Your Webmaster

A man in his element.  Yours truly enjoying the races and taking photos from the "Earnhardt Terrace" grandstands above Turn 2 at Sears Point (Infineon) Raceway.

Photo by Gretel Wittke 
Note the Panasonic FZ20 digital camera that I used this year.  The camera is feather-light and can take wonderful pictures with its 12x optical zoom and exquisite Leica f2.8 lens; but it's a tricky little devil to use.  Refraction limits it to f8 so I needed a "Neutral Density" filter for shutter speeds slower than 1/250 in "Infineon" Raceway's bright sun.  

I rejected over half my 500+ photos for being out of focus.  Frustrating.  What I later learned was that my focus problem was actually a shutter-lag problem.

Battery life was marginal.  I had two batteries and used up both by the end of the day.  The Panasonic-supplied battery seemed to have about twice the longevity of the supplemental "Lenmar" unit I bought at "Samy's Camera".  Three batteries are the minimum for my long hard days!

I used ISO 80 and rejected no photos because of exposure problems.  I shot 1/250 at f8 in bright sun with the histogram centered.  For "Motion Blurs" at 1/125 the "ND" filter yielded f3.3-3.7 with the histogram centered.  The Panasonic- supplied "ND" filter altered the aperture 3 stops.  "One-stop" or "two-stop" ND filters might work better.  I'll be getting both!

For storage I used two Kingston "Elite Pro" 512MB high-speed SD cards.  They worked flawlessly and there was no noticeable write-delay.  I didn't fill them but I had the chance to dump Friday's card onto a CD-ROM, thereby freeing it for another day's work.  Three cards are a must for the next three-day event.  I use 512MB cards because each copies directly onto one CD-ROM while copying a 1GB or larger card would involve swapping CD's.

Back to:   Selected Photos

Back to:   WCC Homepage -- 2005

Back to:   Main Homepage