passing car, simply because the distance from the camera to the car remains relatively constant during the pan, making it a bit easier on the autofocus system.

Head-on shots of a fast moving subject is likely to cause some issues with autofocusing, depending on the speed of the subject and the lag between focusing and actuating the shutter. A continuous focusing system may help in that situation. I can't wait to try my new FZ-20 next autocross season for this reason. ;)

Sorry to ramble, I hope there's something in there that helps!

Good luck,
- Scott :cool:

12-19-2004, 10:55 PM
Thanks a lot guys, I am impressed now. Will check this out with my next test bike. It is a bit awkward to bring along a tripod when riding a bike so most of the pictures is handheld shots. Merry christmas and a happy new year to all of you.