Catch some­one speed­ing

NPhoto - - Car Photography -

1 Hit the road

You’ll need to find a quiet road, and you’ll prob­a­bly need sev­eral passes of the car to get the tech­nique right. Dra­matic back­drops aren’t nec­es­sary here, be­cause we’ll be blur­ring the back­ground any­way, but in­ter­est­ing shapes and colours, such as a tree-lined road, work well.

2 Se­cure your cam­era

An es­sen­tial bit of kit is the car rig. Es­sen­tially it’s a pole that is suc­tion-mounted to the car. Once you mount your Nikon to the end of the pole, the cam­era and car move to­gether, mean­ing the car re­mains sharp as the dis­tance of the fo­cus is main­tained.

3 Take re­mote con­trol

Use aut­o­fo­cus to fo­cus on the driver then switch AF off. If your DSLR is Wi-Fi-en­abled, you can trig­ger it with Nikon’s Wire­less Mo­bile Util­ity smart­phone app. Oth­er­wise, you’ll need a re­mote re­lease; if us­ing a wired model, run the cable through the pas­sen­ger win­dow.

4 At­tach a fil­ter

Shoot­ing at slow shut­ter speeds in day­light means you may be nar­row­ing your aper­ture too far (be­yond f/16 or so), caus­ing the im­age to be­come soft due to dif­frac­tion. A vari­able neu­tral den­sity fil­ter en­ables us to darken the im­age to suit our de­sired shut­ter speed and aper­ture.

5 Set the ex­po­sure

Set Man­ual mode, a slow shut­ter speed – start at 1/5 sec – and a midrange aper­ture of f/11. Set Ma­trix me­ter­ing and turn the vari­able ND fil­ter un­til your Nikon’s ex­po­sure me­ter dis­plays -1 stop to un­der­ex­pose the back­ground. Con­nect a Speed­light via wire­less ra­dio flash trig­gers.

6 Light the driver

Sit in the pas­sen­ger seat and point the Speed­light at the driver. Man­u­ally set flash power – we set 1/2 power as it was so bright out­side. Drive slowly and take a shot; the back­ground will blur due to the slow shut­ter speed but the flash will freeze any move­ment in the driver’s face.

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