Photographing Track Racing...
Kissena Twilight Series Wednesday Night 6/12/19.
What has been the HH Racing race photographer up to lately? Sorry for the lack of updates lately. As you all know, the “Floyd situation” has created some serious issues for few race series to continue their races this year. So far, only the Tuesday series managed to be saved this year. Unfortunately, HH Racing wasn’t able to work out a deal with the Aviator. As of now, there is no more HH Racing Thursday FBF Race Series. Very unlikely HH Racing is planning to have one in the near future. It has been fun and exciting for a lot of us. I still think we made history with the horse shoe turn….
As for me personally, I am still involved with another local race series in July and August, as well as the Xterra offroad triathlon in NJ. In my other unofficial capacity, I am shooting a lot of track racing at the Kissena Velodrome. It is a new creative path I have decided to take earlier this year, and a promise I made to Karl too…that I will be shooting more track racing. It seems that NYC track racing hasn’t been gotten much attention in the past. Also, I am shooting in a new environment with subjects that I am still learning about. You can’t grow as an artist and a photographer if you are always shooting the same thing over and over, and the same way too. I haven’t forgotten about my roadie friends and all the park races and Tuesday Floyd racing. Very unlikely I will be involved in shooting any of them this year. If you need some awesome race photos of yourself racing, you know where to find me.
Photographing track racing is a lot harder. In road races, there is only one event, which is the race itself. As soon as the first rider crosses the finish line, the race is over. With track racing, it is not the case because in a single race day, many race events are being featured. You will have riders racing multiple events in a single day. I am still learning about the types of race events in track racing, from match sprint to omnium. Of course, our local Kissena Velodrome race directors would have their own event format during each race day.
Knowing what is happening in the race would allow you to anticipate shots. Track racing is more intense and faster, which would require perfect shot timing as well as using the right camera equipment to capture the action. Think about riders sprinting for 1 to two laps, 400 meter to 800 meter, at full effort and speed, depending on your track access location, you are only maybe a foot away from the action. Also, you have to pick your spot and location at the beginning of each race event because you can’t cross to the other side in the middle of the race. You either shoot from the inside track area or outside, at the beginning of each race event. Sometimes, the race events are running so quick that you may not have the chance to change your shooting position. Another greatest challenge in shooting track racing is that you don’t have the ambient environment to distract your bad action shots. If your photos fail to capture the intensity of the moment and the speed, you don’t have a nice beautiful background to make up for the photos. One thing I find it easier in shooting track racing is that I no longer need to cover miles and miles of the race course, either riding my bike or in my car. I no longer need to scout the course because all velodrome is oval and about 380 meter to 400 meter long. Some are shorter I think.
Some of the photos I took at the Kissena Velodrome since early June this year. For more info about racing in the Kissena Velodrome, you can visit here.