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  • Writer's pictureMark Paterson

What I have learned from shooting at the 2023 UCI World Championships - Part 2

Following on from last weeks post, where I began talking through my process for taking images at the opening session of the Track Cycling, and find out the reason WHY I used this technique. That technique, which has been built in to the camera settings on modern digital cameras, is a setting called SHUTTER PRIORITY.


Well, the cameras built in computer decides on the aperture while the shutter speed remains constant

Shot taken at 1/160th of a second, Aperture F6.3

In this first shot, the aperture was quite big (remember small number means bigger hole), which enable a lot more light reach the camera sensor.

While THIS image was taken at a smaller aperture (bigger number)

Shot taken at 1/160th of a second, Aperture F13

As the above images both show the shutter speed remained the same, the aperture changed automatically. As it was a part of the shot process that I eliminated from my calculations, allowed me to focus on getting the shots that I wanted to capture. And that was the easy part. Right??


With the athletes travelling at up to 50 KPH it was a challenge as they would remain still (for obvious reasons), so this involved another technique that I had to employ. That of PANNING.

Panning is when the camera is moving at with the subject and captures that in focus. As a result of this technique, the background then becomes blurry. Which in turn leads to the sense of movement.

In the image below, I have misjudged the speed of the cyclists with THEM being blurred and everything else around them being in focus.

After some practice and checking the results I managed to be able to get the shots I was looking for. That was the cyclists frozen, and the background blurred.

Like this image, where you can see the 4 Canadian bikes are all sharp and the area around them a little blurry.

It was only by being able to understand my camera, as well as some addition techniques, that I was able to be able to concentrate on the action and not worry about getting a shot that was OVER or UNDER exposed. Plus, it allowed me the ability to capture MORE shots that I would have had. Resulting in a more productive day.

To see the complete list of images from that day, check outage album entitled UCI World Championships - Day 1 Session 1 Track below

Until next time

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