Masters Historic Festival with FIA Historic F1 at Brands Hatch 25 May 2014

Masters Historic Festival with FIA Historic F1 at Brands Hatch 25 May 2014

Roy and I met up with some photo club people at the Brands Hatch Masters Historic Festival a couple of months ago. We saw a Forumula Ford race, which was scrappy at the sharp end but the field spread way out after just a couple of laps. Those little cars have a great power/weight ratio and just barely enough downforce to keep them on the pavement, and they were fun to watch.

The Masters Pre-66 Touring cars race had everything from Minis to Cortinas to american muscle cars on track at the same time. Needless to say, the Detroit “Yank Tanks” swam amongst the UK makes like sharks among minnows. Honestly, if I were going to drive in that series I’d rather be in a Mini, those little cars look impossibly fun to through through curves and you can hammer the throttle as soon as you can see the apex.

And finally we saw the FIA Historic F1 race. I have misplaced my program, so I’m having some trouble identifying the specifics on the cars. There were a couple of championship winning cars, including a couple of Gordon Murry designs, and Cevert’s distinctive Elf branded Tyrell, amongst a field of about 16.

The noise is a huge topic in F1, given the radical rule changes this year. Having heard both these classic monsters and the newest turbo/ER systems, I can say that I appreciate both of them. The classic cars punch your organs and scream like demonic banshees, and it’s exhilarating to witness. The new engines growl and snarl and spin and they sound like the future has been brought back to the present, fighting and spitting and looking for a way back. They’re both awesome and incredible and give me goosebumps, but in different ways and for different reasons.

My goal for the day was to get some panning shots that didn’t suck. It took many, many shots but I finally got a few. I also realized that while manual mode is great for the studio, it’s about useless out in the world. I didn’t know enough about the 5D2′s different metering and/or focusing modes to set the camera up satisfactorily, and I shot a very high number of badly exposed photos. Afterwords, I did some research and studied up on the different modes, and now my outdoors/actions shots are all much more acceptable. Clearly, it’s very important to branch out from your comfort zone, and make sure you take time to regularly shoot subjects and situations that are different from your normal stock and trade. Every skill you can add to your toolbox informs the rest of your skillset which in turn elevates your entire craft.

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