PACC Track Nights | mrp.net

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Port Adelaide Cycling Club Track Nights

In 2011 I attended the Port Adelaide Cycling Club's Winter Series track nights at the SuperDrome. It gave me a chance to practice shooting track cycling and work out where the best places were in the stadium. Given it was a club night they didn't turn on all the lights so it was very interesting walking around and suddenly finding yourself in a dark spot (at least from the photography point of view as I was told the cyclists didn't notice). I was a bit concerned about using my flash but I told the commissaire and mainly restricted its use to the "A" grade riders.
The Winter Series was composed of a night of events each month for three months so I got 3 shots at getting it right (or at least learning something new each time). The first night I used my 28-300mm lens as I figured the 300mm would be an advantage. The big disadvantage though was that the lens is slow so that didn't work as well as I had hoped. The second night I switched to my 70-200mm lens. I lost some zoom but the faster lens certainly made up for it. The downside was that I had to shoot at a high ISO due to the crap lighting and that made for grainy images. For the third night I decided I would try the flash. As mentioned earlier I was a bit concerned about it but no one came to tell me to stop so either they weren't put off or they were too timid to complain. Anyway surprisingly (at least for me) that was a bigger fail than the 28-300 lens. The flash sync was way too slow, reflective trim on jersey/bibs was off putting and the lighting was just plain weird looking.
At the end of the day the best compromise was the 70-200 f/2.8 lens with a high ISO and hope that at the nationals the lighting would be better.