Some great advice in this thread, as well as some great shots taken by people modestly labeling themselves as amateurs
I took my 5D3, 24-105, and 70-300L to this year's USGP, but honestly I didn't take many images at all. Since this was the first F1 race I attending, I wanted to enjoy the event instead watching bits and pieces of the race through a viewfinder.
A few observations from COTA:
- I scoped out all the general admissions area, and you're either too far away from the track and/or shooting through the fence to get a good shot.
- At the sections of the track (Turns 7, 8, 11) that offers good vantage point that aren't obstructed by the fence, a 300mm lens isn't nearly long enough.
- If the fence if brightly lit, and you're several hundreds of feet away from it, the AF will focus on the fence no matter what. That was the situation from the general admissions area, half way up the hill in Turn 1, which is where I watched the race from. A good work around was opening up the aperture, manually focusing near the apex of the turn, and shooting the cars as they passed through that point. An even better work around is to just put the camera down and enjoy the race
I saw lots of spectators so fixated on shooting that they had no idea what was going on during the race.
- As others suggested, do most of the shooting during practice and qualifying. Slaving away through a viewfinder is no way to enjoy the spectacle of F1 racing.
As an American, a Texan, and an Austinite, it's great to hear all the positive comments from the drivers regarding COTA, but I still think Spa is the best track on earth. Does anyone have pics from Spa they want to share
? If I can only attend one other F1 race, I want to go to Spa!