Arrived at The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) this afternoon in Austin, Texas. Parked the car in Area A, then entered the track near Turn 1. From here, walked up the hill to the Turn 1 Stand. The elevation change of the track from in front of the main grandstands to the top of the Turn 1 stand is dramatic. Others have told me that COTA is not an easy track to do motorsport photography from the spectator areas due to the distance the vantage points are from the track and the high catch fencing. I see what they mean. From Stand 1, you really can’t get clear shots of the cars on the track due to the catch fencing, but it makes for some great shots of the COTA building complex on the front straight. From here, you also realize how huge the COTA racing complex is. COTA is a very impressive race track.
Walked from Turn 1 to the overpass bridge between Turns 2 and 3. There was no one on the bridge, and was able to get some high shots of the cars coming through the downhill Turn 2, and rear shots of the cars going through the Turn 3 Esses. I think the Turn 3 Esses are the signature turns for this track (some say it reminds them of the Esses at Silverstone in England). For these shots, need at least a 400mm lens, and even this focal length its a bit short, where 600mm would be ideal. Used the 300 f/2.8 IS II with the 1.4x extender III here with the 5DIII. In the afternoon the sun is lighting the cars from the back, hence a good time for rear shots of the cars going through the Turn 3 Esses. The morning would be the better time for front shots of the cars coming down Turn 2 and along the straight. Also spoke with a local pro photographer on the bridge, and he gave me a lot of tips about vantage points and times of the day to shoot from these locations.
Back at the hotel now and planning Fridays photo shoot. Should be a great day with ALMS qualifying, WEC practice, and races for GT3 and Prototype Lites.