I had not visited the Silverstone Classic until last week, although I have seen and heard plenty about it.
A weekend of nostalgia, celebrities and racing around the international circuit in vehicles that really should be in a museum.
But these machines were built to race and that what the Silverstone Classic is all about. The opportunity to get up close and personal with some roaring time travelers and experience what you might have missed first time round.
As will any race meeting and this being my first Classic, I didn’t really know what to expect.
I chose to go up on the the qualifying Friday with a view of getting the most variety in a single day. I knew it would possibly be a busy one, but I envisaged that the sheer quantity of machines on display would give me sufficient variety to try and shoot and interesting gallery.
Like other historic events, there were many photographic opportunities on offer; from the car clubs displaying rows of polished pride and joy, to the two bustling paddock and pit areas where teams and enthusiasts are packed into pre-defined preparation areas.
Unlike many professional motorsport events, the Classic presents an ideal opportunity to really get in the mix. Not only can you walk through the paddock, but the garages are also open for a relaxed amble between engine revs and oil spills.
I didn’t realise this, and thought that popping my Classics cherry would be much like the others, where you can get close, just not quite close enough.
I was pretty stoked with the opportunity to get in amongst it. Enthused by the hubbub, the people and the plethora of photographic opportunities.
Or perhaps not.
Thanks to all the scrumptious accessibility at events such as this, you end up with a bit of a photographers conundrum.
I love seeing the cars out on the track, especially the really old ones and that’s what I like to shoot the most – the action, the speed and the colour.
But with the variety and accessibility on offer, I would have been a fool to skip that opportunity for what I know quite well. So I chose to miss out on the on on-track for more of the scenery in the paddock and garages.
Except I find that darn difficult.
It’s an area of my photography that I would like to get better at (hence persevering at the Classic) but in my minds eye, I have trouble envisaging scenes when there is a lot of clutter.
In the garages of the Classic, finding the scenes that could offer the images I wanted to take required much searching and a lot of patience. A lot of patience.
There’s only so many interiors or engine bays you can freeze frame.
Due to that, I missed out on much track action and found myself in places I didn’t really want to be when I did get to see the cars on circuit.
One day wasn’t really enough time to survey all the Classic had to offer. Such is the experience and I shall remember for next time. And there will be a next time.
But before I finish, let me set a scene for you;
A beautiful car, 60 years old, fully of history and craftsmanship, sultry hand stitched leather restored to its former glory, tanned wood panelling, the intricate dials, polished chrome. It’s gorgeous. I’ll take a picture…
A sat-nav! Why? Now, that is frustrating. I hope you enjoy the images.