I dropped into the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton, Wiltshire earlier today to take a few pictures. Motor sport is something I don’t get a lot of opportunities to photograph so I was looking forward to dusting off the 600mm and getting some pictures.
I wasn’t able to get ‘track side’ as would usually be best but as this was a last minute thing I didn’t get the chance to approach Thruxton Circuit media people and get a pass. This wasn’t too much of a problem because as long as you choose your locations wisely you can still get some half decent pictures.
Don’t let the fencing stop you either – shoot wide open and you won’t see the fence at all – as long as your close enough to it. Another good tip is to manually pre-focus on a point, the apex of a corner for example, and hit the button as the car is just about to pass it, but remember – timing is critical, it isn’t all about ‘continuous high’. If you rely too much on your auto-focus you can guarantee it will ‘hunt’ just at the wrong time especially if you are shooting through a fence.
Your backgrounds are just as important as your subject so try and keep them clean or use the messy background to your advantage if possible. Take plenty memory cards you will take a lot of pictures. Try not to get stuck in one position, move around and try different vantage points and techniques – motor sport cries out for the panning shot so give it a go – there will be plenty of opportunities to practice.
Keep an eye out for what is going on at all times things happen fast on the race track so it pays to be ready for when it does and don’t forget to shoot some of the crowd there are interesting things happening behind you also!