Amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about money, masters worry about light.
I read that quote a long time ago somewhere. I can’t remember where, but it was a while ago. I often go back to it every now and again and try to make sense of it.
For instance; what do you do if you are a master with no money for new equipment? What then?
It’s a kind of nonsense really; I’ve learnt over the years through reading, watching and asking questions about technique and the nuances of images that I like, that all three elements referred to in the statement will have some effect on your photography in certain measures, no matter your level.
One part will certainly effect how you shoot regardless of your ability or experience.
Now, I understand photography to be all about light and how you manipulate it with your camera. No matter what type of camera you possess, if the light is right, then you can produce a stunning image.
But if the light isn’t so great? Well then it’s a lot harder to get results as I found out at the BTCC this past weekend.
Now I could blame my equipment; it is pretty old and never really contends well when there’s no contrast; or my ability, which has been known to wax and wain depending on my enthusiasm for the event I’m attending.
But both of those aspects of my photography have scored decent points this year, with some highly praised images, so I can’t hold either of those to account.
So I’ll blame mother nature for a change.
A bit of a lame excuse? No. Where good light is a buddy on your photographic shoulder, bad light can be exactly the opposite.
Subject wise, I find the BTCC difficult to achieve the same dynamic images I try and take at say, the Blancpain GT.
The BTCC cars are very similar to each other, and while the different liveries and colours create some difference in the images, the style and shape of the cars is all jelly moulds and breakfast bars.
Add that to the lack opportunity to bag some sweet pit lane isolation or up close detail, it’s the on-track action that’s the primary focus. Pardon the pun.
So I concentrate on those colourful liveries, the speed and make use of the track features and light to get the most out of it – but if mother nature has a monk on…you’re kind of stuffed.
If like me you are also a regular clicker of race cars, you’ll also know how a morsel of sunshine makes a huge difference to how those frames turn out.
Shadows, contrast, vibrance, all elements that begin to play games with a little light, especially at Brands Hatch. Sadly, this years BTCC finale was a far cry from the gorgeous golden glows that caressed the same weekend last year.
The autumnal mope in Sunday’s skies was cumbersome. A drizzly dark sadness that made exciting images a real challenge. No light, no contrast, no contrast, no pop. It’s not how I like my frames to come out.
The gloom affects not only the colour of the cars and the racing but it also affects you and how you see interpret the action with your tools, and your enthusiasm.
There was a little respite from the weathers melancholy at one stage; in the form of headlights.
The final race of the day delivered some frontal exuberance in terms of lighting, where tracers beamed round corners through the murk and brakes beamed brightly…but with the final race of the day suffering safety cars and only being 15 laps long, opportunity to make the most of those brilliant leds was fleeting.
My results were not all bad, but could’ve been so much more, and that always gets me.
I hope you enjoy my gallery of images from a very dull day at Brands Hatch.