“Baba, I want to go camping.”

“Okay, let’s go this weekend. There’s a race track nearby, let’s go there for lunch.”

“Where is the camp site?”

“I don’t know, but I will find one near the track.”

That’s basically how I got my wife and daughter to go to the track with me and let me shoot photos for two hours.

I haven’t been to Thunderhill for almost a year! Thank you Speed Dynamics (Sina) for letting me shoot at this event. It was great to meet people I haven’t seen a long time, and new people like Trevor Ryan, photographer. I wish I have more time to hang out with this awesome crowd, but my family is waiting…

As soon as I arrived, I grabbed my gears, checked in with Sina, and then ran straight to the track. My goal for this visit was to find uses for my newly purchased fisheye 8-15mm lens. It gave me enormous boost in flexibility at Laguna Seca, check out my coverage of Indy Lights for Heamin Choi. I was hoping to find new composition with this new lens at Thunderhill West.

Turns out, the crazy turns and twists of this track are so close to each other I didn’t even have the need to use 24-70. This one shot with fisheye pretty much covered half of the track. Your car would be indistinguishable from the rest of other cars on the track except for the first car in first lap. So I couldn’t find a good use for fisheye here.

Shot with fisheye, covered half of the track in one shot. 

Then I moved on to practice panning shots. Keep lowering the shutter speed until I can no longer get even one usable photo.  I think 1/30 seconds is the lowest speed with one usable photo. I do not know how pros can do 1/2 seconds pan hand held, if that’s really possible.

1/30 seconds shutter speed that turns background into lines.

I found a surprisingly good location to capture cars coming out of turn 1. My head tilts every time I look at this as if I am in that car going through that turn.

Here are other good ones.

Here is the link to the rest of the photos.

Sorry for not having everybody or having very little photos. I think 50% people got at least 10-15, 25% people have 16+. 25% people have 6 or less. This is not my usual shooting routine; I only had only two hours. My pace was also slower because I was looking out for snakes. This piece of bone found at the hill was enough to warn me about watching my steps.  

If you didn’t find your photos, maybe your car didn’t have a number? Check out this folder to see if you’re here. If you still can’t find your photos, sorry, I must have missed you.

Lastly, we didn’t have lunch at Thunder-grill, but my daughter had a lot of fun camping at Colusa State Park.