How Do You Photograph a Speeding Black Cat on a Dark Night?

100 in 100 Part 2

Use the flash, of course. And hope you get it right. Or we can follow the technique described in Adorama’s 100 in 100. It’s actually a tip on how to photograph speeding race cars at night, applicable also for shooting a Jaguar zipping by.

Joe Farace writes, “One of the problems of using flash is that if you’re not careful, you will produce a static-looking image that looks like the car is parked on the track, instead of going fast. That’s why in addition to using flash, you’ll also want to pan the camera using flash-and-long-exposure techniques.”

There are a few more considerations: the ambient light, the camera’s ISO setting, lens used as well as the speed and reflectivity of the car itself; Joe, who is a superb sports photographer and a race car driver himself, covers all these in the article.

One quick safety tip: never shoot a speeding car head on with your flash; you’ll blind the driver and put him and yourself in jeopardy.


Published by Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.