Back in March, I visited Brands Hatch race track in Kent, armed with my trusty Canon 40D and my newly acquired 70-300mm lens. Sports photography is something I’ve never really attempted before and was excited about what I might capture.
I’ve visited the race track many times before and had a reasonable idea of where I would be able to stand and get a clear view of the track and the action. Having read articles, books and websites, I knew the this would be key to getting some great shots. Especially as Brands Hatch has high sided fencing around most of the track for safety.
The trucks are big, and no where near as fast as other motor sport, but they are still hard to capture having never done it before. And there were other races with a variety of different race cars to mix it up a bit.
Before and in between the racing I walked around to see what else was happening off track, and capture what the spectators were getting up to. although not the biggest spectator attracting event, I managed to capture a few interesting moments.
Because I didn’t have huge experience of shooting sport, or of truck racing, I found the hardest thing to do was preempting what might happen, and so I missed several great action moments. But I think I did OK.
One thing I really wish I had with me was a mono pod. With my lens zoom at 300mm, it was difficult keeping the camera steady, meaning I was also trying to find a place to lean on. The second thing I also needed was more memory, you can ready why on my previous blog entry, here. But the long and short of it is, with so much happening, and never knowing what will happen next, I wanted to capture everything, so I had to edit out the wheat from the chaff as I went. I filled 12GB of memory cards with no trouble.
So all in all it was a fun and captivating experience, and although I do agree that you dont need the best or most expensive kit in the world, sometimes the right kit not only improves the quality of your photos (not your creative vision), but makes shooting easier. For example, if I had a mono pod, finding a place to lean on wouldn’t have been a problem, and I would have had more choice where to position my self. Also I would have had less shaky images to bin! I was lucky that I had good light, other wise my entry level telephoto lens wouldn’t have been up to the task.
I will defiantly be giving sports photography another bash. I did make it up to the London Marathon and got some great shots of the runners. Shooting the marathon was no doubt easier after my Brands Hatch experience.
Well, here are some of my favourite photos of the day. I hope you like them.