When I was investing plenty of time and effort into learning and developing my images, I used to tart out my galleries to the professionals in the hope of gaining a little feedback or critique that might help me improve my choice of image.
I did this quite a bit, especially after the larger events I’d get to as I knew more interest and a healthier comparison could be gathered.
After a visit to the 2016 German Grand Prix, it was no different; I editied what I thought were my best from the weekend, presented them in a gallery, and set about pimping them to the eyes of the world.
At the time, I wasn’t pleased with the set I’d captured at Hockenheim. That was (and still is) a typical reaction of mine to a final collection of shots, after the furor of a race weekend. I guess, I always think I could’ve done better, still my German GP galery was out on public view, and here I was, tagging professionals, asking politely if they would take a look and offer a little input.
Darren Heath, Vladimir Rys, Clive J Mason, Anthony Rew, Andy Hone…as many of the established and experienced F1 photographers that I could think of – all for a morsel of feedback or input. I also asked James Moy.
You might be thinking that what comes next is some sort of derogatory response, or even a piece of comedy gold. Could this be where I proved the doubters wrong, or where I get my break?
Nah. None on that.
To my suprise, all of those that I tagged responsed, and all of them offered even a few words of feedback giving me a pleasing confidence boost. I don’t know how much of it was mearly politeness, but at that stage of my journey, I was very pleased with the reaction relayed.
Conincidentally, Mr Moy, had taken some images that were very similar, and commented about standing in the same place. He was also the only person to suggest applying my eye to a different circuit such as Spa, where the dynamics of the surroundings could offer up more variety for images.
I took that advice on board.
Just over three years on, I’ve finally been able to apply and experience Spa-Francorchamp in the flesh, with camera in hand, over shoulder, sweathing buckets whilst fighting throught the masses.
As my maiden visit to this mecca of racing, I was excited for the opportunity to shoot the F1’s a second time this year, especially at a circuit that so many rave about. It wasn’t a dissapointment; if anything it was a little overwhelming.
Trees, angles, elevation, sun and crowds; a banquet of scenes!
Sounds amazing, but trying to avoid the cliched classics that have been presented by many on so many occasions before is a tough task. Avoiding the moment is more difficult that it appears; on any occasion I go out with camera, it’s a task just to try and satisfy my own endeavour, never mind doing that in alien surroundings.
But this was an opportunity to prove that I could. 5 years of shooting behind the fence, 95% of that at the same circuit here in the UK; would my experience and ability transfer to an utterly different and unfamiliar surroundings?
You can judge for yourself. Enjoy the gallery and feel free to pass judgement.
Thanks again for taking a peek and I hope you enjoy my images. All being well, I’ll be back for more in 2020!