This was the first time I shot power boat racing and really got to use a Canon EF400mm F2.8L USM as with all news things, there were a few issues to iron out.
The event was a P1 Power Boat race and with it being on water, the extra light being reflected caused a few issues with setting the exposure on the camera to begin with but after watching was happening and taking a few test shots, I figured out what I needed to do to get the desired images.
With regard to the set up I used to photograph this event I had a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV with a Canon EF400mm F2.8L USM lens and from time to time I added a 1.4x extender for a little extra reach.
To get the exposure I wanted I needed I shot the whole event in manual mode and chose one of the boats in the race to be my main subject to set all my exposures on this craft. I selected a boat that was in the main white in colour and shot a few frames at various speeds and used an aperture of f3.5.
Using as a white boat also made it easy to set my colour temperature to what I wanted and using the with the Canon EF400mm F2.8L USM I could shoot at 100 ISO helping with the overall clarity of the image.
With the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV set in manual mode I settled on a shutter speed of 1/5000 which ensured the boat was frozen but still some feeling of motion and movement created as the boats travelled through the water.
Sample Picture Using Canon EF400mm F2.8L USM
After a few frames like this, I wanted to try something different. It gets quite repetitive and there was a lot of scope to be creative. I closed down the aperture to about f11 in the first instance, which slowed the shutter speed right down, and I began panning as the boats went past.
My favourite shot was achieved by slowing the shutter right down to 1/125 with the speed the boat is travelling the water has a smok effect which is very pleasing on the eye.
As well as the boats there were Jet Skis, but these were a lot harder to pan given their size, but I grabbed a couple of them too, which worked out OK.
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