Interesting Photo of the Day: Panning at Daytona Speedway

Ready, set, go! Today’s interesting photo places us smack in the middle of the fast-paced world of race cars. Buckle up as we delve into the techniques used to create this incredible image.

Colorful and dynamic, this photograph made at Daytona’s 2019 Historic Sportscar Racing 24 Hour Classic is easy to appreciate as an amateur. However, skilled photographers can also admire the technical challenge that this shot presents. It’s easy enough to capture an object moving across a stationary background. But how exactly does one freeze a moving element when all of its surroundings are also in motion?

The answer, according to photographer Jefferey Robison? Carefully.

Daytona Raceway by Jefferey Robison (Via Reddit, Click for Larger Size)

Using a Nikon d750 equipped with an 85mm lens, Robison didn’t use any complicated post-processing techniques to create this composition. Instead, this single raw image was made through patience and skill. Slowing down the shutter speed to 1/50 of a second, he’d pan perfectly in line with speeding cars as they made their way around the track. When done correctly, this technique produces a tack-sharp automobile surrounded by a stadium distorted by motion blur.

If you’re not confident in your ability to replicate this shot, don’t beat yourself up too much. Robison claims that about 1 in every 100 shots he takes ends up well composed and in focus. However, his passion for racing photography keeps him from walking away from the challenge.

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