Month: July 2014

Saturday at the Syracuse Nationals


After a full day of walking around the Nationals on Friday I decided to go back on Saturday to try and see what vehicles had been picked for the Designers Dozen Award. The judges picked 120 vehicles for the Prestiges Award. By Sunday they would get the 120 down to the final 12.

So my wife and I headed straight to where they parked the 120 and started to shoot images for HotRods and Harley’s magazine. I was contacted Saturday morning about covering the show for the magazine. Hotrods and Harley’s.

As we walked around we saw three guys that are from our hometown of Cortland in the top 120. Dave and Dick Stocker with their 40 for truck and 40 ford sedan. Also Paul Dries with his 50 merc that my father painted a few years back. It was great to see some local guys getting recognized for their hard work.

I was told that 8200 entries where on the grounds for Saturdays event. That is a ton of cars and trucks to look at in one day. Go to my site to see just some of the entries on Saturday john Zachary Photography

The weather was great for the days festivities. The crowd was massive, it reminded me of the State Fair in August. We ran into some people that we had not seen in awhile. It was fun to talk to some of these old friends.

This show is a great show to attend, so good we went up again on Sunday. Stay tuned to this blog for Sundays action at the nationals.

Pleas follow my big to stay up on all things photography.
Enjoy some if the sites from this years nationals.



















Syracuse Nationals Friday


Last Friday was the first day of the Syracuse Nationals car show. This year marked the 15th anniversary for the syracuse Nationals. This show seems to be growing every year. Just when you think they can’t fit any more vehicles on the grounds, 6000 entries show up on Friday setting a record.

Yes there are a lot of entries, but let me tell you I think this show is bringing out some of the best cars and trucks in the nation. From the Winfield Six to the cars that are stuffed in a corner next to a horse barn. All the entries have some love and pride built into them, and it shows. We can walk around and pick out flaws with some cars and say why would they paint it that color? I think that we should be looking at them and say wow that took a lot of work to build that car, and realize that the owner is very proud if their work or they wouldn’t show it.

With that said let’s talk about the Rat Rods, WOW they are really stretching the name Rat Rod. Just because they do not have shinny paint doesn’t mean they are not a work of art. The craftsmanship that is going into they vehicles is crazy. Plus the whole vibe that is going on in their area is just Cool. From the music to the way people are dressing is great for the sport of Hotrodding.

Well that’s enough talking let’s take a look at some of the fine work that graced the fairgrounds on Friday.

Look for all of the event coverage at my site John Zachary Photography




















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Saturday at the nations will be posted Tuesday.

Take care John

Shooting Action (What Lens To use)


Welcome back to buzword. We have been talking about shooting action. So far we have learned how to adjust our cameras to capture the action, and how to show motion in the shot by panning. In my last post we talked about composing, and how to catch your subject in the frame.

Now that we all know how to do these things lets talk about lens choices when shooting action.There are a lot of different choices you can make when covering a event.The image above was shot with a 70-200mm 2.8 canon lens.I used this lens because the runners where coming at me and I wanted to get a shot of them without getting in their way.

If you are planning on shooting high school sports you will need a 200mm lens at least to get the shots that will look different than the normal shot from the stands.If you can get on the sidelines then this size lens will work nice for sports like football, basketball, wrestling, or any sport that most of the action is in a general area of the court, or field.

If you area planning on shooting some soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, you might want to consider getting a 300mm or 400mm to capture the action. These sports seem to be all over the field, and you need that extra length to shoot across the field. I shoot with a 70-200mm for these sports because that is the biggest lens that I have. I just shoot down around the goal to get the players shooting on goal. You just need to be patient and do shoot the far away shots, because you will not be happy with them when you go to edit them.


Now when you are shooting closer a 24-70mm will work great. This will give you some room to grab the action when it is tight to you but, still will allow you to grab some action shots down court a bit.I think the perfect camera bag should have a 70-200mm, 24-70mm, and a wide angle lens. This will give you all of the ranges that you will need to cover the event.

50mm 1.8 lens is a wonderful lens to have as well. They are around $100 and can shoot in low light because of their 1.8 aperture. Two weeks ago I was shooting some Speedway Motorcycle racing at Champion Speedway in Owego, NY.
Most of the time I start out with my 70-200mm and grab shots from outside the track.

Later on in the night I grab my 50mm 1.8 and go to the infield and get up close and personal with the action.

So I guess it all depends on what you are shooting. Of course use what you have, and make the best of it, but if you are serious about shooting action invest in some fast glass. This means larger apertures like 2.8, 1.8, 1.4. Go to and rent one for a weekend and go out and shoot some action. The prices are really good. This way you can use one before you plunk down a pile of cash for one.

You will see a big difference in you action shots when you can get up closer to the action.
elmira ice race 1-17-14-7224

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Check out some of my action shots at