Monday, June 15, 2009

Racing Time Again (Finally!)

After seven long months of hockey-only photo action I finally got back to the race track this weekend.

I was at Mosport in Bowmanville, ON on Sunday to shoot the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race and while it wasn’t the top-end NASCAR series that I like to follow, it was still fun to get back to the race track.

I’ve been to Mosport before to shoot stock cars and the AMLS weekend so I knew what I was in for but it didn’t take long for me to realize that my legs aren’t in ‘racing shape’ yet. Trudging around the track with a back full of photo gear is a good way for your body to remind you that you haven’t been working nearly as hard as you thought.

It was a perfect day weather-wise and turned out to be a great day for shooting. Andrew Ranger won the race while J.R. Fitzpatrick, who was in the NASCAR Truck race in Michigan on Friday, finished second.

Mosport NCTS 2009

I was shooting the race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series program for the race in Montreal in August. The features I’m working on are mostly focused on the younger drivers that are having success in the series so the podium finishes for Ranger, Fitzpatrick and Anthony Simone worked out perfectly for me.

I’m usually not a big fan of watching road course racing but Mosport really offers up some great opportunities for shooting. There are 10 turns and a couple of long straightaways so the angles are only limited by how far your legs are willing to travel.

Mosport NCTS 2009

I also got the chance to try out a new 70-300 VR zoom lens that I picked up last week after reading great reviews (Moose Peterson talked me into it through his blog post – hope he’s on commission). I used it a bit but my D300 was acting up so I mostly used my 200 2.0 VR on the D700 body. For some shots I used a 1.4 teleconverter to get a little closer to the action. From what I saw so far, the 70-300 focuses quickly and is very sharp.

If you are interested in shooting car racing, Mosport is one of the best places to do it in Ontario. Even if you don’t have media credentials, there are literally hundreds of places to shoot from. It’s a great place to fill your portfolio with pro-type images – especially with a lens like the 70-300.

Mosport NCTS 2009