For #3, you could try to get closer the next time to get the facial expression. Note sure if its the compression ( it often happens ), but the picture seems a little out of focus ??
Sports in general is not very effectively conveyed from a distance unless there is a 'context' to what you want to portray. This applies to pict #1.
For pict #2, you could try to increase the shutter a wee bit more so as to at least get the face into sharp focus. Extreme low shutter speeds do not work if your panning cannot keep up with the subject. Again, not sure if the compression in the image affected the sharpness though ??
Hope the comments will be constructive for you.
Thanks for the feedback! I'm fairly on my own here, so although they cyclists usually like my photos, having some constructive feedback from a photographer is much needed/appreciated. Yeah, the jpg compression definitely softened these a bit, and I may have also been a little heavy handed in my noise reduction. In #2 the face actually is fairly sharp in the RAW file, which is what I thought made it a cool pic--motion blur on everything except his face.
Far and away the biggest struggle here was the lighting--even at f/2.8 and iso 3200 I was dealing with shutter speeds of maybe 1/160 which is pretty tough to stop a cyclist, and then I'm fighting with the small DOF. I tried a few flash photos, but just hated how those looked. But I'm not sure I have a clue how to effectively use a flash...
Not quite sure what you're saying about context for #1. It was supposed to be "orange guy off the front". I found for this event I really struggled to find any way to capture "feel"--it was an indoor field about 150x100 yards and they raced a big "U" shape and there was never much of a pack.
As far as "getting closer" on #3, I've tried that, but I feel like if there isn't some part of the bike in the shot, it loses all context and just looks like a person in a funny looking helmet. I actually do have some shots of individual cyclists that are much closer, but I picked this one as it was showing the two teammates working together. Is there something else I could have done with this shot, or is it simply not that great of a shot?
They have one more indoor race in 2 weeks, so if there are specific things you would recommend I try/adjust, that would be awesome! Thanks again!