I thought it would be cool to meet somebody from
the Cafe, if any were going. I'm going to try to get
there Both days. I'd really love to see those Audi diesels!
I haven't been in years. I used to like to sit
on the grassy hill, to watch 'em come around
"big bend" and through the esses... but that was
before I was bit by the photography bug. Sure,
any tips on location would be appreciated!
I think they are supposed to have a historic race there. I have never been, but that would be amazing to see a bunch of historic cars flying around the track. If I won the mega millions first thing I would buy would be the entire Nikon pro lens catalog, then I would buy a historic race car. One of the few hobbies that can burn money faster than photography!
My old Miata club used to have a trip there every year. I never made it but it is supposed to not only be a good track but also a beautiful spot.
I've been fortunate enough to photograph a few ALMS races and drive the track in some drivers ed events.
The track is short (1.54 miles) but very challenging. Big bend always puts a knot in my stomach, but there is also a sharp uphill section on the other side of the track that if driven with enough speed, your wheels could lose traction for a sec as you go airborn.
For photography, everyone sets up on the hill facing Big Bend. But, you'll need at least a 300mm plus lens for some pleasing full frame shots from that location. I've seen the pros setup with 500 and 600mm from there.
In the paddock area right after the cars go under the bridge and begin the turn for Big Bend is a good location for panning shots. The cars will be slower at this point and you could hold a pan for a good 120 degrees left to right. Find a good spot with an opening in the barb wire fence and shoot away.
Here are some an examples:
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The one spot I would like to spend more time at this year is at the back of the track right after the top of the uphill I mentioned before. Last year I ran out of film by the time I got there and ended taking shots with a pocket point-and-shoot. You get a nice view of the cars getting airborne a bit and coming right at you.
The ALMS cars really fly on this track and I had a hell of a time trying to pan, zoom, focus and wind the film while keeping the cars in the frame with my old Nikon FA. This year I'm going back as a first time digital user with a D200.
Yup, using the D200 for the first time. It was an overcast day so the cars didn't really "pop" off the dull backgrounds.
It was also very easy to shoot too much with a 5 FPS motor. The focus tracking of the D200 with the 80-200mm was good enough to get a high percentage of sharp shots.
I need to work on the panning more and use shutter speeds below 1/250 for a good background blur. But as you all know, <1/250 with a non-AF-S zoom @ 200mm becomes hit-or-miss keeping the subject sharp.