That is it. The end of another year of high speed photographic adventures.
Only my second year too, although it feels like I’ve been doing this forever. Ha ha not really, it feels like I’ve been doing this for about two years!
It’s been a wild season, with plenty of new experience and a few new techniques to boot; this past weekend was no different.
Brands Hatch in the dark!
As you may know, I’m fan of the Hatch and it’s potential for interesting captures. The undulations, contrasts, shadows and scenery when the weather is good, provide some excellent opportunity for unobstructed views when behind the fence.
I’ve become accustomed to the circuits variety this season, with several visits, but none in the dark, and wow, does it get dark!
Yes, I’ve been at Silverstone in the dark this season, and was surprised at how little light there was when you are out in the depths of the circuit…stumbling and bumbling about wasn’t the best. For some reason, I though Brands Hatch might be a little different…as if there would be circuit lights…surprise!
And while a mere two hours to navigate and shoot a race isn’t ever the easiest, especially when you almost end up on your butt, sliding about in the mud you can’t see, it was pretty good fun.
I do enjoy trying to take images in the dark, due to all the abnormal lighting you get.
You can really get adventurous with shutter speeds and aperture to grab different effects. What makes it even more of a challenge is how the camera stops working in certain respects, so you really have to rely on your eye.
Metering is out the window and auto focus…pffft. Forget it.
If you can’t see anything, then the camera isn’t going to be able to either; shooting in the dark, as I am still learning, is all about memory and timing. Having to use those moments of intense light to make your angle, check exposure, adjust and go again.
There’s much trial and error and it’s all ever so frantic, but you can get some fine effects, when your not dazzled by a direct headlight through your 300m. Not much fun for the retina.
One area of shooting in the dark that does puzzle me somewhat is why some folks endeavour to make the cars look like they are racing in daylight…with headlights on.
Shooting in the dark is a rare occurrence (unless you follow only 24hr races) and the variety on offer can be quite different to the usual.
Teams often dress cars up in an array of LED trim lights, and these offer much vibrant colour to make use of in your images, especially if you are into your longer exposures like me.
As you know, I love all the action and dynamism you can generate with a slower shutter; I love trying to use the speed, colour and contrast you get on a sunny day to really add impact to an image – but that is nothing like the lights on the cars during night racing that really make them come alive.
Like noisy spacecraft.
I can see why Grand Prix events such as Singapore and Abu Dhabi are so popular with the professional image makers of the world. Races under or with artificial lights really are a wonderfully flexible canvas to work with.
So why the uber high iso and flash guns? That I don’t really understand…but hey, each to their own.
Experiences like this do make one thing very clear; need to be inventive and different in what I produce has never been so apparent.
Believe it or not, I’ve only been to three circuits over 2017 (not counting my solitary waste of a trip to Snetterton) which are now all very familiar and have started to become a little routine.
So next season, I have to branch out, to take the ideas and learnings from this season to new vistas and scenarios.
Will it get the opportunity? Who knows, but I’m hoping to be able to produce even better images along the way…or that’s the aim!
In the meantime, thanks for reading, enjoying the galleries and being a part of what I’m trying to achieve.
I’ve met up with some pretty cool folks this year, and while I know it’s a bit cliche, your compliments, critique and enjoyment of my images, make what I’m trying to achieve that little bit more worthwhile.
Big thanks all and I hope you enjoy my final gallery of 2017 – The Britcar Into the Night at Brands Hatch.