As the ice slowly begins to crawl across the lakes here in Minnesota, my mind wanders back to the smell of ethanol and warm sunshine. Simultaneously I also begin to plan and think about next year. Winter is always a season of change and experimentation for me. Most of those experiments happen at the local hockey rink, and make their way to the track come spring. An area I would like to explore next year is the world of HDR (high dynamic range) photography.
What HDR allows is the merging of several photographs into one, in order to better exhibit the range of light between the lightest and darkest areas of an image. Typically this is done through bracketing when you have a still subject to work with, or by editing a RAW file of drivers or track action. Essentially you are taking images which are correctly exposed, overexposed, and underexposed into one image! Once the images are merged you can make a number of adjustments, including definition, contrast, and color saturation you desire. There really is no right vs. wrong at this point…The program I use to merge my images is called Photomatix Pro, and is available for about $100.00. There are a variety of other programs available as well, including one for the new iPhone!
The topic has recently caused a little controversy amongst photography purists… Some see this as a new opportunity, while others view it as cheap photography. Below I have included some early experiments. We have included the original image as a basis for comparison. Let us know what you think?
Dario on Pitlane: f 2.8 at 1/8000
I really liked the increased definition in the firesuit and track here! However, where did those clouds come from?
It’s been four weeks of Flickr related posts and the 2010 IndyCar season – reviewing some of the coolest images, most interesting, viewed, favorited and today, commented. This has been a fun series to write, I hope you’v enjoyed reading and viewing.
What we learned in reviewing Flickr’s methods of measurement is this -
Most Interesting and views was dominated by our fans – images of your 2012 Chassis Designs.
Most favorited, saw the return of photography.
And most comments? Let’s take a look and start traditionally, with the 99th most commented image.
The 99th most commented image - Dario
In continuing the IndyCar Flickr Series, we’re looking at the images most “favorited” by you over this year. Flickr offers the option of “favoriting” an image – this will simply place the image into a permanent gallery. You can access it anytime. Kind of cool. You favorite our images a lot. Thank you for that.
In continuing the IndyCar Flickr Series, we’re looking at the images most “favorited” by YOU this year. Unlike the previous two measurements – Interestingness and Views – this category places the emphasis back on photography and the people behind the lens (sorry helmet and 2012 chassis designers).
And continuing this blog series tradition – what’s our 99th most favorited image?
Turn one at St. Pete - 2 favorites
The Flickr blog series continues again this week, this time revealing our most viewed images from 2010. Unlike last week where I wrote about Interestingness, the ‘most viewed’ statistic is easy to understand, simple to measure. It’s what our online community looked at the most.
So let’s start randomly – our 99th most viewed image so far this year?
A Phil Frank Design #99
Posted on: October 17, 2010
Last week I wrote about Flickr in 2010 and mentioned that Flickr measures the popularity of images in a number of ways. One of these is called ‘Interesting’ and it’s a tough one to figure out because it’s not defined – it’s kind of a secret. When it comes down to it, it ranks our images based on how interesting they are – which is confusingly fascinating. This blog post kind of helped explain it. Kind of. Here’s what we have for you.
Our 99th most interesting image on Flickr
Regardless of the confusion here, I’m sharing some of our most ‘Interesting’ images with you.
What is number 1?
You may have noticed we utilized Flickr this season. We used it as a way of reaching a new community and to bring a new perspective to our sport, through imagery. We featured all of the races from the 2010 season, a few Race to the Party’s, the 2012 announcement, the 2012 fan-designed chassis, and much, much more.
Image #1 on Flickr - Ana Beatriz
To date, we’ve uploaded 2,876 images – in one season – with over a million views from fans.
Flickr measures the popularity of images in four ways – Interesting, Views, Favorites and Comments. More on that later.
For this post, I wanted to look back on share some of my favorite images from Flickr in 2010 and reveal some of the amazing shots our photographers captured. In the next few weeks, I’ll be revealing the most popular images, according to Flickr. Sit tight.
Infineon Raceway is a beautiful track in Sonoma, California with elevation changes and yellow hills surrounding the track. The mornings are overcast before giving way to bright, bright sun later in the day. It’s a great venue for fans, it’s also not too bad if you’re shooing video or images.
A shot from yesterday morning at Infineon Raceway
You may have noticed that we publish a lot of content throughout the race weekend – via Tweets, Facebook updates, countless IndyCar.com changes and news stories, live video and timing and scoring through Race Control, and images to Flickr, video to YouTube, and RSS feeds for each driver and team. It’s a content juggling act.
While the month of May can be spent dodging raindrops, from time to time we are blessed with perfect weather over a race weekend. Last week’s racing at Mid-Ohio not only had beautiful weather, but light as well. With practice and racing sessions scheduled during ideal shooting times of morning and late afternoon, it was a photographer’s dream. Whenever I get a chance to shoot in strong light, or in high contrast situations I enjoy playing with my shutter speed and varying my apertures to see what I can produce. Below are some samples of opportunities I came across this weekend.
Pace Car: This shot was taken immediately when I got to the track on Friday morning. The pace cars were methodically lined up, morning dew beading off their brightly painted hoods! It was a great opportunity to shoot into that bright morning sun! By cranking up the shutter speed, the sun gave me a high amount of contrast to catch those droplets and the paint scheme hiding below.
Honda Accord Pace Car
Rollout: Shortly after taking shots of the pace car, I wandered over to the garage area where there are always opportunities to get great shots as teams set up. Dario’s crew had just begun to wheel the #10 car out into the morning light from the sharply contrasting darkness within the transporter. The effect of shooting at f/4 at 1/5000 is a striking one!
At Speed: While not dealing with harsh lighting or high contrast in this situation I was still concerned about how my subject and background would come out. As I peered through my viewfinder I couldn’t help but notice the brilliant yellow curbing and the bright red guard fence. The shot was taken during the race and the harsh light of midday which often washes out color. By turning down my shutter speed to 1/320 I was able to create some motion blur, however with an aperture set at f/13 I was able to capture the rich setting, and avoid that midday washout.
Photo info: f/2.8 at1/5000 with a 15mm. fisheye.
Photo info: f/4 at 1/5000 with a 70-200 mm. lens
Photo info: f/13 at1/320 with a 70-200 mm. lens and 1.4X extender.
You can view all of the images from Mid-Ohio, here.
Through the Looking Glass (Car in Garage)
A view into the garage
Set-up day at the track s always an open invitation to wander and try new things as a photographer. Generally there is a more relaxed feel for both cast and crew, I never feel rushed, and am free to make as many mistakes as I’d like. There are so many times I see something I like, only to go back and find a fault when blown up on my monitor. No problem, the only thing to do is walk back… I love to take my fisheye with me on these days to take in the scene. Initially I had not centered the car in this composition, but returned later, and in the end a “peephole” effect ensued. I never have considered myself a “garage spy,” but here that just may be the case.
Photo Info: f 2.8 at 1/250 with a 50 mm. fisheye
Through the Looking Glass (White Bodywork)
Hard to tell what this i
Set-up day at the track is always an open invitation to wander and try new things as a photographer. Generally there is a more relaxed feel for both cast and crew, I never feel rushed, and am free to make as many mistakes as I’d like. There are so many times I see something I like, only to go back and find a fault when blown up on my monitor. No problem, the only thing to do is walk back… There is also time for me to try my hand at abstractions. The garages are a place where you sometimes ask yourself if you are looking at a lunar lander or an IndyCar? The technology is ever present and beautiful.
Photo info: f/4 at 1/2000 with a 70-200 mm. zoom.
Five from the 500
This year’s 500 will be remembered for many things. It will be remembered not only as the hottest race on record and for Dario’s second win, but also for Danica’s charge to 6th after starting 23rd, and Alex Lloyd’s heroic battle to 4th.
The winner's stuff
Bottles Photo info: f/2.8 at 1/1000 with 50 mm. lensbaby
Working in the pits on race day allows me to watch these stories unfold firsthand. Shooting Dale Coyne eagerly watching his crew at work, and Danica climbing from her car after an exhausting day, are among the shots I cherish most. These are the moments you feel fortunate to capture. I’ve been told… “If you see it through the viewfinder you’ve missed it.” Fortunately, for both these moments, my shutter got in the way and I did not miss the shot.