LRP PCA event - digital photos [NAC-and a bit long]

Motor Sport Visions Photography msvphoto at
Mon Mar 18 10:56:07 EST 2002

In a message dated 3/17/2002 Phil Rose writes:

<< yes--pretty much all of them will do that, and it's one of the most 
vital secrets of success with an autofocus digicam.  Strangely it's a 
"secret" seldom revealed in camera manuals (if anyone ever bothers to 
read them, anyway). Without doing the prefocusing using that "partial 
depression", the "shutter lag" can be sooooo long as to make decent 
candid or action shots nearly impossible. Of course digicams with 
manual focus offer an alternative to that approach. >>

All Olympus digital camera manuals I have ever read do touch on how to
hold AF and recompose, including a little tutorial on how not to focus
on the background between two people who are subject matter.

One of the reasons I choose an Olympus E-10 to get started with digital
work (besides a long time brand loyalty being an OM user forever and
thus lack of any Canon or Nikkor lenses for one of their wonderful, but
ultra-expensive, digital bodies) is that it has the same shutter release
reaction time as my OM-2S and OM-4T film bodies. This means that going
back and forth from film to digital I don't need to adjust my release
point timing--which is critical for the way I shoot motorsports (one
frame at a time). One really neat trick I learned on the E-10 is to use
the AF to focus on the track at my release point (it finds and locks
focus really quickly and well on asphalt) and then simply flip the
switch to manual focus and fire away as I normally would with my film
gear (which isn't AF). BTW, with prices plummeting, the E-10 is quite a
bargain. I have now seen quite a few 11x14 lab prints from files I made
with the E-10 side by side with custom enlargements made from my Provia
F slides and the "grain" is comparable--different in that the digital
image has "noise" and the slide based print has more traditional "grain"
but from a normal viewing distance the results are comparable--I'm
amazed really.

<< I'm in awe of folks who can turn out shots like Mike Veglia does. >>

Thank you for the kind words Phil. I gave Brett some pointers and
encouragement off-line as well (I thought the panned shots he shared
with us were very nice--I would expect a lot of tossed shots at 1/80
second shutter speed--even with street cars). Practice is the key.
Smoothness when panning is something that takes time to learn--too much
morning coffee doesn't help either ;-) One of best aspects of going
digital is that you can practice a lot more for no film and processing
cost, and see (and adjust accordingly) your results quickly (though I
find the little LCD displays on the cameras near worthless for anything
but seeing if you're close on exposure--forget trying to see motion
blur, even at the 4X setting mine allows). Always happy to discuss track
photography, but I try to keep it offlist ;-) 

Mike Veglia
Motor Sport Visions Photography

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