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Author Topic: F1 Photography Advice  (Read 13567 times)

celltech

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2013, 10:56:18 AM »
Just finished processing my COTA F1 pics from the weekend.  We went all 3 days scoping the place out.  Our plan was to camp out at turn 11 thinking a lot of cars would overcook their brakes/tires and get some good action in the turn.  We saw some doing it in practice, but on game day nobody slid off!

At the start of the race I was at the hill edge sharing space with a lot of big lenses.  Everything I shot was with a 5D3 and a rented 400 f/5.6  Turned out to be a great combo and I can highly recommend it.  So I took a few frames and then went to join the family on the hill.  Bad idea...  The heat and lack of breeze down there, combined with the crowd just made it...boring.  So me and the woman ended up packing our stuff and walking around to turns 9 and 10.  The race is truly different at every turn and if I go back next year I will just walk as many of the corners as I can in the 2 hours.

The worst part of the weekend was the heat and harsh sun.  There were a lot of sick looking euros out there about to pass out.  Good thing I am a native Texan.  I am not a pro but spent some time trying to get rid of the washed out look of the raw photos.

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2013, 10:56:18 AM »

Lloyd

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2013, 11:28:54 AM »
One other thing that I noticed when processing my photos was that at certain angles the sun caused a lot of glare and reflections from some of the helmets, face shields and other reflective surfaces of the cars.  I had polarizer on my 800, but forgot it for my 24-105.  I think one of the things people may want to add to their check list is to bring a polarizing filter.  I don't remember if this has been mentioned yet on this thread, but it is something you may want to consider having in your bag for one of these events.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 01:27:56 PM by Lloyd »
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V8Beast

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2013, 11:58:23 AM »
One thing that is both a plus and a minus (you may know this already):  2014 sees all new smaller V6 engines and chassis, with state of the art turbo charging that is all combined with electric motor assist/batteries (I don't like this part)...but it's possible the cars might be a bit quieter than the current V8's.  Obviously they won't be as quiet as normal "turbo" cars can be.


I just got back from the USGP, and I feel very fortunate that I got to hear the 2.4L naturally aspirated V-8s screaming away at 18,000 rpm one last time. While I appreciate the technology involved with next's year's turbo V-6s, the sound is much more subdued. Mercedes recently posted a sound clip of the 2014 V-6 running a simulated lap at Monza on the dyno:

2014: A lap with the new Mercedes-Benz V6! Small | Large


Still a nice sound, but not nearly as visceral at the naturally aspirated V-8s.

V8Beast

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2013, 12:26:38 PM »
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!
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 12:28:54 PM by V8Beast »

Arctic Photo

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2013, 02:41:02 PM »
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!
I'm sorry, I don't have any pictures from Spa, but I agree with you it's the finest track of them all. It's the mother of all race tracks. Only really good drivers win here, remember Hakkinen's overtake on Schumi. He flew over the left cerb at Eau Rouge to set up the greatest overtake in F1 history.

V8Beast

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2013, 03:09:38 PM »
I'm sorry, I don't have any pictures from Spa, but I agree with you it's the finest track of them all. It's the mother of all race tracks. Only really good drivers win here, remember Hakkinen's overtake on Schumi. He flew over the left cerb at Eau Rouge to set up the greatest overtake in F1 history.

How can any F1 fan forget that pass? I still get goosebumps watching it on YouTube. Not only is Spa the greatest track on earth, Eau Rouge is the greatest complex of corners on earth. I must go there someday :)!

The esses on the 130R at Suzuka are pretty cool, but Eau Rouge tops them all.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 03:11:45 PM by V8Beast »

Arctic Photo

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2013, 03:43:15 PM »
I'm sorry, I don't have any pictures from Spa, but I agree with you it's the finest track of them all. It's the mother of all race tracks. Only really good drivers win here, remember Hakkinen's overtake on Schumi. He flew over the left cerb at Eau Rouge to set up the greatest overtake in F1 history.

How can any F1 fan forget that pass? I still get goosebumps watching it on YouTube. Not only is Spa the greatest track on earth, Eau Rouge is the greatest complex of corners on earth. I must go there someday :)!

The esses on the 130R at Suzuka are pretty cool, but Eau Rouge tops them all.
Suzuka is also up there, I'm glad you mentioned it. I'm likely going to Netherlands by car next summer and if the family allows, possibly pop over to Belgium to visit Spa. I'd like to walk up there to see it with my own eyes. Another great driver, Jacques Villeneuve was one of the few that kept the throttle down through that left corner at the exit in those days.

I've been go Austin several times through my job, but that was before they built the track. I've heard good things about it, but the new tracks will have a difficult time trying to measure up to the classics.

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2013, 03:43:15 PM »

dilbert

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2013, 05:20:40 PM »
Here's some advice for you that you won't appreciate until after the event: leave your kit at home and enjoy the race. Leave the photography to the pro's.

That is probably one of the best advice the internet has ever hosted! After all, why would anybody want to do something that he likes just for the fun of it while pros can do it much better and are paid for it. And that is also a reminder that pros are born pros and never gained from experience.

Obviously you have never been to a F1 race.

dilbert

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2013, 05:28:44 PM »
One thing that is both a plus and a minus (you may know this already):  2014 sees all new smaller V6 engines and chassis, with state of the art turbo charging that is all combined with electric motor assist/batteries (I don't like this part)...but it's possible the cars might be a bit quieter than the current V8's.  Obviously they won't be as quiet as normal "turbo" cars can be.

I just got back from the USGP, and I feel very fortunate that I got to hear the 2.4L naturally aspirated V-8s screaming away at 18,000 rpm one last time. While I appreciate the technology involved with next's year's turbo V-6s, the sound is much more subdued.

Meh, you should have heard them when they did around 20,000rpm.

V8Beast

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2013, 06:48:16 PM »
Meh, you should have heard them when they did around 20,000rpm.

You had to rub it in, didn't you :(

The naturally aspirated V-12s and V-10s certainly had a invigorating, tenor shrill to them.

V8Beast

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2013, 07:25:41 PM »
I've been go Austin several times through my job, but that was before they built the track. I've heard good things about it, but the new tracks will have a difficult time trying to measure up to the classics.


COTA looks much more interesting in person than it does on TV, that's for sure. The elevation change is much more noticeable when you're there:

Turn 1









Turn 2



Turns 10 and 11



Turns 7 and 8


IMG_0001

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2013, 07:59:58 PM »
Here's some advice for you that you won't appreciate until after the event: leave your kit at home and enjoy the race. Leave the photography to the pro's.

That is probably one of the best advice the internet has ever hosted! After all, why would anybody want to do something that he likes just for the fun of it while pros can do it much better and are paid for it. And that is also a reminder that pros are born pros and never gained from experience.

Obviously you have never been to a F1 race.

Obviously, you did not read my previous posts...

I may have been a bit rude with my reply to your post, but if you go back to the beginning of the thread, you will see that I also recommended the OP to make sure he would not focus so much on photography that he would not actually "see" the race. I would add that amateur photographer like me should make sure they don't get in the way of the other members of the public.

Nonetheless, I am sure that as demonstrated by other posters and by my own experience, enjoying both the race and the race photography while getting a few decent shots is possible.

For the record, I have been to three Montreal F1 grand prix and posted a few pics from this year that I totally enjoyed taking. Actually I enjoyed taking the 50GB of pictures I took over three days, even if only a handfull are actually just good enough.

Best regards.
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

dilbert

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2013, 09:02:34 PM »
Here's some advice for you that you won't appreciate until after the event: leave your kit at home and enjoy the race. Leave the photography to the pro's.

That is probably one of the best advice the internet has ever hosted! After all, why would anybody want to do something that he likes just for the fun of it while pros can do it much better and are paid for it. And that is also a reminder that pros are born pros and never gained from experience.

Obviously you have never been to a F1 race.
...
 Actually I enjoyed taking the 50GB of pictures I took over three days, even if only a handfull are actually just good enough.

Exactly.

Having been there, done that, it is better to just go and watch the cars to around.

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2013, 09:02:34 PM »

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #58 on: November 19, 2013, 09:48:48 PM »
...
 Actually I enjoyed taking the 50GB of pictures I took over three days, even if only a handfull are actually just good enough.

Exactly.

Having been there, done that, it is better to just go and watch the cars to around.

As I see there is a world between what we feel is worthwhile or enjoyable in photography and as you have made a strong demonstration of your constructive approach, I suggest we agree to disagree.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 09:52:47 PM by IMG_0001 »
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

celltech

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #59 on: November 19, 2013, 10:14:17 PM »
Guess I can throw in my own $0.02 worth...  I am an engineer by trade and I still don't get why soooo many people around the world LOVE F1.  I appreciate and love the tech, but I have to think that 99% of the world does not.

Once Vettel took pole position it might as well have been over.  He easily led the race and even set fast lap right at the end, as if to say he could have won it by more.  I personally found the practice laps more exciting than the actual race.

For me, taking pictures at multiple corners actually helped make the race more interesting.  Sitting at one spot waiting for the long train of cars just got old.  They all did the same thing and drove by.  I think I got a better sense of the driving by watching how they setup for the different corners.

In the end the weekend itself was fun.  Austin is a GREAT town to hang out in and check out the scene.  The track is immense and offers a lot of visual activities.  But the actual race?  Maybe I just don't get it...

But I don't feel like I lost anything by taking pictures...
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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #59 on: November 19, 2013, 10:14:17 PM »