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This weekend  Jason Kruse Photography will be shooting one of the largest motocross races of the year down at the Reynard MX just outside of Wellston, OK. On April 16-17, Reynard MX will be hosting this year’s Loretta Lynn South Central Area Qualifier. This will personally be my 4th Loretta Lynn MX qualifier to shoot. The action and competition is an adrenaline rush, even for me. It’s easy to get caught up in the energy as the bikes race by within feet of my camera. The dirt becomes part of my skin out there and the smell of the fuel stays in my nose for days.

If the riders succeed and make it through the area qualifiers and then make it all the way through regionals they will  finally get a chance to compete in  the World Series  of amateur motocross, the Loretta Lynn MX Championship. Every year this “Road to Lorettas”  finally leads to the Loretta Lynn ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN. (If your phone doesn’t support the slide show plug in watch it via your computer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I would like to do with this post is to share some pointers to those out there taking pictures of friends or family members who ride as well. Whether it be with a camera phone, a point and shoot, or a DSLR you can still get great shots if you do a few easy things. Auto mode will work well under some circumstances but if you can really learn how to shoot with your camera in manual mode you will be able to  get those shots that you normally couldn’t get otherwise. It takes some time and I certainly would not suggest trying to learn manual mode during an important event but if your ready to jump in and learn on the fly then go ahead:-) There are a few items that will always be your nemesis: The sun, the lack of it, too much off it, shadows, underexposed riders, and last but not least blurry images.  Now on the other hand if you are aware of how these affect your shot you can manipulate them to work for you.  I won’t go into a full tutorial right now but I will throw out a few pearls that will go a long way. First, try to shoot with sun behind you. Let it light up your image in front of you. Even a cross light can create a flattering shot.  Try to catch the riders as they turn into the light. Second, take a look at each of your shots and fine tune your shutter speed or aperature based on how your image looks if you are shooting in manual. Doing this will teach you very precisely about what each of those settings do. Third, if your images are always blurry you may need to make the shutter speed faster to freeze the rider. Remember though, as you do this you will make the image darker so make sure you keep moving around so that your subject is well lit by the sun. If this doesn’t fix the blurry images you might have reached the capability of your camera phone and may need to invest in  good point and shoot or DSLR camera.  If you prefer to just sit back and enjoy the race then you might consider finding a photographer whose style of shooting you like and hiring him/her to work for you and shoot you or your rider professionally. Hiring a photographer for every race may not be feasible but if you do for those few epic races you likely won’t regret it. @JKRUSEPHOTO Follow me for Highlights