During this year’s Fray in Ferndale, which just happens to be the premier race in the U.S. for HO scale slot cars, I wanted to get photos of each car entered in the individual competition. I wanted the photos to be consistent, and they had to be photographed quickly, as I would be photographing them as they came off the track during the qualifying session. Each entrant had 45 seconds to qualify, so that meant I’d be photographing a car about every minute. I also knew I was going to be photographing these cars in a crowd, with a large potential for getting equipment bumped.
So my solution was to build a little set out of foam core and graphics that I printed on my Pictrography printer. A piece of fine grit sandpaper stood in for the tarmac. The set was then attached to two pieces of aluminum stock that were then attached to a plate that attached to my tripod. I punched a hole for the slot car’s guide pin to fit into and made a small pencil mark on the tarmac that I used to locate the car’s rear tire. I prefocused the Nikon 105mm macro lens, and the light was provided by a Nikon SB-800 flash that was mounted on a pole that was also secured to the tripod. So with everything locked down, I was able to work my way through the nearly 79 cars that were entered without a hitch.