Project #06 - Top Gear Festival

It has been awhile since the last post, but I definitely want to write about this last weekend I had. One of my favourite TV show, Top Gear, has come to Australia for an exciting, hectic Top Gear Festival and I definitely couldn't pass up the chance to capture some great motorsport photos. 

Lucky for me, the weather is great, so lets get to the shooting part!

The Gear

I don't think gear is everything, but having the right gear obviously would be the most ideal. It is good to know what kind of focal length you will need for these events as you do want to pack light and zoom might be a good idea since it is most likely going to be crowded and fenced, so that flexibility might not be a bad idea. I brought from ultra wide to telephoto just because I know it is going to be a long day and having that wide range to play with might not be a bad idea.

One thing I have to mention is how great the X100s is! While everyone was standing way back to take photos of some of the cars exhibits, I was right in the front. Fair enough the wide angle might capture things that you might not want, it was still very useful in those situation because of its small size and light weight. These photos were taken by the X100s and it was such a great camera to use to get these details shots of the exhibits.

Covering the event

I spent most of the day covering the track since that was my intention and I think finding the right location is probably the most important starting point. I chose my location based on 3 factors.

1. The picture I imagined in my head

I chose a spot next to a corner and then followed by the straight because I can take photos of car drifting around the corners and then tried some panning shots along the straight.

2. The available light

This really is out of my control but luckily the light was alright. It was during midday so it is a little too direct than I would like it to be , but it works out pretty good. 

3. The coverage of your gear

We certainly all wish to have as much as gear as we want, but we work with what we have. The most important point here is to understand your gear and use them well. 

Some drifting action around the bend, it is good to keep an eye out for some driver's reaction.

Motorcycle is definitely a great subject to try out some panning shot. 

A few tips on panning

  • start with a faster shutter speed and work your way down
  • follow the subject before you press the shutter and press it when it gets within the frame and follow through after the shutter closes to keep a smooth image
  • Use the "active" mode on your Nikkor VR lens (or mode 2 for Canon if I recall correctly), as it will stable the vertical axis but not the horizontal axis, which makes it easier for you
  • Keep practicing

There are definitely plenty more tips around that you can find on panning but those are the ones that I pay the most attention to, especially the last one. 

How can it be Top Gear Festival without the one and only Jeremy Clarkson. 

Afterwards there are more racing action. Check out the slideshow below

Highlight of the day was the Red Bull RB7 which was driven by F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo which broke the lap record and it was definitely very exciting to see this piece of great engineering driving around the track. 

Another interesting idea that I wanted to try was some wide angle panning shot because it is a little bit different and I think sometimes are more powerful than a tight crop pan shots. So these are some that I got!

Then I ended the day at the home straight where I caught some great motorcycle stunt.

That's pretty much cover my entire Top Gear Festival experience, It was definitely a fun and tiring day. For those of you who were there, share some pictures with me and for those who missed out this year, hopefully you enjoyed this.

Feel free to check out my portfolio and my facebook page and if you enjoyed this and know someone else who would like it too, feel free to share this and if you like it so much, free feel to check out my store and purchase a print to go on your walls! 

Until next time!