It's been a busy summer! Buoyed by the fantastic weather and the variety of fantastic opportunities to get out and try new things I have been lured by the action, machines and skills of riders at Motocross, Trials and Vintage Rallies. My initial intention was to practise my panning technique...a photographic skill whereby the subject is captured in focus, but the background and moving parts blurred to give a sense of momentum...but I was quickly bewitched by the shapes, skill and competition of the sports and this led me to go back for more. As a qualified motorcyclist (roads only!) I also felt a strong urge to have a go...
Arncott Moto Park near Bicester has been my home for Motocross and a more friendly and welcoming venue you could not find. In possession of a Hi-Viz I was trusted to wander anywhere on the course, so I naturally gravitated towards jumps and corners to capture those aerial and dynamic shots. More difficult was the panning along a fast straight and I quickly realised that I needed a shutter speed of 1/200 to 1/250 to capture a successful pan along this section.
August 18/19 led me to Aston Tirrold near Didcot for the North Berks MCC Supertrial Bonanza. This was my first time attending Trials and it took me a while to get to grips with the modular nature of the event (each rider completes the same section of the course before moving on to the next). The challenge here for the photographer is finding a position and an angle that enables you to capture the essence of the action. Due to the tight angles of the course it is difficult to capture motion in the same way as with Motocross, so I focused on the rider's expressions, interaction with the crowd and capturing the action from above or below the rider. The whole event took me back to the 1980's and the TV show 'Kickstart' which I remember watching as a child, but then the theme tune became my ear worm for the next week...
Earlier in the summer I went to the Bicester Flywheel Event and Classic Car Show held at Bicester Heritage Centre. Again, my focus was on improving my panning, but it was wonderful to see such amazing vehicles in operation from all eras, lovingly restored by their doting owners!
What next? Well I have plans to up the ante and to try my hand at racing cars at the Prescott Hill Climb at the Bugatti Owners Club near Cheltenham. I am going to head back to Arncott on a wet day for some mud splattering shots and I have my eye on the local MX races for some competitive action.