Home > Events > Interlude – Marble Falls Lakefest

Interlude – Marble Falls Lakefest

Another year, another Drag Boat race. I packed light this year, after a fashion. The 40D and 300 f/4 was all I took. I looked at my pictures from last year (when I took the 70-300 also), and most were at 300. I debated alot about taking the 70-200, but I would’ve had to use the extender and probably stop down a bit, leading to higher ISO, so I didn’t take it. I did take my monopod, but didn’t use it. It requires panning over a 1/4 mile distance, and I didn’t know how to do that without the thing leaning and having a crooked camera. Difficult to explain without trying it. I managed to stuff4-5 water bottles in my camera backpack. I left around 1pm and almost finished all of them!

I’ve learned a few things from the past couple of years. One is to try very hard to keep the entire boat in the frame (more difficult at 300mm). Also, if you have two boats in the shot, focus on the one closest to you, otherwise it looks odd. Because the slower boats start in the near lane, I usually start on the far boat, and then switch to the near boat after a couple of seconds. Maybe it was because I did this, I wound up with far more keepers than last year.

For most of the races, I shot a lower shutter speed of around 1/320-1/640 sec. This gives a nice blur effect (below), but at the speeds these boats travel, I got some several fuzzy boats. When the 4 seconds boats come through, it’s impossible to get a good shot (for me). 1/1000 sec worked much better.

Also tried a polarizer to block the reflections from the water. This seemed to work, though it’s rather difficult with the angle always changing. I also lost a stop of light.

I’m thinking to not attend next year. I’ve been 3 years in a row. It’s alot of fun, but hot and a little pricey at $20. Check out the full gallery. Watch for the boat that lost a belt and had to be ‘rescued’.

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