August 28, 2014, 05:18:47 AM

Author Topic: F1 Photography Advice  (Read 19564 times)

CarlTN

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #105 on: December 16, 2013, 04:21:33 PM »
Do you work for Honda?  You said "we" when referring to them.
No mate I wish I was that involved, I said I can’t wait for them to be a part of the McLaren framework again as our best era was while “we” had Honda power, I was referring to McLaren as they are my team, I stick with the team and not the drivers, no matter who comes and goes!!
I agree with V8Beast about Hamilton and Alonso, I also think they are arguably the best drivers on the grid at the moment. 
All the limitations imposed on the teams in F1 by the powers that be are ultimately “bendable”, and these restrictions (and their loop holes) are what help create the new fancy gadgets that will find their way into production vehicles in the future, such as new lighter/stronger materials to old design features such as overhead cams, ignition timing, exhaust performance or simple aerodynamics or tyre features which can be used on a standard production car, it all starts in F1.
This (and the creepy bikini thread) are brilliant  ;)

I see.  Have to disagree again on Alonso and Hamilton, sorry.  I think this is just Vettel hating, nothing more.  Some people resent his (and his team's) success, I don't.  Again, he's also not a bad guy, and knows the meaning of respect...unlike Hamilton.  And again, Lewis can't go fast without crashing.  Raikkonen is a better driver than Hamilton, is perhaps similar in skill to Alonso...but is also just not quite at Vettel's ability.  Perhaps the best F1 driver in its history was Senna, but I'm sure you'll debate that as well.

I'm not saying F1 does not innovate, that would be absurd.  I'm just saying it's a shame they feel they have to mimmic what the passenger car manufacturers are doing regarding fuel consumption and emissions, because it's a compromise mandated by environmentalists who control governments, and has nothing to do with ultimate speed whatsoever.  F1 is, or should be about ultimate speed around a race track with lots of curves in it.  Nascar is about redneck drivers behaving badly chasing their tails in circles, Indy Car is about...not sure what.  Le Mans series is about both ultimate speed and endurance.  But since endurance is really their main reason for being, it makes more sense for Le Mans series to focus on fuel consumption and economy...hence Audi's and Peugeot's use (and dominance with) turbo diesel engines.

I mean, if fuel economy is of paramount importance to F1, they should just go with a one cylinder two stroke diesel, with hybrid solar power...and forget all about speed.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 04:25:26 PM by CarlTN »

V8Beast

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #106 on: December 16, 2013, 07:08:40 PM »
Have to disagree again on Alonso and Hamilton, sorry.  I think this is just Vettel hating, nothing more.  Some people resent his (and his team's) success, I don't. 

Driver debates can go on forever, and IMHO it's just one factor that makes being an F1 fan even more interesting. I have the utmost respect for Vettel. No hating here. He has, however, been the beneficiary of great fortune, and winning championships is a combination of driving talent and circumstances falling your way.

Senna was arguably the greatest ever, far better than Prost, yet Prost had the better equipment and won more championships. Many would make a similar argument that Hakkinen was every bit as good, if not a better talent, than Schumacher. As a fan of the Scuderia, I was pulling for Schumacher back in the day, but it seems like Hakkienen got the better of Schumacher through sheer talent and determination, whereas Schumacher got the better of Hakkinen through superior equipment/reliability or pit strategy. Sure there were seasons during their rivalry where the McLaren was the faster car, but it wasn't the most reliable car.  If Mika hadn't retired at such a young age, I doubt Schumacher would be a 7-time World Champion. Again, it's a combination of talent, equipment, luck, and circumstance that went the way of guys like Prost and Schumacher that at least partially accounts for their success.

While driver talent is supremely important in F1, a great car can make a good driver appear to be a great driver. Can anyone honestly say that Jenson Button was the best driver on the grid during his championship season in 2009? No one in their right mind would have picked him to win the championship at the start of the season. Likewise, let's analyze the 2004 and 2005 seasons for Ferrari. Schumacher won 13 of 18 races in 2004, and finished on the podium in 16 of 18 races. That's probably the most dominant team and driver performance I'll ever seen in F1 in my lifetime. Compare that to 2005, when Schumacher only won 1 race! The Ferrari chassis was so miserably uncompetitive in 2005 that the same driver that won 13 races the year before could barely muster 1 win, and the only reason he won that race is because over half the field parked their cars after the formation lap at Indy!

My point is that the car is every bit as important as the driver in F1, and the greatest driver on earth will never win with a POS car. Vettel could very well have the talent to win in inferior equipment, but he's never had to prove himself in that regard. I'll give him props for eeking out a win with Toro Rosso, but he's had the best car by a wide margin since 2010.

In contrast, Alonso, Hamilton, and Raikkonen are all drivers who have managed to win races in inferior equipment. Perhaps the best example of this in recent years is Alonso, whose Ferrari is so slow that it would barely qualify 6th or 7th, yet he managed to consistently put in on the podium. And if not for idiotic pit strategy in the last race of 2010, Alonso would have won his third championship, which means that he and Vettel would both be three-time World Champions instead of the score being 4-2, in favor of Vettel :)

Vettel is good, very good, but how good we don't yet know because his car has been so freakin' fast. 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 07:14:58 PM by V8Beast »

LightandMotion

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #107 on: December 16, 2013, 08:48:03 PM »
Sorry I’ve missed this thread until now. Sorry also for my long reply. Going back to the OP’s question…..

Although I’m a landscape photographer primarily, I’m a huge motorsport fan. I compete in local motorsports (supersprints), and am a F1 junkie. I’ve gone to just about everyone of the F1 Aus Grand Prix since the mid-80s (Adelaide and Melbourne) and have photographed at Monza, Monte Carlo, Shanghai and Singapore. Have not done Sepang though, although I’ve driven past it a few times.

My thoughts are:

1. Preparation is key, and you’ll get your best motor racing images on the Fri/Sat rather than race day. Study the map of the circuit and determine which is the best corner for images. If you can walk around the circuit on the Thursday so you can plan where to shoot when the F1s do the practice sessions on Fri and Sat. For example side on to a straight is generally useless, but head on can provide for some dramatic action. For panning, I like to find a slow corner, where the cars can accelerate from an initial relatively slow speed. This allows your AI servo /AF tracking to lock on easier than trying to lock on at 300km/hr.

2. Race day is a day to enjoy the race. Take your images during Fri and Sat practice or qualifying. If you can get a multistand ticket (diff stand Fri/Sat/Sun) that is great so all your photos don’t look the same. However, a lot of venues allow you to go to any stand or any part of the circuit on a Friday. Also check out the entry criteria for photography. At the Aus GP max 300mm lens can be used, and they police white lens bigger than this (although you can mostly sweet talk your way around this). At Monza/MonteCarlo/Singapore – they don’t care. Not sure about Malaysia.
 
The ideal corner has a tight entry, opens out onto a long enough straight for you to get a smooth panning action going.

3. A lot of the grand prix tracks, and I suppose Malaysia is no different, are surrounded by wire cage. It is often impossible to get above the wire to shoot in the corner you want, so I get as close to the wire as possible and shoot through it.

Shoot with the lens wide open, get as close to the wire as possible, and avoid direct sunlight on the wire. The depth of field will render the wire virtually invisible. All my best images have been shot through the wire.

4. Regarding focusing through the wire – I use the 1dx so the AF tracking (option 1 or 2) is exceptional. During panning, once the AF locks on, it just doesn’t let go. My keeper rate is a lot higher than when I was using the 5d2 and even the 1d4. Yes you can manual focus to a predetermine part of the track, and this works if you want to freeze the car at 1/2000 etc. However I find static motorsports images fairly boring and prefer to pan. Once you pan, manual prefocusing is obviously problematic. Much better to use AI servo.

5. If panning, shutter speeds will be in the order of 1/30 – 1/100, depending on the corner and the speed of the car. If you are shooting wide open to use DOF to render the wire invisible, your shot will be overexposed on bright days even at ISO 50-100. I therefore always carry some ND filters, Generally a 3 stop is enough. As my primary lens are the 300 f2.8 or the 400 f2.8, I carry drop in NDs. If using the 70-200, a front screw in 2-3 stop will be more than adequate.

6. Although I have a 400 f2.8IS, and can shoot it hand held, or with a monopod, I find the 300 f2.8IS more versatile and more than enough at most tracks. You can shoot all day with it, don’t need a monopod, can move quickly from corner to corner. Add a 1.4III extender if you need more reach. Also don't forget a wide angle for colour and atmosphere.

Some of my images from G+:

As I can’t sell F1 images without permission, I don’t have many on my website:

Enjoy Sepang!


https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/109217461409629684011/albums/5927179593387000225

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/109217461409629684011/albums/5786792556258311809

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/109217461409629684011/albums/5660688069789823073

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/109217461409629684011/albums/5721611848279568689
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 01:26:24 AM by LightandMotion »
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Alvin Ing

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #108 on: December 17, 2013, 12:43:35 AM »
Sorry I’ve missed this thread until now. Sorry also for my long reply. Going back to the OP’s question…..



Incredible images and great advice!

TheJock

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #109 on: December 17, 2013, 03:15:14 AM »
Sorry I’ve missed this thread until now. Sorry also for my long reply. Going back to the OP’s question…..
Incredible images and great advice!
Totally agree, OP pretty much follow what that guy said  ;D
I found the following comment on a fan page that I'm signed up to, it sounds sensible, so hope this little bit also helps!
The first time we went there we sat on open stands at turn 14 ( now non-existant) no shelter, bloody hot, but right on the restart to the grandstand straight. ( Great accelerations views) the year after I took the open field at turn 8. Still no shelter and we melted under our umbrellas that’s when I decided that every other year we will get the covered open area @ turn 10/11 and that’s where we’ve been every year since.
On a similar note, if anyone fancies dropping into Dubai on the 10th January then I’ll happily show you the wonderful sights of the Dunlop 24 hour’s race, which is still my most favourite motorsport event EVER!  We have 86 GT cars confirmed this year.....including an official team entry from McLaren, so I’ll be in heaven!!
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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #110 on: December 17, 2013, 02:12:18 PM »
I can see your point...but no I disagree that Alonso and Hamilton are "better" drivers than Vettel.  They're not even close, really.  Alonso is getting older, and Hamilton is also older than Vettel...and again, lacks the right instincts, discipline, and respect for those around him to do anything other than run off the track whenever he actually is able to go fast.

That is not even close to being the full story. Anyone of the drivers can drive from pole to victory with the best ride in the series. How can anyone say anything about Vettel's skills, when he hasn't been in a comparable situation to the others?

It also seems to be so that certain settings only fit one driver and usually both cars from one team are built with those settings. The other driver suffers because of this. It might not be possible to say if Kimi is better than Alonso (or the other way around) even when they both race Ferraris. Häkkinen claims that the turbo engine driving style fits Kimi better. Who knows... And yeah, Alonso is already taking part in the upcoming car's planning, so it might be built to suit him better & then Kimi just has to do his best with that.
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CarlTN

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #111 on: December 18, 2013, 02:56:39 AM »
Have to disagree again on Alonso and Hamilton, sorry.  I think this is just Vettel hating, nothing more.  Some people resent his (and his team's) success, I don't. 

Driver debates can go on forever, and IMHO it's just one factor that makes being an F1 fan even more interesting. I have the utmost respect for Vettel. No hating here. He has, however, been the beneficiary of great fortune, and winning championships is a combination of driving talent and circumstances falling your way.

Senna was arguably the greatest ever, far better than Prost, yet Prost had the better equipment and won more championships. Many would make a similar argument that Hakkinen was every bit as good, if not a better talent, than Schumacher. As a fan of the Scuderia, I was pulling for Schumacher back in the day, but it seems like Hakkienen got the better of Schumacher through sheer talent and determination, whereas Schumacher got the better of Hakkinen through superior equipment/reliability or pit strategy. Sure there were seasons during their rivalry where the McLaren was the faster car, but it wasn't the most reliable car.  If Mika hadn't retired at such a young age, I doubt Schumacher would be a 7-time World Champion. Again, it's a combination of talent, equipment, luck, and circumstance that went the way of guys like Prost and Schumacher that at least partially accounts for their success.

While driver talent is supremely important in F1, a great car can make a good driver appear to be a great driver. Can anyone honestly say that Jenson Button was the best driver on the grid during his championship season in 2009? No one in their right mind would have picked him to win the championship at the start of the season. Likewise, let's analyze the 2004 and 2005 seasons for Ferrari. Schumacher won 13 of 18 races in 2004, and finished on the podium in 16 of 18 races. That's probably the most dominant team and driver performance I'll ever seen in F1 in my lifetime. Compare that to 2005, when Schumacher only won 1 race! The Ferrari chassis was so miserably uncompetitive in 2005 that the same driver that won 13 races the year before could barely muster 1 win, and the only reason he won that race is because over half the field parked their cars after the formation lap at Indy!

My point is that the car is every bit as important as the driver in F1, and the greatest driver on earth will never win with a POS car. Vettel could very well have the talent to win in inferior equipment, but he's never had to prove himself in that regard. I'll give him props for eeking out a win with Toro Rosso, but he's had the best car by a wide margin since 2010.

In contrast, Alonso, Hamilton, and Raikkonen are all drivers who have managed to win races in inferior equipment. Perhaps the best example of this in recent years is Alonso, whose Ferrari is so slow that it would barely qualify 6th or 7th, yet he managed to consistently put in on the podium. And if not for idiotic pit strategy in the last race of 2010, Alonso would have won his third championship, which means that he and Vettel would both be three-time World Champions instead of the score being 4-2, in favor of Vettel :)

Vettel is good, very good, but how good we don't yet know because his car has been so freakin' fast.

Agree for the most part, and thanks for the history lesson!  I would have been a fan of Schumacher if I had cable during his years.  I liked watching him drive for Mercedes, even if the car was as if it was made of lead!  I recall one of my british ladyfriends I used to chat to online back in 2002, saying that the likes of Montoya was going to give Schumie a run for his money that year.  I doubt he did, though.  He came into Nascar in what, '06?  Then faded away or was fired just recently...I bet he's still a decent driver though.  It's a shame he didn't go to sports cars like Webber is going to do.

From what I gather from more recent commentary about Schumacher, it's that he was one of the best ever in the rain...and extremely aggressive when somebody tried to overtake him...to the point of trying to kill whoever did it.  Not sure how many penalties he got for that.  I am far from an F1 historian such as yourself :P...

Having watched Vettel race since 2009, and especially how many pole positions he achieves...and how he is able to snatch a fast qualifying time out of the fire at will with nerves of steel...I dunno it just seems like nobody else is able to do that.  Sure he has the best car, designer and team.  Maybe after the new chassis and powerplants come in, he won't have the best car anymore, and his dominance will be over?  People like you probably hope so, but I am kind of pulling for him I guess.  I kind of see myself in him.  Somebody who has a killer instinct and mind-blowing reaction times, but still likes to think of themselves as a nice guy.

I also see myself as treating my mechanics like he treats his, if I were an F1 driver.  And I see people like Hamilton as not even deserving to even have a ride.  The spoiled kid who always gets his way but still manages to lose, and the next race loses his cool and runs off the track...that's Hamilton.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 02:58:24 AM by CarlTN »

CarlTN

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #112 on: December 18, 2013, 03:00:39 AM »
Sorry I’ve missed this thread until now. Sorry also for my long reply. Going back to the OP’s question…..
Incredible images and great advice!
Totally agree, OP pretty much follow what that guy said  ;D
I found the following comment on a fan page that I'm signed up to, it sounds sensible, so hope this little bit also helps!
The first time we went there we sat on open stands at turn 14 ( now non-existant) no shelter, bloody hot, but right on the restart to the grandstand straight. ( Great accelerations views) the year after I took the open field at turn 8. Still no shelter and we melted under our umbrellas that’s when I decided that every other year we will get the covered open area @ turn 10/11 and that’s where we’ve been every year since.
On a similar note, if anyone fancies dropping into Dubai on the 10th January then I’ll happily show you the wonderful sights of the Dunlop 24 hour’s race, which is still my most favourite motorsport event EVER!  We have 86 GT cars confirmed this year.....including an official team entry from McLaren, so I’ll be in heaven!!

You live in Dubai?  That's cool...

CarlTN

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #113 on: December 18, 2013, 03:06:04 AM »
I can see your point...but no I disagree that Alonso and Hamilton are "better" drivers than Vettel.  They're not even close, really.  Alonso is getting older, and Hamilton is also older than Vettel...and again, lacks the right instincts, discipline, and respect for those around him to do anything other than run off the track whenever he actually is able to go fast.

That is not even close to being the full story. Anyone of the drivers can drive from pole to victory with the best ride in the series. How can anyone say anything about Vettel's skills, when he hasn't been in a comparable situation to the others?

It also seems to be so that certain settings only fit one driver and usually both cars from one team are built with those settings. The other driver suffers because of this. It might not be possible to say if Kimi is better than Alonso (or the other way around) even when they both race Ferraris. Häkkinen claims that the turbo engine driving style fits Kimi better. Who knows... And yeah, Alonso is already taking part in the upcoming car's planning, so it might be built to suit him better & then Kimi just has to do his best with that.

Whatever you say, but still it just sounds like you don't like Vettel.  If he had a slow car, he would lose.  But he doesn't.  He also has consistency, discipline, and calm nerves.  Perhaps you haven't seen the qualifying sessions over the past 4 years?  Sure he doesn't always get pole, but look at what he's able to do.  It's even a bit of a mind game on the other drivers...

One thing I'll admit.  Vettel is lucky Kimi isn't going to be his teammate...and I'm not sure Alonso is going to like it.

But for you to say nobody can say anything about Vettel's skills just because he has a fast car, is not right.  It takes both a car and skill, as V8Beast has said.

TheJock

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #114 on: December 18, 2013, 05:03:16 AM »
You live in Dubai?  That's cool...
Thanks mate, yes it's a nice place, INSANE driving standards, but a nice place  8)

I love how sports can be defended so seriously, THIS is what makes being a supporter is all about!!
The whole “my favourites better than your favourite” is an inevitable outcome to all threads and it really is the salt of the earth, I love how F1 fans mingle and rhyme off the stats of their best ever moments in history and defend their team or driver to the death!!!
For me Senna was the best, Shumi was incredible but at that time I worked weekends and had just got engaged, so having the luxury of supporting F1 was not really an option, I did keep up with events but I missed a lot of races, the fact that I’m a McLaren fan and that “the old enemy” (Ferrari) was trouncing everyone in their path sort of led to a lack of enthusiasm.

For me Vettel is currently the best on the track, the guy’s the 4 time world champion and credit where it’s due, his skills with the RB car have been exceptional, the fact that he can create a lead of almost double digits in a few short laps also suggests that he and the car really are one, and that the RB car is in a league of its own!!   The only real time I saw him showing that he was human, and could succumb to pressure like us mere mortals was the 2011 season in Canada when Jenson was tailing him in the rain and he lost the back end for a slight moment, this was enough for our Jenson and he took him.   
The RB car has been so superior since that no one, from any team, has been able to get close enough to put the same pressure on him, so let’s see what next year brings!!  He actually is a nice guy too, I met him in 2010 in Abu Dhabi and we got talking about the circuit, we had a marshals pitts walk round on the Friday night and that’s how I got to meet him, he gave me a Red Bull cap and he signed it along with the programme, a truly nice guy.  Alonso just sped up his pace to avoid the fast approaching pack of autograph hungry marshals!!!! :-\
All in all, I love everything about F1, including the rivalry and passion, opposing opinions and following your heart, this makes the sport what it is! 
So thank you to everyone who’s passionate enough to actually comment on this thread and keep it alive, sorry to the OP for the consistent hijack!!! :-*
I'll try and find my F1 photo's and post some more from Abu Dhabi over the weekend when I'm not a work skivving  ;D
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CarlTN

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #115 on: December 19, 2013, 02:37:46 AM »
You live in Dubai?  That's cool...
Thanks mate, yes it's a nice place, INSANE driving standards, but a nice place  8)

I love how sports can be defended so seriously, THIS is what makes being a supporter is all about!!
The whole “my favourites better than your favourite” is an inevitable outcome to all threads and it really is the salt of the earth, I love how F1 fans mingle and rhyme off the stats of their best ever moments in history and defend their team or driver to the death!!!
For me Senna was the best, Shumi was incredible but at that time I worked weekends and had just got engaged, so having the luxury of supporting F1 was not really an option, I did keep up with events but I missed a lot of races, the fact that I’m a McLaren fan and that “the old enemy” (Ferrari) was trouncing everyone in their path sort of led to a lack of enthusiasm.

For me Vettel is currently the best on the track, the guy’s the 4 time world champion and credit where it’s due, his skills with the RB car have been exceptional, the fact that he can create a lead of almost double digits in a few short laps also suggests that he and the car really are one, and that the RB car is in a league of its own!!   The only real time I saw him showing that he was human, and could succumb to pressure like us mere mortals was the 2011 season in Canada when Jenson was tailing him in the rain and he lost the back end for a slight moment, this was enough for our Jenson and he took him.   
The RB car has been so superior since that no one, from any team, has been able to get close enough to put the same pressure on him, so let’s see what next year brings!!  He actually is a nice guy too, I met him in 2010 in Abu Dhabi and we got talking about the circuit, we had a marshals pitts walk round on the Friday night and that’s how I got to meet him, he gave me a Red Bull cap and he signed it along with the programme, a truly nice guy.  Alonso just sped up his pace to avoid the fast approaching pack of autograph hungry marshals!!!! :-\
All in all, I love everything about F1, including the rivalry and passion, opposing opinions and following your heart, this makes the sport what it is! 
So thank you to everyone who’s passionate enough to actually comment on this thread and keep it alive, sorry to the OP for the consistent hijack!!! :-*
I'll try and find my F1 photo's and post some more from Abu Dhabi over the weekend when I'm not a work skivving  ;D

I think we agree on every point...and I'm impressed you got to meet him.  However, if you're also saying you're an F1 race marshal...then I'm even more impressed and honored to be chatting you!!  I've never been to an F1 race in person yet, but I have been to a Le Mans series race.  Loved it...and that was long ago, too...1992!

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #116 on: December 19, 2013, 02:43:29 AM »
Try to get a photo pass.

If you cant get one then get a all area pass.

Try slow shutter panning.

Elevate yourself above eye level.

If you are doing Singapore the week of the race Canon normally sponsors a talk by a motorsport photog.

Formula 1 Photographer Interview Darren Heath
http://forums.vr-zone.com/chit-chatting/487949-darren-heath-f1-professional-photography.html
Darren Heath - What it means to me
https://archive.org/details/TheFlyingLapEpisode57F1PhotographerDarrenHeath
https://archive.org/details/TWiT_Photo_39
Visit my Flickr, Facebook & 500px and see my photos. :)

CarlTN

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #117 on: December 19, 2013, 02:44:35 AM »
Try to get a photo pass.

If you cant get one then get a all area pass.

Try slow shutter panning.

Elevate yourself above eye level.

If you are doing Singapore the week of the race Canon normally sponsors a talk by a motorsport photog.

Formula 1 Photographer Interview Darren Heath
http://forums.vr-zone.com/chit-chatting/487949-darren-heath-f1-professional-photography.html
Darren Heath - What it means to me
https://archive.org/details/TheFlyingLapEpisode57F1PhotographerDarrenHeath
https://archive.org/details/TWiT_Photo_39

This is cool thank you!

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #118 on: December 19, 2013, 08:11:53 PM »
Try to get a photo pass.

If you cant get one then get a all area pass.

Try slow shutter panning.

Elevate yourself above eye level.

If you are doing Singapore the week of the race Canon normally sponsors a talk by a motorsport photog.

Formula 1 Photographer Interview Darren Heath
http://forums.vr-zone.com/chit-chatting/487949-darren-heath-f1-professional-photography.html
Darren Heath - What it means to me
https://archive.org/details/TheFlyingLapEpisode57F1PhotographerDarrenHeath
https://archive.org/details/TWiT_Photo_39

Sadly, getting a media accreditation  is not that easy. Yo..u need to demonstrate that you will be published in high volume medias. If I recall correctly, that is at least 20000 copies... details available at:

http://www.fia.com/media-centre/media-accreditation

Probably not in the reach of a 50D owner with a 55-250 (no offense meant, I have similar equipment...)
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

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Re: F1 Photography Advice
« Reply #119 on: December 19, 2013, 08:20:33 PM »
Sorry I’ve missed this thread until now. Sorry also for my long reply. Going back to the OP’s question…..

Although I’m a landscape photographer primarily, I’m a huge motorsport fan. I compete in local motorsports (supersprints), and am a F1 junkie. I’ve gone to just about everyone of the F1 Aus Grand Prix since the mid-80s (Adelaide and Melbourne) and have photographed at Monza, Monte Carlo, Shanghai and Singapore. Have not done Sepang though, although I’ve driven past it a few times.

My thoughts are:

1. Preparation is key, and you’ll get your best motor racing images on the Fri/Sat rather than race day. Study the map of the circuit and determine which is the best corner for images. If you can walk around the circuit on the Thursday so you can plan where to shoot when the F1s do the practice sessions on Fri and Sat. For example side on to a straight is generally useless, but head on can provide for some dramatic action. For panning, I like to find a slow corner, where the cars can accelerate from an initial relatively slow speed. This allows your AI servo /AF tracking to lock on easier than trying to lock on at 300km/hr.

2. Race day is a day to enjoy the race. Take your images during Fri and Sat practice or qualifying. If you can get a multistand ticket (diff stand Fri/Sat/Sun) that is great so all your photos don’t look the same. However, a lot of venues allow you to go to any stand or any part of the circuit on a Friday. Also check out the entry criteria for photography. At the Aus GP max 300mm lens can be used, and they police white lens bigger than this (although you can mostly sweet talk your way around this). At Monza/MonteCarlo/Singapore – they don’t care. Not sure about Malaysia.
 
The ideal corner has a tight entry, opens out onto a long enough straight for you to get a smooth panning action going.

3. A lot of the grand prix tracks, and I suppose Malaysia is no different, are surrounded by wire cage. It is often impossible to get above the wire to shoot in the corner you want, so I get as close to the wire as possible and shoot through it.

Shoot with the lens wide open, get as close to the wire as possible, and avoid direct sunlight on the wire. The depth of field will render the wire virtually invisible. All my best images have been shot through the wire.

4. Regarding focusing through the wire – I use the 1dx so the AF tracking (option 1 or 2) is exceptional. During panning, once the AF locks on, it just doesn’t let go. My keeper rate is a lot higher than when I was using the 5d2 and even the 1d4. Yes you can manual focus to a predetermine part of the track, and this works if you want to freeze the car at 1/2000 etc. However I find static motorsports images fairly boring and prefer to pan. Once you pan, manual prefocusing is obviously problematic. Much better to use AI servo.

5. If panning, shutter speeds will be in the order of 1/30 – 1/100, depending on the corner and the speed of the car. If you are shooting wide open to use DOF to render the wire invisible, your shot will be overexposed on bright days even at ISO 50-100. I therefore always carry some ND filters, Generally a 3 stop is enough. As my primary lens are the 300 f2.8 or the 400 f2.8, I carry drop in NDs. If using the 70-200, a front screw in 2-3 stop will be more than adequate.

6. Although I have a 400 f2.8IS, and can shoot it hand held, or with a monopod, I find the 300 f2.8IS more versatile and more than enough at most tracks. You can shoot all day with it, don’t need a monopod, can move quickly from corner to corner. Add a 1.4III extender if you need more reach. Also don't forget a wide angle for colour and atmosphere.

Some of my images from G+:

As I can’t sell F1 images without permission, I don’t have many on my website:

Enjoy Sepang!


https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/109217461409629684011/albums/5927179593387000225

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/109217461409629684011/albums/5786792556258311809

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/109217461409629684011/albums/5660688069789823073

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/109217461409629684011/albums/5721611848279568689

Some nice pictures there, congratulations.
Icket
Here in Montreal, about only the northern third or half of the circuit is open to general admittance and even a silver stand ticket like minesopens up only either the west (where I've been) or the east part of the circuit. This makes it hard to vary the perspective of the pictures you take. But hey, I like a challenge.
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!