2104 was a first for me. The inspiration of the Grand Prix, witnessed first hand is an experience I will never forget. I was inspired, and unfortunately for the wallet, wanted to experience even more.
After my ‘success’ with my photographic efforts in 2014, and I will call them a success as they were images I had no idea I was going to be able to capture, I was determined to capture a few more at this years race weekend.
After last year race, I sent my gallery links out to a few big name shooters, to ask if any one would be able to spare a moment to write me some tips or even a brief critique.
I was lucky enough to hear back from a couple of experienced professionals, one being the reknown motorsports lensmith, James Moy.
Mr Moy very kindly found 5 minutes to take a look at my gallery, and he passed some brief, but invaluable advice; get more length in your lenses. So six moths later, with that little morsel etched in my brain, I set about researching how I could get my hands on some glass that would offer me a little more that the Sigma 200mm I had become accustomed to over the years.
Of course, this was all new to me, and in hindsight, I had little idea about what I was doing. But what the hell, it was great fun. I found an equipment hire shop and reserved my choice. A Nikkor 300mm f2.8. That should do it.
Grand Prix weekend approached, and I think I was a little more excited about getting to wield this monster of a lens and look like professional photographer, than I was about the racing.
Looking back it was hilarious. Being a hired lens, I had no tuition or instruction on how to make the best use of this £4,000 piece of optical genius. I was lightening quick, a clear as a bell and as I had it hooked up to my DX camera, like looking through a telescope. Finding my range was half of the challenge, let alone learning it’s capabilities.
…he passed some brief, but invaluable advice; get more length in your lenses…
Friday practices were frustrating to start with…this stupid, heavy thing that I had no idea what to do with, lolloped about as I battled away, trying to get anything that resembles the ‘Darren Heaths’ I was going to capture in my minds eye.
Taking stock of the capabilities of the lens, by the afternoon I had managed to get a better grip, and the images began to look a little more presentable. Saturday practice was better still, and by the time the race came along, I had managed to gain at least a modest understanding of how to manipulate the fantastic piece of equipment, and bagged myself a few images I was really pleased with.
Thanks to Mr Moys advice, I had opened another door to the delights of photography and the creativity that is on offer if you have the know-how and can manipulate the equipment. For the second year running, I was pumped for more.
To take home images of the weekend like I did, that were of my own creation, really hit a chord. I am very much into this pastime.