Shooting NASCAR in Miami This Weekend

On Saturday I flew down to Miami to shoot the Ford 300 (Part of the NASCAR Busch Series) with my buddy (and fellow Photoshop World instructor) Joe Glyda, and race photographer Mark Allias (the photo of Joe and I above was taken by Mark). It was just a beautiful day, with absolutely gorgeous weather, we had “All Access” media passes, so we could pretty much shoot from anywhere (and we did), and we just had a ball.

The track shots shown above were taken with my Nikon D2Xs using a Nikon 200-400m f/4 VR lens (from LensProToGo), supported with a Gitzo GM-3550 Mountainer 6X Carbon Fiber monopod (which is marvelous, by the way), and the shots in the Pits were taken with a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens. NOTE: most of the shots with the 200-400mm were taken in the D2Xs’ High Speed Crop mode (and they were all shot in Raw).

The daylight shots were taken at 100 ISO, but the race didn’t start until later in the day, and to keep my shutter speeds fast enough to freeze the action, I had to keep raising the ISO, first to 400 ISO around 5:00 and then to 800 ISO once the sun went down and the bright track lights came on.

I shot from a number of different vantage points (up high, at track level, and from in the pits themselves). Before the race was over, I staked out a position in nearly the front row of photographers over at Victory Lane, and was able to snap that photo you see of winner Jeff Burton holding up his trophy (while shielding my camera gear from the celebratory champagne/beer/Gatorade shower). Then I grabbed my gear and headed straight back to the airport in time to catch the last flight home.

I didn’t even get to look at my shots until Sunday evening, safely after my Tampa Bay Bucs put a “whompin'” on the Atlanta Falcons, to move two games ahead in our division (but hey, who’s counting). Anyway, here’s a few shots from the day (you can click on them to go to a page with larger versions). Thanks to Joe and Mark (who stayed to shoot the Ford 400 today), for hanging out and shooting with me. You guys rock!


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