Warehouse Hobby Raceway

Located a couple of blocks off of Main Street in Old Town Helena, Alabama stands several old warehouses. There is one identified as Warehouse I. Inside is home to Warehouse Hobby Raceway.  Cindy and I just happened to have stumbled on to it while shopping for some cabinet doors from a company that is also located in the same area. She had heard of them and we decide to peek inside. Well, I just had to return with my camera. How do you allow a photo opportunity like this to just speed by?



I’m not that big of a race fan. Of course I recognize some the names like  Dale Earnhardt Junior, Jimmie Johnson, and Mark Martin. When I was young hearing local names such as Allison, Bonnet, and Farmer where almost as common as hearing Alabama or Auburn. It didn’t really matter if you were a fan, you still knew who they were.




However, I have always wanted to photograph a race. Maybe one day I will, but this day I was able to do the next best thing.




I have to say that this outing was very challenging. First because it is located inside there was very little light. Second because it is a race there is speed involved. As you know in photography, the two rarely play well together.  I ended up shooting most of these at 3200 ISO. I tried to shoot with a speed of 650/Second at F4 with a 70-300 zoom. Sometimes I would try and push it to get a little more depth of field, but that was really hard to do. I shot in manual mode about 75% of the time.




Sometimes my lens would track and focus automatically but most of the time this was just asking too much from the equipment. I got around by focusing on something stationary like a bumper guard or a hill, and then as the car approached I’d switch the lens into manual mode and began shooting continuously.




Usually I’d get couple shots that were usable. The down side is that you also get a lot of garbage too.  I processed these images using Lightroom 3, Perfect Effect 4, and then I’d try cleaning up the noise inside of Dfine 2.0.




One thing that we photographer like to do is shoot a subject from different angles. While shooting these, I found myself shooting from ground level.  I believe that I enjoyed these results the best. I feel that it almost gives the car a life size appearance.


before the race


 Sometimes shooting a different subject than we normally shoot, teaches us lessons that we might not have learned otherwise.






8 thoughts on “Racing

  1. Phillip, it’s great that you found this place. I believe the ground-level images are the best and you did a good job with a slow lens in dim light.

  2. This must be every boy’s dream. Very nicely captured. In addition to the lack of light and the speed, the small size of the racing cars must have been a challenge, too. I like the way you were able to vary the perspective despite the obvious limitations of the place.

    1. Thanks Otto! Like they say over here “The only difference between a man and a boy is the price of his toys”, and believe me these guys invest a lot in their cool TOYS. — It kinda like photography!. 🙂

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