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Get Ready With Me, Photography, World of Outlaws

May 3, 2021

Get Ready With Me – How I Prepare To Shoot A World Of Outlaws Sprint Car Race

One of my favorite weeks in Motorsports is quickly approaching Central Pennsylvania. It felt like in the blink of an eye, the past 3 months of our sprint car season in Pennsylvania has flown by. The World of Outlaws Sprint Car series hosts 3 races in Pennsylvania, this week and into the weekend: Gettysburg Clash held on Wednesday, May 12th at Lincoln Speedway and the Morgan Cup held at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday, May 14th & Saturday, May 15th.

Click here to get more information on these races.

Usually this race weekend always has Mother Nature playing a big role in if we will see races or if we will have to settle for a rematch in the summer during the Summer Nationals, but this year seems like a complete 180! Last year these Gettysburg Clash race was postponed until July 2020, due to Coronavirus (Covid-19), where Sheldon Haudenschild won. Below are a few of my favorite shots from the 2020 Gettysburg Clash.

PA is one of the Outlaw driver’s favorite locations to race, because of the history, competition, and the well-known “Outlaw vs. PA Posse” rivalry unlike any other on the World of Outlaw Sprint Car tour. This Central Pennsylvania area is where drivers make a name for themselves in the Sprint Car community, and this week could make a name for a up and coming driver competing in the region.

Leading up to this busy racing week, there’s quite a few things as a photographer I need to do to be as prepared as possible! I’m going to take you behind the scenes, and show my preparation as a industry photographer, to prepare for a race weekend/racing event of this stature.


1 | RECHARGE

I begin the preparing by making sure all of my camera batteries are fully charged, and if they are not I get them on the charger, stat!

I have accumulated about 8 batteries, since switching to the Sony Mirrorless a7iii system, and I don’t use a battery grip that features an extra battery to help you keep shooting throughout the event – So keeping my batteries fully charged going into the week will help me out tremendously staying focused on shooting instead, of wondering if I have batteries that are charged.

A Sony mirrorless a7iii battery usually lasts about 2 hours, sometimes more, sometimes less depending on how much I’m shooting in the time period and depending on how warm or cold the outdoor temperature is. This week and weekend’s races are to be on the chilly side, with a solid 40 degrees at night, which with the combination of using the flash, I’m going to need to have all batteries charged and ready to go!

 

2 | FORMAT

Next step is always making sure that my memory cards for my camera, are cleared off. This includes downloading everything that I have shot in the past and uploading them to my website, or saving them to edit later on, in a folder on my external hard drive – This ensures that my cards are ready to be formatted, and I won’t lose any images, that I wasn’t prepared to edit at this very moment. I like to think of this as a “photo dump” of all my unedited images in a more organized manner.

 

3 | CLEAN

Cleaning your gear is so important, when you’re working in the dirt. Dirt track racing makes it almost impossible to keep gear looking fresh after a dusty night, so a few things I do, to keep my gear in top shape and performing good:

a | LENSES
I use a lense cleaner, that you can use to clean your eye glasses. This ensures that you are cleaning the dust off right away and not letting it scratch the glass.
b| CAMERA BODY SENSOR
So after all, my camera body is mirrorless, meaning it has a sensor instead of a mirror like the dSLR cameras. I have to get a swab that is made for a full frame sensor, and I use a different solution, specifically for the sensor. Once I swab it, I let it air dry, for about 2 minutes. Then the camera body is ready to go back in my bag. You’ll notice that the sensor needs to be clean, once you start seeing little black dots or adorations showing up in your images, in a consistent manner.

 

4 | REPACK

Now it’s time to repack my camera bag. This includes adding lenses, my camera body, cleaning supplies. Also, including anything else I may need through the night. I normally pack my 24-70 lens and 70-200mm lens. These both give me a great range to play with, throughout the evening’s race. I also have a external flash that always gets packed, for the if-needed basis – I don’t always shoot with a flash, but this week I will take it along and probably play around with both natural and artificial lighting. The darkness of the track really matters, and the flash normally helps break up the dust, also.

 

5 | DOUBLE CHECK / FINAL CHECK

Lastly, I’m ready for my double check! The double check normally happens the day or two before hand. This way I can make sure I have everything I need, and that I don’t miss anything if the weather would change, or something like that. I also like to remember to put in my safety vest, as well as my gaiter, that way if I stand in a turn, I won’t need to worry about walking around the track with dirt spots on my face. All of these steps are just things I like to do before a big event – I should do them before each and every event, but definitely for the bigger events – it is 100% necessary.


Not sure where to start?
Do you sponsor a team? Are you a driver who wants to put his or her best foot forward when promoting yourself off the track?

Drop an email to nicole@nicolesignorcreative.com and start the process today to getting your very own set of racing autograph cards or hero cards! Your fans, current sponsors, and potential fan reach will thank you in the long run!


About Nicole Signor Creative: Headquartered in South Central Pennsylvania, Nicole Signor Creative provides professional grade photography, graphic design, marketing, content creation, and social media management in the Motorsports industry; sprint car racing focus. Join Nicole Signor Creative on social media: Twitter: @NSignorCreative; Instagram: @NicoleSignorCreative; and Facebook: Nicole Signor Creative


Hello. My name is Nicole. A Photographer, Graphic Designer, and Content Creator for businesses and race teams. I blog about photography, design and traveling as a motorsports photographer.

Hello. My name is Nicole.

A Photographer, Graphic Designer, and Content Creator for businesses and race teams. I blog about photography, design and traveling as a motorsports photographer.

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