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Portland Adult Soap Box Derby shot with a Rolleiflex
Old 09-01-2019   #1
Creagerj
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Portland Adult Soap Box Derby shot with a Rolleiflex

This year I had a chance to check out the Portland Adult Soap Box Derby. I brought along my Rolleiflex to shoot some pictures of the race. I ran into an old coworker who asked if it was fast enough to capture the action. I have to admit, it was more difficult than I thought but I still managed to get a few good results.



View more from the derby here.
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Old 09-01-2019   #2
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I used to go to the Soapbox Derby in Portland but that was 1956-8. Here is my younger brothers car with my girlfriend trying to get in it. I could never get a good shot back then:

1958 by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 09-01-2019   #3
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So. Where are good results? Is see some results so far.
IMO.
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Old 09-02-2019   #4
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The Rolleiflex is an excellent camera for fast action. With the built in sports finder and focus area indicator the camera is only limited by your ability to react quickly enough.
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Old 09-02-2019   #5
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Very nice Joe! I really like the "big-sister" image.
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Old 09-02-2019   #6
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Cool stuff! I had forgotten about soap box cars. Getting old enough to take silly **** like that seriously.
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Old 09-02-2019   #7
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Originally Posted by raydm6 View Post
Very nice Joe! I really like the "big-sister" image.
Thanks! That one was my favorite as well.
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Old 09-02-2019   #8
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
So. Where are good results? Is see some results so far.
IMO.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
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Old 09-02-2019   #9
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Was that race on Mt Tabor? That's where it was (I think) when I went. Here is another Soapbox, but this was in Panama.'

Untitled by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 09-02-2019   #10
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Yep, Mt. Tabor.
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Old 09-04-2019   #11
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I have tried a few action shots with my Rolleiflex, but with a 75mm Planar the distance from the subject (in this case vintage cars) was just a bit too far. I tend therefore to use it for static shots.

It's always fun to try a different perspective on any activity though, here it is as much about the spectators, perhaps one with them looking past you as the soapboxes disappear downhill.
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Old 09-06-2019   #12
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Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
I have tried a few action shots with my Rolleiflex, but with a 75mm Planar the distance from the subject (in this case vintage cars) was just a bit too far. I tend therefore to use it for static shots.

It's always fun to try a different perspective on any activity though, here it is as much about the spectators, perhaps one with them looking past you as the soapboxes disappear downhill.
Getting close enough was a challenge. The organizers asked that you stay ten feet from the edge of the course for safety reasons. If I could have a do-over, I would have tried to work with 1/250 or 1/500 at around f/8. I was mostly shooting at 1/125 at f/11 to f/16 but that wound up being too slow. Lesson learned. Next time I'll go with a larger aperture and pre-focus. Then use the action finder to follow the action.
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Old 09-06-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
I used to go to the Soapbox Derby in Portland but that was 1956-8. Here is my younger brothers car with my girlfriend trying to get in it. I could never get a good shot back then:
Cool memory. Iím guessing that your brotherís car would have been used on the actual soapbox derby track that can still be found up on Mt. Tabor. (Unlike the Adult Soapbox Derby event that uses one of the winding roads running through the park.)
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Old 09-07-2019   #14
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Getting close enough was a challenge. The organizers asked that you stay ten feet from the edge of the course for safety reasons. If I could have a do-over, I would have tried to work with 1/250 or 1/500 at around f/8. I was mostly shooting at 1/125 at f/11 to f/16 but that wound up being too slow. Lesson learned. Next time I'll go with a larger aperture and pre-focus. Then use the action finder to follow the action.
I like the motion blur, it gives a sense of speed. It is difficult to get right, but go for too high a shutter speed and you'll get stationary objects with no sense of movement.
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Old 09-12-2019   #15
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Enjoyed the shots.
It looks like some serious speed is attained going down that hill.
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Old 09-12-2019   #16
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Looks like a fun time - I enjoyed the shots.
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Old 09-12-2019   #17
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Nice work Joe, I imagine how difficult was to use a Rolleiflex for such an event!

I took a few photos of a similar competition in Italy in 2013 with a Leica x1 , I hope it does not disturb if I add a couple to your thread ...and yes, they can go fast !



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Old 09-12-2019   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guth View Post
Cool memory. Iím guessing that your brotherís car would have been used on the actual soapbox derby track that can still be found up on Mt. Tabor. (Unlike the Adult Soapbox Derby event that uses one of the winding roads running through the park.)
Right, Mt. Tabor, he worked on that car for months.
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Old 09-12-2019   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raydm6 View Post
Very nice Joe! I really like the "big-sister" image.
This one is my favorite of the set as well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
Nice work Joe, I imagine how difficult was to use a Rolleiflex for such an event!

I took a few photos of a similar competition in Italy in 2013 with a Leica x1 , I hope it does not disturb if I add a couple to your thread ...and yes, they can go fast !

Haha, the Crash Bandicoot costume seems appropriate for Soap Box racing.
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Old 09-12-2019   #20
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Nice photos, Joe. I agree that the motion blur of the cars is actually a good element of the photo. Decades from now you and others will see these photos and will look mostly at the people, the styles, the park, small things that we don't yet notice in these photos today.

I didn't realize Portland had this event. Next year I may go down to make photos there myself.
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Old 09-12-2019   #21
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Nice photos, Joe. I agree that the motion blur of the cars is actually a good element of the photo. Decades from now you and others will see these photos and will look mostly at the people, the styles, the park, small things that we don't yet notice in these photos today.

I didn't realize Portland had this event. Next year I may go down to make photos there myself.
You definitely should! I am planning to go again next year. It's the third weekend in August. Here is their website http://www.soapboxracer.com/.

I think you are right about the people in the crowd. In the future the smart phones will look arcane.
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