This month I attended Motocross of Nations at Matterley Basin. For my first time attempting to shoot motocross, I took the Sony a6500 and the 100-400mm 4.5-5.6 GM lens along with me. It turned out to be a brilliant event and a new photographic challenge.
All images that you will see throughout this article are SOOC (Straight Out of the Camera) JPEG’s. If I do any post editing to images I will always make this clear.
**Please Note: Unless otherwise mentioned no post processing has been applied to the image samples in this guide except for cropping. Full resolution SOOC JPEG images are available to download. RAW files are also available but password protected to help keep my hosting costs sensible. However, I do provide the username/password to all members of our community forum. All images are copyright protected and may be used for personal use only.
I initially thought that the 100-400mm focal length would be overkill here, and everything I had read previous to this event suggested using a 70-200mm lens as you would be able to get close to the action. However, due to the size of the crowds and not being overly keen on fighting for position on the crowdline, I decided to keep my distance and make full use of the focal length I had to play with.
The camera and lens combo worked flawlessly. I was able to pick up details like the riders eyes with ease, or freeze the dirt thrown up from the wheels. I’ve never photographed jumps before and found this to quite the challenge, especially if I was in front of the jump and couldn’t focus on the rider until they were already in the air. I nailed some shots but missed many, this is definitely something I need to work on.
Most of my shots were captured using a shutter speed of 1/500 sec or above to make sure that I froze the action. In hindsight I should have played around with some slower shutter speeds to generate a little more motion blur, I guess that’s something for next time now.
Unfortunately it’s the end of the motocross season here, but I’ll certainly be attending more events in 2018. I’ll most likely take along the 100-400mm GM again, but will also take the Sony FE 70-200mm F4 for if I can get a little closer to the action, and maybe even the Sony FE 24-70mm F4.
If you also love shooting motocross or any other sport with your Sony Alpha camera, then I’ve setup the Sony Alpha Sports Shooters Group on Facebook where you can share your photos with fellow sports shooters.