Motorbike digital photographer Mark ‘Kato’ Kariya talks equipment: Digital Photography Evaluation

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The golden state native Mark’Kato’Kariya has been shooting motorsports for greater than three decades, throughout which time he’s made use of countless video cameras, lenses and bags. Lately he’s been working with Lowepro’s brand-new variety of ‘ProTactic AW II’ cam knapsacks, developed for use in tough problems. We talked with him about his profession, his gear, as well as his suggestions for effective motorsports photography.

What’s your background?

I grew up in country Southern California, where my household grows oranges and also avocados. I’ve been riding motorcycles considering that I was nine since that’s just how we checked the lawn sprinklers every early morning as well as afternoon – a Honda 90 path bike fits in between the trees quickly as well as it’s a whole lot faster than walking! I serviced the high school yearbook as a digital photographer in my junior and elderly years, and I joined the Daily Trojan newspaper when I was at USC, where I got my BA in journalism.

After finishing, I figured I would certainly end up on a day-to-day paper someplace yet instead I started covering neighborhood motocross races for Cycle News – a weekly publication focused greatly on race insurance coverage. A year after finishing, Cycle Information provided me a work as a staff editor, which was a dream melding of being in the bike industry and also using my level.

After 2 years at CN, my former editor offered me a staff position at a new publication he was starting called Dirt Motorcyclist. I accepted as well as stayed there for nearly 15 years prior to going freelance in the late 90s, concentrating on occasion coverage in addition to picture shoots for numerous race teams as well as, from time to time, makers.

How did you get your begin in photography?

Upon finishing eighth quality we were asked what we wanted to do when we grew up. I had no idea! The first thing that popped into mind was professional photographer so I opted for that. I took a standard photo class at a junior university one summer season, yet apart from that, I learned by seeing what others were doing as well as figuring things out for myself.

Mark Kariya portfolio gallery

What’s your excellent method of functioning?

It depends upon the work. Even for race coverage, it varies. At some races, I can get by with hiking around to various shoot locations and also get various sorts of shots. At other races, it actually assists having the ability to ride to areas, typically on the course before the race starts, though this limits the devices I can take. Then there are races like the Baja 1000 where there’s so much range between places that I drive my vehicle to various gain access to points off the freeway.

It just depends on what the client wants. If I’m shooting at a track or somewhere I do not have to go too far, I can bring more equipment and trek around while sometimes the customer desires a more remote location so I ride with a backpack to bring what I can.

What’s your best cam bag?

There’s no excellent bag. Each type of job appears to require a different bag relying on what tools’s required. I generally make use of one bag as a travel bag since it’ll lug a lot of right stuff I’ll require and fits beneath the seat in front of me or in the overhead of most larger business airliners (Boeing 737 Plane A321 and larger, for the most part). For the smaller sized local jets, it can obtain a little difficult; a lot of the moment my luggage will fit underneath the seat ahead. The hard case/trunk for a 400mm F2.8 or 200-400mm F4 will suit either area on huge as well as small jets.

What’s the most essential element for you, when it pertains to tailor?

As I cover a great deal of desert races, dirt is a huge problem so I try to remain upwind whenever feasible. If it’s not dusty, then it’ll likely be sloppy and rainy. As a result of the harsh environments off-road motorbike races are kept in, I need my equipment to be tough in addition to conveniently mobile. I constantly utilize two of the same cam bodies and also am presently running Nikon D5s as my primaries with a D4 as a third when needed.

You don’t want to subject the sensing unit or other internals so I’ll generally leave lenses on the video cameras all the time, with the 17-35mm F2.8 on one body (always with a Speedlight SB-900 or 910 on it for fill) as well as 70-200mm F2.8 on the various other. If I think there’s mosting likely to be a scenario where several lights may be called for, I’ll also lug 2 added lights; the last of my SB-800s simply died so I’m trying to get SB-5000s dialed in.

Mark’s leading pointers for motorsports digital photography:

How are you finding the LowePro ProTactic II bags?

I’m using the prototype BP 450 AW II that we made use of for the introduction video and it is much above the kind of common knapsack I ‘d been using for 20 years. It’ll approve both bodies with lenses connected that are my go-to’s with little bit more needed than transforming the lens hoods around. When I find a shoot location, I jump off the bike, take the ProTactic off, put it on the ground as well as unzip the back panel. Easy! I have not needed to accessibility equipment with the side doors yet, though I value their schedule.

I like how the ProTactic is a committed camera bag so the internal dividers are movable, enabling me to set up things as I require to, and also its padding offers a bit extra security from the elements (dust as well as mud, usually) and accidents, which take place periodically when I run out of talent.

What recommendations would you offer somebody who intends to enter motorsports digital photography?

it’s very tough to obtain trackside gain access to for car races, a minimum of in the US. Dirt bike races are simpler, with the exception of the professional Supercross or motocross Nationals, flat track as well as road races – those are dealt with like car races as for credentialing is worried. Yet accessing the course for off-road bike races is much easier. Get in touch with the promoter/organizer a week or more prior to the race to see what’s needed. Even if you can not get trackside, you can normally still obtain some good shots from the fence.

Enjoy the way the light adjustments throughout the day and also do not neglect what’s in the background. Make use of whatever you can ecologically to enhance your shot. If you’re just entering race shots, quickly shutter speeds like 1/1000 and greater are ‘safer’ as well as will certainly allow you obtain a higher portion of great shots. I’m traditional so I still try to keep my ISO as reduced as feasible.

As soon as you get relatively comfy catching good action, explore different setups, from shutter speeds to white balance (again, watching on ecological elements).

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