Leverage Yourself: Andrew Hall x X-T200 / FUJIFILM

(Commentator) What a magnificent day here at The Bend Motorsport Park. It’s the final round of the Shannons Nationals for 2019. My name is Andrew Hall.
I’m a professional photographer and a proud X-Series Ambassador, and I’ve been
shooting motorsport for 30 years. Fujifilm have given me a challenge to shoot a motorsport
image with the new X-T200 using the XF200mm. To be honest I was a bit worried when I was
given this challenge, because it’s a new race track for me here in South Australia, Tailem Bend. It’s a new race series. I have new leg braces. I’m using a new camera. I normally shoot with the Fujifilm X-T3,
so it’s quite a difficult challenge because this entry level X-T200 is not designed
to do professional motorsport photography but I knew that, even if you’re
not a professional photographer the Fujifilm system is more than capable
of producing great images in areas that it’s not specifically designed to do. Braydan is an up and coming young driver. He’s done speedway, and this is
his first weekend in the S5000. I think he’s on a steep learning curve as well. Getting used to the speeds, the outright
top speeds like 280km/h and going from 6th gear flat out to 2nd gear hard on the brakes.
It’s hard to learn a new car and a new track at the same time,
but I love a challenge. So, he had a new car a new track to learn. I had a new track and a new camera. Normally at a race track that I’ve been to before
I know there’s certain shots that work really well. The challenge here will be to work out
where the best shots are. You don’t have the luxury of trying to learn
the circuit in your own time. So, I’ll be relying on people who have
shot here before. I’ll be relying on the organisers as well,
just to give me some tips and then just walk the track and find the shot. So you can do that one there
and then go up and over the hill and there’s the ‘Pan Shot’ from the other side?
– Yep
– Okay At most tracks you’re looking for that
one shot, the hero shot where you know the cars are going to be
leaping kerbs and jumping and it’s going to be quite spectacular.
But here at Tailem Bend it’s quite a flat race track. There’s not much elevation. The kerbs are not as
high as some of the other tracks, so there’s no… no wheel lifting. So I chose a ‘Pan Shot’ so I
could blur the background and give a sense of speed and motion, and also realise that,
that would be within the limitations of the X-T200. I often have to work to a brief so,
I know what I’ve got to produce and I tend to start off getting the safe shots,
getting the shots in the bag that I know are relatively easy,
and once I’ve got those then you can go on to pushing the boundaries a little bit. The position of the sun dictates which corners are
available to you, morning or afternoon. What you’re looking for at a race track
is to have the sun behind you. It lights up the car really well.
No shadows so, the corner I chose to shoot at was perfect for an afternoon.
It was very, very bright today so that gave me the ability to have a slow shutter speed and also
heaps of depth-of-field. Which aids in the focus. The whole idea of a ‘Pan Shot’ is to make sure
that you blur the background you give the sensation of speed so the
shutter speed has to be quite low but not too low, because otherwise
none of the image will be sharp. I usually start around about 1/125th. That’ll give you a sharp car,
a nice blurred background, a lovely crisp image. For people who don’t know me
I do have a medical condition. I have no feeling in my feet and no
feeling in my hands so I have to wear leg braces and arm braces. So, when ‘Panning’,
balance is even more critical for me so I actually get the shot and don’t fall over. I always tend to place my foot, it points
to the position where I’m going to release the shutter and you’ve got to continue to ‘Pan’ even if you’ve
released the shutter because any jerk in the movement will mean
the image will be soft. As a photographer you always second guess yourself,
you’re always a bit nervous thinking… okay I’ve got to produce the goods. Being nervous is not necessarily a weakness.
It gives you more drive I suppose to make sure you get the job done…And done well. This ‘Pan Shot’ the shutter speed was 1/125th
of a second at 200 ISO. It was F16 and overall I’m very happy with the way it worked out. I’ve shown this weekend that the X-T200,
it’s more than capable of producing great images. If you’re a photographer wanting to get into motorsport,
my suggestion would be, join a car club. Start building relationships and learn and grow your skills. Anyone can go out now days and
buy an expensive camera kit and produce images that are more than acceptable, but…. If you don’t develop that skill set the images you produce won’t have
any heart or won’t have any soul… And they won’t be art.


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