Go! Go! Go!

karts-7We don’t get to shoot action photographs often, so when the opportunity came to take some pics at a go-kart race last week, I took it …  

Armed with a telephoto zoom lens on my camera I set off and decided at the outset that I will concentrate on taking panning shots, which are photographs taken while you move the camera in sync with a moving object – fast moving karts in this instance.

The objective of a panning shot is to freeze the subject against a blurred background, thereby having the subject in perfect focus but the background out of focus and blurred to clearly show that the subject is in motion.


The subject needs to be sharp in focus, the background blurred.

Although panning is conceptually a simple thing to do it rarely is something that you get right without a lot of practice, and I mean a LOT of practice ! After my first couple of attempts I quickly realized that I can expect only a few photographs to be of reasonable quality. The reason is that you need to use a fairly slow shutterspeed to ensure the background is blurred, but at the same time you need to track the moving subject very accurately to ensure that IT is in sharp focus, with no or little trace of movement blur – not an easy task!


Driving these karts takes a lot of concentration, so does taking photographs of them !

While at the track I noticed that quite a number of youngsters take part in the sport and are very competitive – I really enjoyed watching them, they take it very seriously!


The youngsters are fiercely competitive and does not give an inch !

In the end I had a lot of fun taking these pics and once I viewed them on the computer I was pleasantly surprised that I fared much better at panning than I originally thought.


In the pits, this lad is ready to race – notice the reflection in the helmet


Out on the track – this shot taken at high shutter speed, therefore not a proper panning shot – notice that the background does not show motion blur.


This little chap has got the pedal to the metal – going flat-out down the straight!


A photoshop experiment – adding extra blur to emphasize speed.

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  2 comments for “Go! Go! Go!

  1. February 28, 2012 at 14:34

    The idea is to do panning sideways… Not in an arc, following the j-boarder on their way down 😮 Just kidding. We’ll post some pics as soon as I get the new toy 🙂

  2. rene
    February 28, 2012 at 12:14

    Wow, Jaunine surely you had a lot of fun, just as you can
    What about J-board photo’s as you are becoming a exellent novice hie-hie luv xxx

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