FEATURE: A photographer’s insight into his favourite shots: Part 1


Wednesday 25th December, 2019 - 2:00pm


Dirk Klynsmith,’s award winning photographer, gives us an insight into how his favourite images of 2019 came to be.

I did two shots here; one with a camera mounted on a tripod and a wide angle and the other with a 70-200. I liked both shots but I believe this one has far more atmosphere

Bathurst 12 Hour: Race start

I wanted two shots of the start to show the beauty of the dawn start and the brutality of cars in the dark headlights glaring.

With the camera on a tripod, I set the exposure so that I could get the lovely predawn light, the pits being illuminated, and the headlight trails as the field poured down pit straight into Turn 1.

To do this, I used my Canon EOS 1D mk4 and Canon 24-70 F2.8. Setting the lens at 34mm was enough to get the scene; ISO 50 for no noise, F22 for depth of field, and 15 seconds of exposure for the trails and correct exposure on the sky.

Overall, I feel a good balance.

I first shot The Esses at Dawn back in 2002 at the 24 Hour. This year I noticed the grasses and took an opportunity to change the shot a bit

Bathurst 12 Hour: The Esses at sunrise

It was a mad rush up the hill after the start to get to The Esses, where there were plenty of shooters there by then for the incredible shot as the sun comes up over the horizon and cars rounding the tree or on the kerbs.

Having done the standard shot and something I had done regularly since 2002 Bathurst 24 Hour, I was looking for something different.

Noticing the grass in the light, I needed depth of field to get some definition of the car, and wanted the car slightly blurry so I slowed the shutter a touch. Canon EOS 1dx Mk2, Canon 70-200 F2.8. Shot at 123mm, ISO 400, F16 1/200th.

I shot from this angle for the South Australian Motor Sport Board a number of years ago and, while it takes a bit of organising, they liked it so much that I now have to do it every year

Adelaide 500: From the bridge

This is a shot I did many years ago and has become a staple image for the promoters.

I love this shot; it ties up a camera for the whole day as it is mounted under the footbridge just before the Senna Chicane but it is definitely worth it.

This particular image became very symbolic of the season as these two fought out the championship.

Because the camera, Canon EOS 1d mk4, was mounted and out of reach, I had to set my ISO high and the camera settings at Shutter preferred (tv) to account for possibly changing conditions. ISO 800 and 2000th second to stop any motion blur as camera is stationary. In this instance, fstop was F7.1 Lens was Canon 24-70f2.8 set at 24mm. Camera was fired by remote cable.

I could have selected a shot with the ocean but that’s too obvious. I like the harshness of this shot with back lighting, glare, and the reflections

Phillip Island reflection

Although probably the weakest of my top 10 images for the year, I like the harsh backlight, the reflections, and the sense of something happening or about to.

To me, that is what an image is all about; creating a story a feeling, and not always about reading the sponsors’ signage as the car hits (or misses) the apex.

Pit lane, Phillip Island; Canon 1d Mk4 Canon 70-200 F2.8 shot at ISO 400 70mm F10 1/800th.

Chaz Mostert leading Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen in Townsville. Street venues are notorious for spectators to find a spot to watch but I found this little gem to accentuate that difficulty and the tightness of the circuit

Sneak peak in Townsville

Street circuits are notorious places for general admission to get a decent view of the action, so I looked for an angle to show a ‘sneak peak’ of the cars.

What I found was this gem of a hole in the garden; the fence disappears because of the slow shutter speed and blurs the foliage, creating movement. It helps that three cars were running nose-to-tail during the race.

Camera is my old favourite Canon 1D mk4 Canon 70-200 F2.8 Shot at ISO 50, 70mm F16 at 1/15th.

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