Just off the Hume Freeway, surrounded by unassuming Australian bush land, brown grass and dirt, roars Broadford Motorcycle Complex. Broadford features a number of dirt tracks used for motocross and one asphalt road course. Google maps and onboard laps of this track don't give its altitude changes and undulating layout enough justice.
Double apex's, blind braking zones, and a chicane that reminds me of Road Atlanta. I can only imagine this track is quite a challenge.
Champion Ride Days consistently hold track days for motorbike riders wanting to push their bike and themselves to the max. The great thing about these bike days are that they are free to spectate. This gave me a chance to shoot something different - action on two wheels!
I started at the south end of the track, facing the chicane. Here I was able to try plenty of different angles and even bring in the trees into my photos.
And although my main focus was on the chicane, the great thing about Broadford was that you can see pretty much the whole track from a lot of the vantage points.
The foliage I mentioned earlier added some great texture to the photos.
There were to things I wanted to take from my first experience at Broadford. Number 1, the experience of photographing something that handles completely different to a car. How the bikes lean through the corners and how the riders position themselves on the bike is completely different dynamically compared to what I'm used to when photographing race cars.
The second thing I wanted to take from the day was to have more experience shooting and panning at slower shutter speeds. Although I find myself going as far down as 1/10th of a second on occasion. I wanted more practice from 1/30th of a second and lower, to even a 1/4 of a second.
One thing I did notice however was that you can easily focus on another part of the bike or even the rider, than what you prefer to be focusing on.
Another problem I encounted was at Turn 1. With Broadford's rising and falling track layout, I often would focus on the track itself rather than the bike, leaving me yet again to having loads of images with out of focus bikes. I guess I'll have to remember that for next time.
It was definitely a day that flew by however. Even looking back at the photos as I write this, my time at Broadford all seems like a blur. It was certainly a new and educational experience for me, and I am relishing a return.