Amateur Dirt Track Photography

Hello everyone this is Vanze and I’m back again to talk about being an amateur sports and racing photographer. This week I got the pleasure to shoot pictures at one of the premier dirt tracks in New York State located in Elbridge, Rolling Wheels raceway. The 454 big block dirt modifieds produce wicked speeds on this 5/8 high banked dirt oval making for some awesome racing action shots. It was the first show run here all season and the purse for the 50 lap main event was $5,000 and a solid $300 to just start the feature.  

    

 

  

 I was shooting pictures for John Zachary PhotographyAPEX magazine and for my own personal portfolio and blog. The night started off wet and a little later than scheduled but they still got the show in after the very heavy rain that they had all day. Big block hot laps didn’t start until around 7 which was the original start time for the heats. The track was super sloppy and rough from the start of hot laps and progressively go more tough throughout the night. Although the drivers most likely didn’t like the track surface it made for some killer shots and great racing action. It also tore up a lot of race cars and set them home on the trailer ending their night short and pockets hurting.  

     The above pictures are some good ones of just some of the great battles throughout the night. This being my first time taking pictures of something going so fast and using a new lense it was a challenge for me at first but once I figured it out I got some great shots. This event was probably the most exciting event I’ve taken pictures of just because I got to take pictures of some of my heroes and guys I watched growing up as a child. As the night grew darker and darker I also ran into new challenges and that was a light source. I haven’t really done much with a flash because the other events I have shot have decent lighting and I don’t need much of one besides the flash that comes with the camera. I had to learn how to use the flash and get the lighting I needed to capture great night shots. It was weird at first but once I figured it out I think I got some great ones of the 50 lap feature.  

        

  

 After 50 long laps filled with plenty of cautions and a loss of half the field due to broken parts the night finally came to a close with your winner TIm McCreadie second place being Billy Dunn and third place being Rick Laubach. Their next show will be July 23rd with another 50 lap big block feature and the Patriot Sprint car series! I hope you enjoyed the read and I hope you follow me and spread the word. Thank you all!

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Photography

Hey everyone my name is Vanze and I am an amateur photographer. I started shooting photography back in high school through a career class. I used a Nikon D500s and shot a lot of pictures on my dad’s cannon 50D. Throughout the class I took many photos of landscape and portrait pictures. I didn’t find much interest in it because it seemed boring to me and it just wasn’t my speed. So after highschool I lost interest for a few years and didn’t touch a camera. Within the past couple years I have been shooting flat track races with my father with his fugi’s and have fallen in love. I am shooting pictures with his X-E2 camera with an 18-55 mm lens. I get great shots and absolutely love the adrenaline rush I get when I’m leaning out on to the race track and bikes are flying by me at 60+ mph within just inches of me. I am slowly learning more and more about the camera and getting better each and every week.  

   

  

  

 These are just a few shots that I have taken this year and can’t wait to get back out there in a couple weeks to rack up some more great shots. The black and white photo is 7 time grand national champ Chris Carr on the X plated bultaco this past weekend at the vintage nationals in Port Crane, New York at Square Deal Riders. It’s was great to see him come out of retirement for this one race and let me capture a ton of great shots of him. The more and more I learn about this camera and what I can do to capture great pictures makes me love the art of sports photography. The 2 played machine is your Daytona winner of 2015 Kenny Coolbeth who ran at SDR the opening week of their season. I’m writing this blog to encourage young photographers to keep doing what they are doing and just learn their cameras. Just like anything practice makes perfect and there is nothing better than capturing some of your favorite moments or events and being able to look at them later in life. If anyone has any pointers or questions I would love to hear them and get back to you. 

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