Got up early and got to the track around 9 am. Drove through Gate 1 and parked at the Audi Corral overflow car park (thanks again to the Audi fan who gave me a spare parking permit). On race day its very hard to find a general parking area and would recommend parking in the overflow parking area through Gate 3 if you don’t have access to car corrals. I had the day all planned in terms of which track location I would be at, what time of day etc. Had planned to shoot the start of the race between the inside straight between Turns 2 and 3 to get front shots of the cars speeding down the straight and bunched up (like I did last year). However, as you know, all the planning gets “thrown out the window” when you are on site, and in this case it led to some great photographic opportunities, which I’ll expand later in this positing.
Gurney Terrace Pit Box (morning)
As I was walking along the midway-food-exhibit main road I kept on thinking, maybe I should shoot from the Gurney Terrace Pit Box and get shots of the starting grid festivities? So I walked over the East Walkover Bridge and up to the Gurney Terrace. The stand is a good place to watch the cars racing down the Start/Finish straight and pit activities, but is not a good location for photography since their are a lot of obstacles (e.g. posts, tents, antennas etc.) preventing clear shots and due to the elevation of the stand the car images appear flat. Despite this, I tried to be creative in overcoming these obstacles to get shots of the event (e.g. used 300mm for tight shots to avoid obstacles and 40mm for wide angle shots to minimize obstacle distraction). In retrospect, the Fangio Terrace would be the better location for watching the pre-race festivities.
Starting grid pre-race fan walk view from Gurney Terrace. Believe me, their are actually race cars in the crowd some where? (Canon 5D Mark III, 300mm f/2.8L II, f/7.1/ 1/800, ISO 100; Gurney Terrace Pit Box)
(Canon 5D Mark III, 300mm f/2.8L II, f/11, 1/800, ISO 100; Gurney Terrace Pit Box)
GT class cars on front straight (Canon 5D Mark II, 40mm f/2.8 IS, f/6.3, 1/1250, ISO 100; Gurney Terrace Pit Box)