I recently had the chance to shoot British touring car racing at Rockingham Motorspeedway track in Leicestershire.
It was my first attempt at car racing of any description, I chose British Touring Cars to shoot as NORMALLY there is heaps of action crashes etc so I thought I may get some decent shots that possibly ESPN would be interested in but alas it was not really my weekend ;-) no matter where I went accidents did not happen the nearest I got was when I had set up my camera to do what we call a pan shot, so slow shutter speed to make the background look blurry and the cars going fast, so I didnt get anything really worthwhile.
Motor racing poses it's own problems different to shooting the usual sports, for starters it's bloomin loud plus due to safety reasons you are limited to where you can and cant shoot from, obviously all the places I looked at that would give me a good clear shot was poo poo'd by some jobsworth marshal another problem with motor racing is the distances you have to walk with all your kit and most times you are stuck in that position until the end of the race, which means fighting your way through the crowds after to get to the podium... luckily I am king of speed walking and tapping people out the way using the base of my monopod...
At first I got a typical frosty reception from the other photographers there, this is so typical of shooting sports in the UK where everyone is guarded about their shots and dont like outsiders!! However it soon became apparent to me that 99.9999999% of these alleged photographers were weekend warriors most shooting on semi automatic or even automatic mode.. I ended up given a few advice about camera settings and picture composition, then a problem developed... I had a trail of photographers follow me where ever I went to get the same shot so they could compare!! That soon fizzled out after I went to stand in an area full of stinging nettles to get a good angle.. Always dress for extreme conditions is my theory so long socks and heavy duty trousers means no stings for me ;-)
As always when I shoot a new sport I try various different cameras and lens combinations I am always tinkering on the training runs somethings work some dont. for instance the shot below I wanted to get a different view of the finish line as everyone was the other side of the chequered flag getting a head on shot so I went wide and from behind to incorporate the car, flag, crowd and also an advertising for the racetrack (for future sales opportunities)
All in all after 6 days out of 7 shooting sport (3 cricket 1 football and motor racing over 2 1\2 days) I was very tired and happy with the results. Next stop is the British Superbikes at Silverstone so stay tuned for the next riveting read ;-)
Motor racing BTCC 19 - 20/09/2009 - Images by Sportsphotographers.eu .