2014 Track Season Opener

T3 at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton WA. http://www.JasonTanaka.com

Ahh… Another track season is upon us. Time to dust off the big guy (Canon 400mm f2.8 L lens) and head out to the track. This year’s opener was a double with it being on a Saturday and Sunday. It was a bit rough getting back into the swing of things.
As with any other track season, I continue to look for new angles and locations to shoot on the track. I think I found a new angle, but it may be tough on days of variable lighting (patchy clouds). For sunny days where the lighting is consistent, I can put the camera in manual mode and set my exposure appropriately. This is new angle requires shooting against the sky and can throw off the camera’s metering. Using manual mode, I can set the camera to properly expose for the subject. Throw in mixed lighting and I can’t shoot in manual mode anymore. It’s going to be a challenge for sure!
I’ll keep looking for new angles… And saving my pennies for my next big lens…. Canon 600mm f4.0 L….

Mark of 2-Fast taking T3 at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton WA. http://www.JasonTanaka.com


It’s Work

Shooting out at the track some days is just awesome. I get to be a part of an activity that many are so passionate about. But as time moves forward, things change. What was new is now old. What was fun becomes mundane. What was awesome is not so awesome anymore. I’m not trying to complain or anything, just telling it how it is.

At the last track day, lets just say the track wasn’t filled to capacity with riders. While shooting from the hot pit, a spectator next to me asked if I was having fun out there. Well, I’m generally an honest person, so I responded by saying, “it’s work.”

When I first got into photography and would watch pro photographers shooting big events like the Olympics and such, I would dream about what it would be like to shoot there. I still dream about being an Olympic photographer one day, but I know those pros are working. And working hard.


Dust from clean sweep kicks up as Mark rides through the first session. – http://www.jasontanaka.com

Grinding it out. – http://www.jasontanaka.com

Nose to the Grind Stone

Wow, it’s been one super busy week! It started with last weekend’s 2-Fast track day weekend, shooting both Saturday and Sunday. Then bring in Ducati Bellevue’s track day and it all adds up to a lot of photos! 20,212 photos to be exact 🙂 The following days were spent looking at each one of them and processing them all. With the week finally passed, I’m finally getting a breather. Sales of been steady and my eye vision is slowing getting back to normal 🙂 Doh! I shot at the track yesterday (Friday) too, back to post processing track photos…

Knowing that I’d be shooting thousands of images, for the first time, I set my camera to shoot JPEG format for Saturday. This saved a ton of memory and only used about 60 gigs of memory. During post, it reminded my why I shoot RAW, and glad I did for the rest of the days. JPEG left very little room for post work. Although most non-photographers may not notice the difference, to my eyes, there was a significant difference. No more shooting JPEG unless I have to.

Getting The Word Out

One of my photos on the local news station website; King5

Motorcycle riding is inherently dangerous, but add the unpredictable variables of public streets and your odds of survival drop further. To get their adrenaline fix, riders can hit the track where many of those public dangers are eliminated along with medical support sitting track side in case an incident does occur.
Track riding season is finally upon us. If you’re a rider and have never ridden on the track, I’d strongly encourage a visit. You will never forget it.

King5 link

Welcome 2013 Track Season

Ah, isn’t the sun a sight for sore eyes! Winter is finally over and track season kicked off with the most beautiful day we’ve had in a long time. Sunny, mid-60s with little wind. Just awesome!

During the winter, I aquired new gear that I was super excited to finally put through it’s paces; the Canon 1Dx. Canon’s flag ship professional body. Coming from the now infamous 1D Mark III (early production models had severe focusing issues), the 1Dx promised many enhancements. I won’t go into detail about the body as there are many other online resources that do it better than I could. I will give one positive and one negative comment about the camera, from my point of view.
Pro: Focusing and sharpness is much improved over my 1D Mark III.
Con: The price. Not having shot with the 1D Mark IV, I’m not sure if it was worth the price tag.

Anyway, enough of the boring stuff. On to the photos!


The Run Down.

Just another day at the ‘office’