Sunday, September 19, 2010

Number 5 at ADVMX - Del Valle, Texas

Number 5 at Del Valle MX Park

As a kid, I always wanted to race motocross. A lot of my friends did it. The one thing that kept me back was that I didn't have a motorcycle. That's an important piece to have if you want to race. Without it, I guess it would be called cross-country racing. But, I did have a bicycle, so I raced BMX instead. I did that a few times over the course of a couple of years. The best I ever did was a couple of 4th place finishes in the novice class. Not too bad I guess. Fun stuff! So, when Pete Talke of Talke Photography invited me out to Austin - Del Valle Motocross Park, I jumped on it.

We went out on Saturday the 18th of September and shot the place up! Pete was able to get us access to the whole track. We were able to go anywhere and get any angle of the riders we could think of. It was really cool. I hope to do it again sometime and thanks Pete for putting this together! It was a great time and it was great meeting you as well!

This was shot during the first race of the evening right after the start. This probably isn't the best composed shot I took during the excursion, but I like how it sort of shows the movement of the bikes and the dirt flying, but yet you can see the eyes of the rider on the number 5 bike.

Pete gave me some great tips for shooting action like this. One thing he does is shoot jpg instead of raw. The camera can work fast to save the data of a jpg than a raw so you can get the max frames per second your camera can put out. The other tip he told me is in his processing of single shots; instead of making a separate copy and adjusting the exposure in Adobe Raw, he makes 4 copies, pull the 5 shots into Photomatix and then adjusts the exposure there when Photomatix asks you what the exposure spacing is. I did that on this shot, made 4 copies, pulled all 5 into Photomatix and told it that the spacing was 1 making the EV range -2, -1, 0, +1, and +2. I am pretty impressed. Then I just processed as normal.

Other settings include:

Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 200
Aperture: f5.6
Exposure Bias: +0.33
Shutter: 1/60
Focal Length: 105mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Bracketing: None
White Balance: Auto
Tripod: None

From the blog at


  1. Evan, looks great! An easy way to make an HDR out of any single shot!! =) That was a fun nite! We will do it again at ADMX Park! Let's shoot for the next full day race! Prob Oct/Nov? How was your percentage? 25% for me...yikes! Have fun!!

  2. Thanks Pete! It was fun and I'm up for it again. As far as percentages go, I think I maybe got about 15-20%, if that. Out of about 450 shots, I really like about 33 or so. So, I guess that comes out to less than 10% really. I'll probably go through a little more and see if there are any others, and then maybe stick them out on zenfolio as is. Then give the old single HDR treatment to a few more of the really good ones.


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