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MOTOGP Pit photography

A bit of MOTOGP Pit photography.  I was lucky enough again this year to be a pit and paddock marshal for MOTOGP at Circuit of the Americas.  MOTOGP is the Formula1 of motorcycle racing, the fastest, most technologically advanced road bike in the world. When cornering, the motorcycles will lean over up to60 degrees from vertical.  The riders’ knees and elbows easily drag on the track!

These shots are from the Friday pit walk where the organization let workers and special guests walk along the pits after all activity had stopped for the day.

The teams had the most prominent bikes out, Valentino Rossi’s #46 Movistar Yamaha, Dani Pedrosa‘s #26 Repsol Honda and #04 Jorge Lorenzo’s Ducati The shots of the pavement and markings are not from MOTOGP, but left over form Formula1.  The shot of one of the pitman communication stand was funny because on of the monitors was on and the Detroit Tigers were on.

For the race day, I was the row position card holder for row 6.  We had to hold or cards on poles out as the riders approached their location for the start and them have our yellow flag read for the start of the race in case on of the riders in out row could not start or had a problem.  Very exciting, very intense, arguably one of the best places to see a start of a motorcycle race.



FIRST Robotics Pit Photography

A study of FIRST Robotics Pit Photography.  While at the FIRST robotics Michigan State Championship in mid April at Saginaw Valley State University I took some time in the pits to make single photographs of what I thought an iconic view of each pit.  It was a bit of a photographic challenge not to shoot the same thing and to really look at what was unique in each pit.  I simplified my challenge by only using my 85mm lens and then converting all the images to black and white.


Restaurant interior HDR photography

Examples of restaurant interior HDR photography.  A local restaurant, Ninos, needed updated shots of their interior for use in their website. I got in a bit before the lunch customer arrived one cold winter day.  Because of the difference in brightness between the interior and exterior I chose to use a multi exposure technique called HDR.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and is a software process where multiple images of the same scene are combined to create an optimal image.  For these images I chose a 3 exposure HDR, an on exposure, a 2 stops bright and two stop dark exposures.  The software chooses the best part of the images.  It may use the bright exposure for shadows and a portion of the dark exposure for bright areas.  It is easy to push the software too far and get false or over enhanced color.  I even made some panoramas from some of the HDRs.  Three exposures for each image, up to 8 images per panorama, that is 24 images to create on image.

Give them a try.  The food is excellent and the service is fantastic and friendly.

Nino’s Italian House

4255 Baldwin Rd

Auburn Hills, MI 48326

Travel photography – Post offices heading south

Every year I do a bit of travel photography as I head south in a van I drive to Florida for my step Dad.  Each year I try and choose a different route, getting off the Freeway for long stretches and go through the small towns.  I will review the upcoming towns and see if there is an interesting Post Office.  If so I find it and shoot it. I have shot interesting court houses, forestations and other odd buildings in the past.  This trip down in addition to post offices, I shot some used car dealers, fire stations, city halls and a weird pink building.

On other trips I had shot with my Nikon D7100 converted to infrared, but I did not bring it this year.  At every location I shoot a bracket of at least three exposures 2 stops bright, on and 2 stops dark.  I then combine the exposures in Lightroom using the HDR function.  What I get is a slightly enhanced color image with a lot more exposure in the shadows and highlights. I will even shoot a three stop bracket of multiple views, process the HDR for each view and then stitch them into a panorama.

I think this will be a long time continuing project for me.  I like the idea of getting off the busy highway and making a reason to see and visit small town America.  I have found that every community and even some remote outposts have a post office.  If it appears the post office is newer that 20 – 30 years I typically give it a miss.

My wanderlust was inspired by  book I read long ago. Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon.  He chronicles a cross country trip, partially following the past of Lewis and Clark.  A wonderful read if you like travel books. On the look out for the elusive 4 calendar restaurant.