How To Quickly Find The Best Photo Spots At A New Race Track
For motorsport photographers, the opportunity to photograph a new race track is an exciting prospect. It’s like starting with a blank canvas, full of possibilities waiting to be explored.
However, getting acclimated to a new track, especially for those without a lot of experience, can be a bit challenging. Let’s delve into the practical ways of quickly learning a new circuit while ensuring you not only capture the best possible photos for your customers during a race event but also showcase the unique aspects of each new venue to capture images that tell the full story.
In the digital age, social media serves as a valuable tool for photographers seeking inspiration and insights about a new race track. Before visiting, taking some time to browse platforms like Instagram and Facebook will allow you to see what other photographers have captured at the venue. This will give you a good sense of the track’s unique features and the types of shots that have been taken there previously.
That said, while social media is a great source of inspiration, it’s essential not to get too fixated on replicating what others have done. I find that I’m at my most creative when photographing a new race track with fresh eyes and an open mind. Allowing myself the freedom to explore and discover shots as I see them in front of me.
Look Up Race Reports About The Track
Motorsport media outlets regularly publish race reports that not only highlight the race action but also provide context for each track by featuring iconic shots of it. These reports can be a valuable resource for photographers looking to understand the most significant and visually appealing aspects of the venue.
By reviewing recent race reports, you can identify key locations on the track where important moments typically occur, but also shots that put the venue in context. This knowledge will help you plan your shots and ensure you don’t miss capturing crucial shots during the race weekend.
Do The Track Walk
Just as drivers and teams do a track walk to familiarise themselves with the circuit, as a photographer arriving at a new venue, you should also participate. Walking the track allows you to gain a comprehensive understanding of its layout, elevation changes, and unique features.
If you are able, tag along with one of the teams as they complete their track walk and listen to what the drivers and engineers have to say about the different parts of the track. This will give you invaluable insight into where race cars might bounce over kerbs or run right out to the edge of the circuit, and even where they need to be careful not to be caught out by track limits.
If you’ve already watched races at the track on TV or have a basic understanding of its layout, consider doing the track walk in reverse. This approach will help you uncover photo opportunities and angles as you will be trying to capture them. Remember that the track’s character can change dramatically depending on the direction of your walk, so explore all possibilities.
Walk Around The Track
While organised media shuttles or scooters can provide convenient access to predetermined photo spots, particularly at large race tracks, don’t limit yourself by only using these. Some of the most captivating and unique photo opportunities can be found in less frequented sections around the circuit that other photographers often overlook.
Take the time to wander around the track while photographing and explore areas that other photographers might not consider. Hidden gems, such as unusual vantage points or unexpected angles, can often be found by venturing off the standard route.
By combining these practical strategies and keeping an open, creative mindset, you’ll be well-prepared to capture stunning and memorable images that showcase the essence of any new race track that you visit. Embrace the challenge and let your passion for motorsport photography shine through in every shot you take at a fresh circuit.
I've been working as a motorsport photographer in Australia since 2012, building up my business InSyde Media. I am very fortunate that I have been able to work at all sorts of motorsport events including Supercars, F1 and WRC all over Australia and New Zealand. Also, check out my personal website where I document my travels and a few other things.
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