Posts Tagged ‘ St. Pete ’

This is the second entry in a series which discusses the making of an image from the IndyCar.com photo gallery. This entry discusses a photo that was taken at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 27, 2011.

Inside Shot: Honda GP of St. Pete

Keep reading to find out more about this shot

Each race weekend, we have a number of photo assignments.  The list includes such items as press conferences, driver autograph sessions, the Peak Pole Award, pre-race activities and victory lane.  We also shoot a lot of on-track action, the crews at work in the pits, and scenes from the Paddock.  One of the other items on our list each week is the start of the race.

Since we had several IndyCar photographers at St. Petersburg, we each went to different locations for the start of the race.  I was shooting through a photo-hole in the fence at the end of the long front straight that leads to Turn 1.  We knew this would be a good place to get shots of the cars just after they took the green.  Also, based on past races at St. Pete, Turn 1 has been the site of a number of “racing incidents” (last year, James Hinchcliffe was taken out in a first lap incident during the Firestone Indy Lights race).

If you watched the race or saw any of the highlights, you know Marco Andretti was involved in a big accident in Turn 1 on the first lap.  Knowing there was a possibility of an incident, I had the shutter speed turned up higher than normal.  Generally we shoot action shots at a speed of less than 1/1000 of a second so you don’t stop the motion of the tires, but for the start, I was shooting at 1/1400 of a second since we like to stop the action when there is an incident.

As the incident ensued, the primary cars involved moved out of range from my photo hole. We never like to see accidents, but if there is one, we hope no one is injured, and we hope we catch the action so we can share it with the fans who visit IndyCar.com.

Next up, an image from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

You’re watching the streets

Posted on: April 16, 2011 | Comments(15) | Flickr, Race Tracks | By: Daniel

Sunrise in Long Beach

Sunrise at Long Beach

My favorite type of track happens to be street circuits. You may disagree and I hope you let me know why. I like urban environments. I like that our drivers are racing around concrete, surrounded by walls, speeding by hotels, restaurants and parking garages. I love that street circuits are unforgiving. And I love that street circuits are usually in pretty cool locations (St. Pete, Long Beach, Sao Paolo, Toronto, Baltimore on this year’s schedule) – not to mention circuits from other Series’ like Monaco, Singapore, Macau, Surfer’s Paradise, Trois Rivieres and more. That atmosphere at these events always feels intense – it must have something to do with the heat, the concrete, the number of fans, the coming together of an event that is defined as temporary. Temporary street circuit.

Circuit Singapore Grand Prix, F1 night race, Formula 1 (www.yoursingapore.com)

F1 in Singapore (from Flickr user YourSingapore)

I also happen to love photography from these events. Where else can you capture palm trees with high speed cars? Drivers using the curbs to bounce into a corner. The colors of the chassis’ illuminated by the reflection of the light. And the sun causing unique shadows. In theory street circuits are unconventional. Photography serves to reveal that. It’s what we’re doing this weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Simona de Silvestro

Wasn't kidding about the shadows

Part of my job this weekend is to sift through hundreds of images. We look for pictures to post to indycar.com, our Flickr page, INDYCAR Nation and our media site. It’s one of my favorite parts the job.

Morning practice

Cars stream through an actual street

Some of the images make me think about the photographic process. What settings did they use? Why did they chose that location? How did they get even get to that location? Photographers definitely think outside the box.

Takuma Sato with speed

Takuma Sato and the streets

The shots from above on a street circuit are cool. Everyday buildings or hotels provide perfect platforms for photographers to capture a unique vantage point. And honestly, who doesn’t love a good palm tree.

Danica Patrick with the shadows

Danica Patrick passing through palm tree shadows

So when you watch the race on Sunday (4:30pm ET on Versus) consider the different views you experience. This entire track came together this week. On Monday after the race, barriers, fences, curbs and signage will start coming down. Honda powered IndyCar’s will be replaced with Honda Accord’s and other street cars. That’s what I love about street circuits. They’re unconventional and temporary.

But we at least have the photos to show that it all came together, temporarily for the weekend.

A beautiful morning in Long Beach, California

Temporary street circuit

You may find this hard to believe, but there are actually people who don’t care for racing – I’ll pause here while you gasp in horror. When I come across these rare creatures, I generally recommend they go to a race to see what the hoopla is all about and if they don’t care about the cars to at least go for the party. What better place to combining racing and partying than at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg? (Okay, turn three of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is some stiff competition but work with me here.)

Scenic

2010 Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete

Kicking off the 2011 IndyCar Season, the Honda Grand Prix or the ‘World’s Fastest Spring Break Party’ as it’s been dubbed, is one of the most well-attended events on the IndyCar Series schedule. From the Friday night festival to the post-race events on Sunday night, this is a weekend full of non-stop action both on and off of the track.

Dario and Fans

Dario Franchitti greets fans at the 2010 Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete

New to the event this year is the Trackside Club in Turn 10 where individual race goers and private groups can pay a fee to sit in the luxury of air conditioned club or adjacent grandstands; a more economical version of the Pit Lane Suite’s VIP Club. It’s the perfect place to introduce a racing newbie to the sport, entertain clients, or keep your high-maintenance girlfriend happy.

However, any real race fan knows the best way to watch a race is to be right near the track – or in this case the lovely streets of St. Petersburg. If your race guest remains unconvinced after that, you should really reconsider your company. Where ever you decide to stand or sit for this spectacular weekend of racing have fun and party safe. That means remember to hydrate, wear your sun block, and please – just don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Local Flair

Driver banners at the 2010 Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete

Not much of an off season at the ArtRotondo.com shop, we’ve been hard at work and have just recently finished the first batch of IZOD IndyCar Series 2011 helmets. First off we have 2010 rookie of the year British racer Alex Lloyd’s newest helmet which has a revised designed from last season to give it the effect of speed. Below are the first helmets that Alex will be sporting in the upcoming 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

2011 Helmet Designs

Alex Llyod's 2011 Helmet Design

Simultaneously at the ArtRotondo.com shipping dock are Graham Rahal’s new 2011 revamped design helmets.  Now being the third car in the Chip Ganassi racing team, we matured the design but continue to keep to the style of trademark ArtRotondo helmet tops. The playing cards version was created to depict Graham’s Ace hand coming into the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season and will hopefully give him the better hand out of the rest of the field.

2011 Helmet Designs

Graham Rahal's Ace Helmet Design for 2011

2011 Helmet Designs

Graham Rahal's Ace Helmet Design for 2011

The second helmet created for Rahal has commemorative fireworks for the season opener at St. Pete. This was the location where Graham Rahal celebrated becoming the youngest Indycar champion in victory lane in 2008. Now he with this helmet he will represent the start of a new season spectacle in the IZOD IndyCar Series and the start of a new era for Graham Rahal.

2011 Helmet Designs

Graham Rahal will wear this fireworks helmet at St. Pete

2011 Helmet Designs

Graham Rahal will wear this fireworks helmet at St. Pete

What do you think of these 2011 helmet designs? What design would you like to see on your favorite driver’s helmet? Many more helmets are approaching completion and Indycar blog will have all of these new ArtRotondo works for you to see.