Ten tips from a pro: Jamey Price tells you how to get great motorsports photos, even without a press pass
posted Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 5:59 AM EDT
To the uninitiated, shooting a motor race can be an intimidating and sometimes frustrating experience. Although the potential for a great shot is high -- race tracks are colorful and interesting places, and race fans themselves can be quite an entertaining bunch -- it can take quite a bit of work to come to grips with panning, one of the key tools in the race photographer's arsenal.
And the widespread use of tall, unattractive debris fences around the track, although great for keeping you safe from harm in the event of a crash, wouldn't necessarily seem to lend itself to great photos. Nor do typical race fans have quite the same degree of access which the pros get.
4/31. Barcelona, Spain. Formula 1 Pre-season testing. February 21, 2015. Red Bull ran a fantastic livery during testing. Though probably designed to make it hard to photograph the details on it, it sure looked cool. © Jamey Price / James Moy Photography Nikon D3, 105mm, 1/10, f11, ISO100 #nikon #nikonnilter #f1 #formula1 #formulaone #redbullracing #redbullf1 #spain #daniilkvyat #motorsportphotography
But once you get the hang of it, shooting a race even from the cheap seats can be a heck of a lot of fun, and with a little practice can yield some great results too. I know, because I've shot a fair few races myself over the years, sometimes being fortunate to have passes that would let me into areas that are usually off limits, but more often with no better access than any other fan.
Thoughts on the new Formula 1 qualifying format?? AND could this potentially be the last year in the sport's history where the drivers do not have a canopy over the cockpit? Lots of change headed for F1. (Photo is from pre-season 2015) Nikon D3, 200mm, 1/2000, f2.8, ISO100 © Jamey Price / James Moy Photography #Nikon #f1 #ferrari #formula1 #vettel #sebastianvettel #redseason
And one of the ways in which I've improved my own motorsports photography, beyond just simple trial-and-error, has been to watch what the pros were doing, look at their photos, and learn from them. A great article from motorsports photographer Jamey Price over at F1Fanatic gives you the opportunity to do the same.
9/31. Sebring Raceway. Sebring 12hr. March 21, 2015. Night has fallen over Sebring. After 11 hours of racing, you can have some fun with crazy exposures. The success rate is low, but I happened to nail the GTD winning Porsche with brakes glowing bright red and it's running lights making the cool streaks of color. Nikon D3s, 135mm, 1/4 sec, f8, ISO400 #Nikon #NikonNofilter #Sebring #Sebring12 #Sebring12hr #porsche #IMSA #motorsportphotography #panning
In the piece, Price -- whose photos have graced the pages of major racing publications and newspapers around the globe -- gives you ten tips on how to get great photos at the racetrack. Although the article focuses on Formula One racing since that's the main topic of interest at F1 Fanatic, the advice within could be applied to racing at pretty much any level, from your local dirt or kart track all the way up to races like the Monaco Grand Prix or Indy 500. It's also just as applicable to two-wheeled racing as to four-wheeled, and to closed-wheel racers as to the open-wheeled ones in F1.
Right. Let's fix Formula 1. This has gone on too long. Vettel had a pretty punchy interview on Channel4 in Bahrain. Basically, he wants the cars to be pretty, fast, loud, and exciting again. That's a campaign I can get behind. Vettel for President! Nikon D3, 400mm w/ 1.4tc, 1/400, f4, ISO1600 © Jamey Price / James Moy Photography from the Canadian GP 2013 #Nikon #vettel #sebastianvettel #f1 #formula1 #grandprix #redbull #RBR #RedBullRacing
If you want some advice from a motorsports pro on how to improve your photos, I'd highly recommend reading the article over at F1 Fanatic. And as Price suggests in his summation, don't just read it: Take a look at photos from himself and his fellow pros, both for inspiration and to see what makes for a really great race photo. You'll find the Twitter accounts of quite a few race photographers listed in F1 Fanatic's Twitter directory, and you can see Price's own photos on his website and Instagram page.
11/31. April 11, 2015. Chinese Grand Prix. Shanghai, China. Williams driver Valtteri Bottas throws sparks from the under tray of his F1 car into the very fast turn 1 at Shanghai Intl Circuit. © Jamey Price / James Moy Photography Nikon D4s, 700mm, 1/1000, f6.3 #Nikon #NikonNofilter #formula1 #f1 #grandprix #chinesegp #motorsportphotography #WilliamsF1 #Bottas #Bo77as
(via F1 Fanatic. Index image by Michael Tomkins.)