The Garages & Gasoline Alley - capture candid photos of the Indycar stars and their cars as
they enter & exit the track. On a slow day, you might get them to sign a photo or pose with you for
a photo. You need a garage pass to enter the garage area. No drinks are allowed and you need
to stay aware of what's going on around you as there are various vehicles and people hurrying
about on business.
The Pits - If you have a pit pass, you can get up close to the action with no fence in the way. If you
go to the far south end, you can get some good track photos of cars leaving the pits as well as cars
going through Turn 1. Where there's room, I'll step through someone's pit and take photos from
the wall separating the pits from the pit lane. You really need to stay aware in the pits so you don't
get run over or in a race team member's way.
In Front of Pagoda Tower - A tall fence runs most of the length of the pit lane, however there is a
big gap along the front of the Pagoda Tower. Many events happen near the tower,
Slots in Fence - If you search along the tall fencing, you may find photography slots where you can
snap a photo without the fence in the way. This is especially apparent along the inside of Turn 3 as
well as the Infield portion of the US Grand Prix course.
The Hall of Fame Museum - Take photos of a ton of cars.
Car Displays - can be found anywhere, especially beside the Museum.
High in the stands or in the Penthouse - You can take photos over the fencing. Corners are nice.
Stand E Penthouse is a popular spot to shoot cars coming down the front straight. Try the front
row of Box 7.
Turn 9 - For races on the road course, if you go to the infield and go to the south end of the viewing
hill, there is a gap where the fence ends and you can easily get photos with no fence in the way!
Your Number One objective should be to try to produce a sense of speed in your still
pictures. How? There are three traditional ways to do this.
The first technique is to freeze the action with a fast shutter speed. This may be fine for a
pole vaulter, but it's a bad choice at an auto race. If you "freeze" a speeding car or
motorcycle so that it looks like it's standing still, that's exactly the way it will look - like it's
standing still. It may as well be parked!
The second technique is a better choice at the raceway. Place your camera on a tripod
and shoot with a slow shutter speed. How slow? Start with 1/30-second and experiment
with even slower shutter speeds like 1/15th or even 1/8th. On your prints the racing cars
will come out with a blurred look on your prints. This blurring implies to the viewer that
they're whizzing by.
The third technique is an even better choice at the raceway. As we just described, place
your camera on a tripod and use a slow shutter speed. This time, however, pan as a car
whizzes by. How do you pan? You pick up the car in your viewfinder a few seconds before
you actually press the shutter button. Follow the car in your viewfinder by swiveling the
camera to keep it in view. As the car zooms by, press the shutter button. Keep following
the car in the viewfinder for a few more seconds. Result: The racing car will come out
sharp in the print, but the background will blur. This blurred background implies "speed!"
With either technique, there's one more subtle trick NYI suggests: When you look at the
racing car in your viewfinder, position it off center - with open space in front of it. In the
finished print, this adds to the illusion of speed because it gives the car space to "move
into." The picture looks much better this way.
Reprinted with permisssion from the New York Institute of Photography website.
|Places Around the Speedway to Get Good Photographs
|HOW TO TAKE GREAT AUTO-RACING PHOTOS
Here are some tips on how to take great auto-racing pictures from the world's largest
photography school, the New York Institute of Photography (NYI).