Long on my calendar was this past weekend at the 2016 Long Beach Grand Prix. My cabinet business has required most of my time lately so my opportunities for photography have been diminished.
This was my first visit to the Long Beach Grand Prix. I am more a fan of Formula One and sports car racing than Indycar, though I couldn’t pass on the chance and loved that I didn’t need to get on a plane. I purchased what they call the Super Photo Pass which is a credential that allows about 100 active photographers access to four different dedicated locations from which to shoot. In addition, it includes access to all the paddocks, as well as the hot pits at selected times. I mostly shot from two locations on the track, turn 11 and turn one. Turn 11 was best for the morning practice sessions with the sun behind me and turn one at the opposite end of the track was best for the afternoon. I wasn’t onsite for any IMSA morning sessions so only have a few photos, like the following, from turn 11 Friday afternoon.
For both days IMSA was running, I slung my 7d with the 70-200 and my 1dx with the 500. There weren’t too many photographers with long glass so I was getting some looks and requests for me to donate it to some. You are so close to this track, it is a bit much, but I found some good use for it, like the above photograph and some of the photos towards the end of the gallery looking back up the front straight from turn one. I enjoyed getting some practice with it and appreciate what a terrific lens it is. For the panning shots I used the 70-200, and on the last day some of the paddock photos were shot with the 24-70.
The panned shots are from turn one. When panning on a corner, the very front and back of the car will be a little out of focus, so the challenge of what I was going for was to have the cockpit or helmet in focus. These were shot at 1/80 which creates a nice blur to the background.
I really enjoyed the IMSA paddock. These are such cool cars, it was fun to get lost in the beautifully engineered mechanics, aerodynamics and highly polished bodywork.
Below are some of my favorites which I hope you’ll enjoy. Please exercise your forefinger and open up the larger image, I think you’ll be glad you did. If you are interested in prints please contact me. There are some of these that will be going on my wall! Coming soon, there will be more posts from this weekend as well as an amazing weekend at our cabin on Figueroa Mountain during a super bloom of wildflowers. Please subscribe to be automatically notified of updates.