Le Mans 24h 2011 - first uploads | 7 shots | 150kb each

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I am still in editing the first sets - here are some of the first uploads.
I decided again, to just bring Leica M bodies and mainly shot a 50mm on one, a 135mm on another body and swapped to a 35mm, when I needed a bit wider.

I don't do color, so black and white they are ;-)

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"Signatech Nissan" | M9 | 135 APO-Telyt

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"spectator" | M9 | Noctilux @ f1

I was actually extremely surprised by the performance of the M9 opposed to my old M8.2, which I shot parallel to the new body. This frame has no noise reduction whatsoever and no processing, other than my conversion (the other Noctilux shots as well). I am extremely happy, what the M9 sensor adds to my gear now, as I shoot mainly during nights ;-)

A gentleman in the crowd at the main grandstand opposed to the pits, shooting a frame of the pits:
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"taking pictures" | M9 | Noctilux @ f1

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"Pescarolo Judd overtaking a JMB Ferrari F430" | M9 | 135 APO-Telyt

I am one of the big fans, who have enjoyed, seeing Lotus racing @ Le Mans again - and they are looooouuuuuud, as they should be:
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"Lotus is back!" | M9 | 135 APO-Telyt

No art car liveries this year at Le Mans, but two beautiful M3 GTs:

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"BMW M3 GT" | M9 | 135 APO-Telyt

This is my unicorn of the 24h race! The winning Audi R18 race car - I just managed, to get a critically (means sufficiently big prints possible) shot.
It was an amazing hunt for me, to catch this one.
the R19 is almost entirely silent, when attacking the circuit with it's new V6 engine. You just can't hear it coming! On top, it has a really sleek design with little easy markers, to focus quickly, as with most of the other racers.
I am very, very happy about these drivers getting the one remaining Audi home on P1 after what terrifying happened to the No 1 and 3 cars - drivers are ok.
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"Joest Audi R18 No 2 takes the 79th Le Mans 24h in first place!" | M9 | 135 APO-Telyt

Thanks for watching and have an eye on my website and flickr for more the next days ;-)

Best,

Dirk
 
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Joined
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Great shots Dirk! Spot on crisp and clear, and the B&W just adds to it, good idea. I also love the shots of the spectators and the ambiance of the event.
 
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@Tom
Thanks - you really owe it to yourself, to do it!
It has been just my 3rd year at Le Mans - I really kick myself every time, I am there, that I didn't make it possible, to be there earlier!
You really can make it work, to go there, and believe me, if you just love motor sport the slightest bit, you won't regret it.
The costs, to go really are easily made up for with this greatest race on the planet!

The saying is often, to not buy a new lens or camera, but making a photo trip instead - skip a lens or two and just go to Le Mans - it's so very worth it ;-)

Btw - this year was pretty full - even during the night, many grandstands were quite crowded, despite the cold temperatures (6ºC), which caused me a major cold on Sunday with my meager clothing.

@Sal
Thank you - I can not wrap it in words, what this shots means to me. It is my most important shot of the 2011 Le Mans 24h - my unicorn shot.

The people, who could just follow the race on TV really can't imagine, how silent these Audi R18 are! The fantastic edgy design and the paint job really add to the stealthy character of these cars. I really love those R19s - they are most likely the most striking racing vehicle, attacking circuits these days.

@Steve
Thanks a lot Steve!
Shooting black and white only really came pretty strange to me. I found, that it is more natural and interesting to me. I really "see" black and white now and have serious difficulties, to find color very interesting (which explains the lack of color shots from me during last years).

@Jason
Thank you so much - this means a lot to me, to hear from "The Doctor" of motor sports on the Café to me ;-)
Extra for Jason and sektor 11, I even tried a color version of a frame during my morning coffee Today. As I said, I can't dig color much…
I will probably upload it next time firing up the FTP … stay tuned ;-)

@sektor 11
Thanks - not doing color has been mainly a thing, I feel photography and developed myself over the last years, shooting much film and rangefinder cameras. The M8.2 also prevented any potential color affinity as of the hoops, one has to jump with filters, to prevent color issues form breaking your neck in post processing (I don't use filters on my lenses).

With the M9 now, this could change a bit, and I might dabble into color once in a while, as the files look pretty realistic right from the start and have more potential for color with less work.
Let's wait and see …
 
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Great shots Dirk. The B&W looks just fine in these, good job.

The two Audi crashes were some of the worst I have ever seen. So glad they got out with minor injuries. Safety sure has come a long way these days.
 
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@Ron
Thank you for your compliment ;-)

The Audi accidents indeed were horrifying! Especially the incident on the Mulsanne straight with Mike Rockenfeller was absolutely nerve wrecking, as for quite some time it was unknown, what was going on. Even Dr. Ullrich of Audi commented about these very hard waiting minutes until finally word got around, that Mike Rockenfeller indeed is ok.

As some people need color, I in fact got inspired of playing around with the M9 files and made a color conversion from a frame.
It looks, this will not be the last, I work with in color, as it indeed is very, very different, working in color with the M9 from doing so with the M8.2 or color film scans, which both involve a lot of work.

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"Audi R18 TDI" M9 | 135 APO-Telyt
 
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Great pictures of a fantastic race. I like that you did B&W rather than colors. It is one race I would love to go to after a Formula 1 race.
 
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Great pictures Dirk. The black & white works well for me. I wish I could have been there for the race.
 
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@Chris
Those crashes … I know, there are motor sport fans, who really dig the heavy action (no condemning, as when it comes to real touring car racing, like the old BTCC, I am quite a fan of racing off mirrors and door handles ;-) ).

Whenever I see something like this with sports cars, F1, WRC or MotoGP, I really have a numb feeling in my stomach - it hurts not only for the unknown about the pilots and trackside staff, but as an engineer, it hurts deeply, to see this wonderful material, to be destroyed.

There has been uploads of images from the Mike Rockenfeller Audi R18 wreck on Mike Fuller's Mulsanne's Corner site.
Mike Rockenfeller was at a speed of something like 300 km/h, when he went into the barrier - can you imagine that :eek:

I find it amazing, that the safety cell looks fully intact.

@Tim
Yes absolutely! …and thank you ;-)
I hope, to see less crashes and more tight racing with more diverse fields and more podium contenders next year.
What about some real underdogs making it up ;-)

Spyker will be back, Lotus is supposed to bring a prototype and isn't it already next year, that the Project 56 is supposed to race out of the regulations?

The 80th anniversary of Le Mans surely will be the bomb!

@Bryan
Thank you Bryan - B+W is natural to me, while color is the more alien thing ;-)
You really have to make it to Le Mans - the people I spoke with, some of them being as "fresh" as me with just a few years of regular coming really spark with enthusiasm and love for racing.
It is like no other - the real one!
F1 races really are something, but can't reach remotely to something big as Le Mans - F1 is quick, highly commercial and more like a quick shot drug, than the huuge racing orgy, Le Mans is ;-)

@Chuck
Thank you! I am still varying different B+W processings, but this is, what I mostly go after. I do not get as much info on the race itself, when at the track, opposed, to a build media center with radio, statistics, live feed and all, when watching at home, but the real deal really gives you the goose bumps ;-)
 
J

jrdub

Guest
Those pics are fantastic, but it is the Audi R18 not 19, i am a huge Audi race fan
 

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