Admittedly, though I am a racer at heart, I really have never found the thought of photographing car racing that interesting. In fact it always seemed like it would be quite boring, you know the same cars, over and over, lap after lap. Then again, maybe I just feel this way because the racer in me would much rather be behind the wheel. Yeah, that’s it, I’m just simply jealous.
Well the above would really only apply to circuit type racing where you have cars going around a closed circuit for numerous laps. I just see this monotony setting in pretty quickly after just a few shutter clicks. I have several photography friends that just love this and never miss a race, but it has never appealed to me.
Ah, but then there is ‘rallying’ to the rescue. I love rallying. It has been my preferred form of competition for the last few years I have been racing. Known for its tough, unpredictable nature, this form of racing see drivers traversing one at a time, a route (referred to as a stage) usually through the cane fields, orange groves or bauxite mines around the country side as fast as they can, racing against the clock. The fastest through these list of stages, win. Its actually a pretty big sport internationally with spectacular sounding, fire spitting, state-of-the-art cars, drifting sideways, kicking up plumes of dust & flying rocks.
Wait a minute, plumes of dust & flying rocks? I forgot about that. Usually when returning from one of these events even as a spectator you are covered from head to toe in layers of dust. I mean serious dust. If you know me you know that there is no way I’m going to subject my camera gear to such assault. Yes, I know, “You have pro gear, man. Its designed for that kind of stuff.” That may be true, but the OCD in me just could not, would not allow it. Now if I was get paid for it….
Luckily for me they also do this on hard surfaces. More commonly known as tarmac rallying, this is usually done on the public roads which would be closed to the general public for the duration of these runs. While not as spectacular as a loose surface rally, it is still astonishing to see these highly tuned machines racing through the streets. More importantly less dust for my camera equipment and yes, my OCD gets a break.
So that’s it then, I’ll make my first real motorsport outing a tarmac rally and fortunately for me the opportunity came when I was invited by some very good friends of mine to accompany them to the sister Caribbean island of Barbados for their annual Rally Barbados. The last time I was in Barbados was exactly 10 years ago when I was myself competing. It was a tough, fast rally. Flat-out driving from start to finish.
This time instead of a steering wheel in my hands, I will have a pretty good camera, made with just these types of events in mind and I am now eager to give this type of shooting a go.
Rallying can be fun to spectate. Hitting the stages with friends, bottle of rum not too far away, watching these drivers putting their cars & skills to the limit. It would be hard not to have fun for these two days and I was correct, it was a great two days of rallying.
So, shooting motorsports can be fun. You just have to find the type that really appeals to you for whatever reason. More proof to just get out there and shoot. You never know.
The full album can be seen in my facebook album here.
Shot with a Nikon D3S with Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VR II.