The Lucas Oil Off Road series racing crew rolled into Surprise Arizona for round 11 and 12 of this fun-filled, hot, dusty action at Speedworld, and I was lucky enough to be there to try to capture the intensity and excitement.
I love covering LOORS (Lucas Oil Off Road Series) racing, although it’s tough on camera equipment, lots of dust and dirt, as well as hot, bright sun and sweaty, sunscreen covered faces pressed into the viewfinder and on the LCD screen.
To see more hot sweaty images from the weekend’s racing, click the more button below.
The action starts on Fri. with practice at around 11 or 12 o’clock with very harsh mid-day lighting. During practice the trucks aren’t required to have all the body panels in place so I use this time to practice my wide-angle panning shots.
Later in the day after all the classes have their practices sessions there is a 5 minute qualifying session where the trucks need to have all the body panels attached, but the harsh lighting still exists to some extent so I continued to practice my panning shots.
One of the things I like about covering several races in the LOORS schedule is that it gives me a chance to try some artistic, slow-shutter-speed panning creative shots where the odds that I get several good shots is limited. Sometimes I’m happy with the results, but I end up deleting a lot of images that just don’t work out. The shot above was one of the ones I liked.
I hate to result to cheap parlor tricks to get more views on my blog, but I can’t help myself. The terms “hot Rockstar Energy Drink girls” is by far the most widely searched term that leads viewers to my blog for the post on my coverage of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, so maybe if I add this image of the very sexy Rockstar Energy Drink girls I can move this post to the most viewed list.
I heard yesterday that the Monster Energy Toyota driver Rick Huseman and his brother were killed in a plane crash and that is very sad news. My thoughts go out to his family and friends, the sport lost a great driver and stand-up guy. Rick Huseman will be missed.
It doesn’t seem to matter how hard I try, I just can’t find any good angles to capture shots of trucks in the air at the Speedworld track. The backgrounds are always cluttered and distracting, but yet I keep trying.
With some of my panning shots I tried to get my shutter speed as slow as possible to blur the background and “clean-up” the shots, the problem with that is it’s difficult and I end up deleting 8 out of 10 shots. When it works, I like the effect.
Some trucks have good contrasting graphics on the side making the auto-focus tracking much easier and the odds that you will get more in-focus shots goes up.
In most cases the beautiful Rockstar Energy Drink girls were standing in a mixture of the harsh, bright sun and shade which means I have to over-power the sun with my Canon 580 EX II flash to even out the lighting, a very difficult task. With this shot I managed to mix flash and ambient light just about right to open up the shadows.
. . . what, did you say something . . . I basically stopped reading right after “beautiful Rockstar Energy Drink girls.”
I don’t know how you expect me to work out lighting ratios, mixing flash and ambient light, fill-flash to open up the shadows, exposure, shutter speed and not drooling all over myself when taking pictures of these girls. By the way, the girl on the far right, busted me for staring.
OK, back to the racing action and the super slow shutter speed panning shots.
How about one of the Rockstar trucks sliding around turn two with all the Rockstar banners and billboards everywhere.
Another shot of a Rockstar truck with Rockstar banners everywhere.
Hey look, no Rockstar banners and it’s not even a Rockstar truck.
I’m still looking for a truck-in-the-air shot with a clean background, so for this one I went to the far side of the track and tried shooting from a different angle.
How about a nice shot of two trucks fighting for position with nothing but dirt for a background, how is that working for you?
I just can’t help myself, I keep coming back to the problem of using a speedlite flash to over-power the sun. I know I can work this problem out if I just keep trying.
Back to the two trucks fighting for position, nice angle but still have a bit of a distracting background element at the top of the frame.
All the Rockstar Energy Drink banners aren’t really a problem if the only trucks I shoot are Rockstar sponsored trucks. Problem solved.
Now what am I supposed to do with all the Rockstar billboards and Monster Energy trucks? Looks like the problem is not solved at all.