Austin, TX – Del Valle Motocross Park (HDR)

As a photographer…it is tough not to take on the challenge of shooting sports.  Especially as I enjoy most all sports.   With the recent purchase of the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR lens….I shoot my daughter’s soccer games just about every weekend.  So skills have been growing.  I have shot high school football, high school baseball and a Supercross event.  I wanted to try outdoor motocross.  I just happened to google local MX (Motocross) parks in the area…maybe I could go shoot a practice?  I found the Del Valle MX Park.   It is only minutes from the Austin airport.

I checked and this Sunday (23rd) was a PONCA qualifier.  So race day at the track!   Practice started at 8 AM and racing was at 9 AM.  I arrived at 8:15ish and practice was underway.   What a great track!  The big bikes were out practicing and I started taking a bunch of pics.   I was shooting raw (most sports should be in Jpeg) I wanted to convert my shots into HDR.

Now as I mentioned before, HDR sports shots most of the time should be a single RAW image converted.   Any movement will create a blur.  MX would be a mess!  I stayed until 11:30 AM and grabbed about 700 photos.   I am in midst of processing my shots…I want most to be in HDR….you can see my gallery here…Talke Photography.  I have 20+ photos up now…by weeks end…hoping to have about 30+ MX HDR’s from Del Valle.    I will not come close to HDR’ing all shots, but if you were at the race and were a racer, Mom or Dad that talked to me during the race…email me and I can check if I have your son or daughter’s shot in my files.  I would be glad to make them into a MX HDR!!

I enjoy shooting Motocross!  I am becoming a big fan.  I will be at the Wortham, TX AMA MX race on June 5th.   Hope to grab some cool shots there as well!!   HDR & MX = sweet!!!!  Also, another race at Del Valle Motocross Park on June 12th!!  See you there!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 200.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/641 – Single RAW HDR  (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/4.0
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza

4 comments on “Austin, TX – Del Valle Motocross Park (HDR)

  1. Matt says:

    Incredible shot. Based on the above, I am assuming that jpeg would be preferred for non HDR because it is faster? Was this processed with photomatix? If so did you open in photomatix, or convert the raw to -2,0,+2 jpegs, then process in photomatix? Incredibly low noise for single HDR with such great details. Love your work.

    • Matt, hiya! Thanks! Yes, shooting sports you should shoot jpeg for the speed. But as I knew I was going to make mine into HDR’s…raw was the choice. You can still use a jpeg for an HDR..but might be a bit more noisy. My technique (I am sure there are others) is I take my raw file and make 5 copies. I bring the 5 RAW copies into Photomatix and convert to +2 to -2…then tone map as usual. Then I process in Photoshop. Simple and easy! But always remember lower light/darker shots will have lots of extra noise. I even see some extra noise in dark areas on certain photos when producing a single RAW HDR. Just work a little harder on that secion(s) when cleaning up. Have fun! Pete

  2. Awesome shot! the real advantage for shooting sports in JPEG is the compression size of the file. To add to the Jpeg sports piece. Shooting Jpeg is fine in well lit daylight but move to a venue at night lit by poor lights and RAW is a must. If you are in RAW You can underexpose your shots in camera for a faster shutter speed and correct your exposure in post. When he says fater I assume Pete is talking about how fast the camera writes the files to the card. JPEG has smaller files so it is a faster recycle time for your camera to e ready for your next shutter burst.

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