Rallycross Frustration


I can’t believe it has only been a week since I was up at Summit Point shooting this event. The weekend had started off so well, so much to look forward to. I had a good time chatting to some friends and fellow Subaru owners up at the Mach V open house, then off to Haymarket for fields of flowers (well, a field, but a good one), up to Winchester for a night in a hotel, then up bright and early to head over to Summit Point for a day of photographing a local SCCA rallycross event.

Woke up on the right side of the bed, sun was just coming up, switched the coffee maker on, gathered my things, and organised my camera bag.

Fast forward a bit and I’m situated in the grassy area in the middle of the course with my bright orange vest on, ready to fire away. First car comes around, I quickly frame the shot, position my autofocus (AF) spot, and press my shutter button, expecting to hear the beep-beep as it locks focus on the moving subject and then the chatter of the shutter. But, instead I get a quiet kind of tic sound, then . . . nothing. And the moment is over. Eh? Must have been a fluke, a glitch. Next car comes around.




Next car.


Repeat, fire too late.

Next car.


Repeat, nothing.


What the heck is going on?

I managed to get it to work for a few shots (I have many lovely, focussed shots of grass and orange cones) but the majority simply are not focussed. Or, they’re just ever so slightly out of focus, which is almost worse. To be so close, and then to miss it.

I reviewed some shots on the computer while we were all on lunch break, which somewhat only added to the frustration, but at least now my thinking had switched from how to make the AF work, to how to do it all manually. Once upon a time AF didn’t exist, but photographers were still out there getting shots of cars in motion. Now, AF doesn’t seem to be an option for me and I need to figure out how to make the situation work and go home with some shots, even if it is far fewer than I had hoped for.

I suppose many of us, obviously myself included, become too habituated in our thoughts, lean too much on our technology – amazing though it is. I will certainly chalk this one up to being a huge learning experience and an exercise in improving my mental flexibility. And, better luck next time.

Sony sent me an email letting me know they had received my camera, no word yet on their evaluation of the problem nor on how much it will be to fix it.





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