Le Mans 2013 photography review

This year at Le Mans I had a some Objectives.

1. Lower my shutter speed to below 1/40 with my 70-200mm and 100-400mm with and without my 1.4x extender to create a smooth blur behind the car.

2. Take my tri-pod for light trails.

3. Also, taking the panning with the some kind of environment in the back ground. By having signage in the background it tells a non- motor racing person where the photo was taken.

4. Enjoy the racing and not get too wrapped up in having the perfect photo and missing the moment.

To achieve my first objective I knew it was going to be hard. As a normal paying customer with a general entrances ticket I had to take my photographs behind the fence. The safety fence also has another fence in front which is another 2 metres barrier to overcome. With my 70-200mm and 1.4x extender I was down to 1/40, a bit slow, so stayed around 1/60-1/80 and 100-400mm down to around 1/100 and the stabiliser switched on to number 2.

I found the focus length had to be above 300mm to make the fence vanish and all most resting on fence, but something I found the far right frame had a little fence in. Both the 70-200mm and 100-400mm lenses at a slow shutter speed produced a smooth flowing background

With the tripods, I was hoping to produce some time lapse but I never got around to it this year. (Added to my list for next year) I turned to light trails as a good option as after a few shots to have the car lights in the top of the frame and then go out of the bottom, it took an 8 second shutter speed. I took around 20 shots and the 1 below came out the best.

Also, this year I wanted to add a bit of signage behind my panning shot. This would explain to a non-race going straight away where the shot was taken and add a bit of interest. I hunted out a 24 Hours du Le Mans on the concrete walls and come across this one. The photograph below was taken with the winning car from Audi No2.

As for enjoying the race more and putting the camera down, I did. Due to the lack of access behind the safety fence and lighting conditions I put the camera away and watched the race.

I took around 700 photos of the 24 hour race, 200 of the Ferrari Cup and 200 on pit day for 2013. Compared to 2012 where I took around 3000 photos, it does show me with a little planning and some shooting ideas before go you can cut your work flow time by half or more.

I’m already thinking of ideas for next year, time lapse and can't wait to book up again.

If your planning to go next year, you can contact me and ask questions about the race and photography tips.

My new 2013 Le Mans gallery is up for viewing so click on the link and leave your feedback.

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