On Track


A couple of weeks ago, i was assigned the task of shooting some fast driving at close quarters. A second assignment for me from Fiat took me to a disused air-force base, where a select group of customers had been invited to put some Arbarth and Alfa 4C's through their paces.

From a technical point of view, action photography is pretty straight forward - as fast a shutter speed as you can manage for the exposure conditions. I had a bright sunny day, so most of the time i was never below 1/1200th Sec, keeping the iso on 400 just to give me a bit of protection. Heat distortion was a bit of an issue early in the day - it was pretty hot! And with hot engines, the distortion just got worse. I'm pretty sure that the nearby airport didn't get many spotters in that weather! They would have been suffering the same problems as i was.

Things get a little more complicated with panning shots; getting the background to show motion-blur while keeping the car in focus. For this technique you need to bring your shutter-speed to below 1/120 sec, and track the car with the camera as it passes. Sometimes it's a hit, sometimes it's a miss. Practice makes perfect!

The afternoon though saw some cloud arrive, and with that, a serious reduction in the amount of heat-distortion coming from the tarmac and the cars! 

All in all, a successful shoot!

ALL pictures © Ant Palmer/Ape.Photos. Use ONLY with permission.


When Opportunity Arrives

When opportunity arrives, it can arrive in a number of ways. A chance meeting. An old acquaintance. A former client thats gone solo. You get the drift.

For me, a recent opportunity arrived in the post.

I received an invitation from a car manufacturer, via a local car dealership to attend the launch of a new model. The manufacture involved here was Alfa Romeo, which goes under the umbrella of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. 

In addition to the fact that the invitation was to enjoy an evening of free food and drink, I thought it also a nice opportunity for me to photograph something new. I called the RSVP number, and got through to a lovely lady who when I asked if i would be able to bring a camera with me responded with 'oh, i don't think we have a photographer coming!'

Here was the opportunity.

The lady i spoke to at Fiat put me in touch with the Marketing Agency that was organising the event. She was right - there was no photographer planned.

I spoke to the guy who was organising the event, and agreed that I would come along with my camera kit and we'd share the pictures. I wouldn't be paid for the work, but money was never in my plans here anyway - i simply wanted to take some pictures of the new car and the event in general.

Anyway, to cut a long story a little shorter - the agency and manufacture were happy with the pictures a shot. An error on my part was that i concentrated my shooting purely on the car, and not all the happy guests enjoying the hospitality. Lesson learnt there. Anyway, as i was saying, the pictures went down well enough that Fiat Chrysler have since brought me in again to do paid work at one of their events. Awesome! 

The company have a full calendar of events for next year, so hopefully this is the start of great relationship - let's see how things develop in 2017!