While the month of May can be spent dodging raindrops, from time to time we are blessed with perfect weather over a race weekend. Last week’s racing at Mid-Ohio not only had beautiful weather, but light as well. With practice and racing sessions scheduled during ideal shooting times of morning and late afternoon, it was a photographer’s dream. Whenever I get a chance to shoot in strong light, or in high contrast situations I enjoy playing with my shutter speed and varying my apertures to see what I can produce. Below are some samples of opportunities I came across this weekend.
Pace Car: This shot was taken immediately when I got to the track on Friday morning. The pace cars were methodically lined up, morning dew beading off their brightly painted hoods! It was a great opportunity to shoot into that bright morning sun! By cranking up the shutter speed, the sun gave me a high amount of contrast to catch those droplets and the paint scheme hiding below.
Honda Accord Pace Car
Rollout: Shortly after taking shots of the pace car, I wandered over to the garage area where there are always opportunities to get great shots as teams set up. Dario’s crew had just begun to wheel the #10 car out into the morning light from the sharply contrasting darkness within the transporter. The effect of shooting at f/4 at 1/5000 is a striking one!
At Speed: While not dealing with harsh lighting or high contrast in this situation I was still concerned about how my subject and background would come out. As I peered through my viewfinder I couldn’t help but notice the brilliant yellow curbing and the bright red guard fence. The shot was taken during the race and the harsh light of midday which often washes out color. By turning down my shutter speed to 1/320 I was able to create some motion blur, however with an aperture set at f/13 I was able to capture the rich setting, and avoid that midday washout.
Photo info: f/2.8 at1/5000 with a 15mm. fisheye.
Photo info: f/4 at 1/5000 with a 70-200 mm. lens
Photo info: f/13 at1/320 with a 70-200 mm. lens and 1.4X extender.
You can view all of the images from Mid-Ohio, here.
Helio Castroneves was inspired during a tour of the multi-faceted Honda Manufacturing of Alabama facility April 8 in Lincoln. Can you picture the “Dancing with the Stars” champion driving a minivan around South Florida? Odyssey minivans are produced at the expansive facility – along with the Pilot Sport Utility Vehicle, Ridgeline pick-up truck, Accord V-6 sedan and V-6 engines — and one with a 523-horsepower engine was on display.
Helio, not driving a minivan
|IZOD IndyCar race weekend as something other than a crazy fan.
Wednesday was a travel recovery (and battle internet connection) day. Need a hint for a 10 hour plane ride? Download white noise to your iPod. Sounds weird, but the additional whirringbuzzyfan noice right in your ears is a lifesaver when your back muscles are screaming at you. We were met at the Sao Paulo airport by sweet Murial from CVC, the event company that has hosted us this week.
Thursday was meeting day. Me and the IZOD crew had some great sessions planning cool stuff for the rest of season. Want to see innovation? Want to see celebs? Want to see speed? It’s-a-comin’! We had dinner at a shnazzy place called Club A with purple walls and smoke oozing down from the ceiling. There were attempts at dancing after dinner, but all I saw were a lot of wax-on, wax-off impressions and some sort of an odd lasso move.
Friday was education day! Professor “Lew,” what would one do without your knowledge? He took me from pit lane to Victory Lane, and then to the garage. Not since my Astronomy class in college have I been so overwhelmed by math and science. I learned all about tech inspections, downforce, tires, carbon fiber, steering wheels and how the drivers sit in molds to have their seats custom made. Lew even made me get UNDERNEATH a car at tech inspection.
Saturday was practice and truly a thrilling day. Rushing around in the heat, hauling radios, drooling over the Apex Brasil suite, hording fruit, dodging groupies, and getting chills from the sound of those amazing engines. The fans here are soooo excited and loving the new game in town. Mobs of people with cameras around the garage entrance, snapping picture after picture (after picture) of our charismatic drivers.
So, Sunday is…well, NOW. I’m looking forward to seeing my first race outside of the stands at the Speedway. Let’s plug in, people! Plug in the fastest drivers and the fastest cars in racing. Plug in the fans. Plug the IZOD into IndyCar!