Dirk Klynsmith, Speedcafe.com’s award winning photographer, gives us an insight into how his favourite photographs of 2019 came to be.
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Formula 1 in the shadows
Albert Park has so many opportunities and the fact that the cars are out so late in the day helps to be creative and use the many shadows.
Here, the cars were coming from behind so there was not have much time to get them in frame before the shot was gone.
I made it black and white to emphasise the highlights and shadows and I felt it had a much higher impact in monochrome. Shooting into the sun meant the driver was just visible in the mirror and the glare off the car has a star burst.
Canon 1dmk4 Canon 70-200F2.8 shot at ISO 100, 70mm F9 1/1000th.
I try to show cars in a location that says just which track they are racing at. It is not important to see the signage on the car.
Pukekohe is also a horse racing circuit (like Sandown) but there is a section where you can not only see some of the local flora but, importantly, the vast crowd that sits on the hill as the cars come onto the main straight.
There is a small opportunity to get the car (which is travelling very fast indeed) as the fence is just below it and they disappear around the corner. Too early and you chop the car in half; too late and you lose the front.
It is also necessary to keep the framing just right to avoid some messy foreground in pit lane, and it has to be a morning shot so the sun is lighting the scene.
Canon 1dx mk2 Canon 70-200mm F2.8 shot at ISO 100, 125mm F3.2 at 1/1000th.
Pirtek Perth SuperNight
When Perth was announced as a night race, I was very excited.
Kolb Corner out the back is a great location and, despite being half a lap from the start line, is a great start shot as the cars line up right through the corner. I knew straight away what I wanted to do.
I thought the lighting might spoil the shot but in the end it worked out quite well and helped the shot. I wanted to accentuate the cars coming down the hill and away back up, and the iconic truck tyres that line the back half of the circuit.
The camera was mounted so that the tyres were in the foreground but would not be too distracting, and I needed dark, black sky.
Canon Eos1d Mk4 Canon 14mm2.8. Exposure was ISO 50 F22 at 13 seconds.
The ‘fire-breathing’ Mercedes
The weather for this weekend was just diabolical but, despite having to stand in the cold and rain, it is offset by the chance to score some great images.
Late in the afternoon we had a low sun which just made the clouds so dramatic and the backlight highlighted the water spray from the GT3 cars.
The Merc, in particular, had the effect that is was a dragon breathing fire out of its nostrils and I just love it; so dramatic. This is one of my favourites.
Canon 1dx mk2, Canon 4002.8 plus 1.4 convertor shot at ISO 125 focal length 560 F7.1 at 1/1000th.
Gold Coast chicane
Ah, the Gold Coast 600; not my favourite place to work. That said, you can make some great shots.
I found this gem two or three years ago, at the first chicane. It’s an early shot so it’s not back lit. I run the risk of marshals and other photographers getting into my shot (they often don’t know I am there) so either ask nicely if they can move or abandon the shot.
I have to move around a bit year to year as the plants grow or get cut back so there is a bit of time spent to get just the right spot.
The cars are like lightning through here so there are a few misses. This year it was quite bright outside so I had to burn out the shadows and dodge the highlights a bit.
Canon 1dx mk2 Canon 14mm f2.8 shot at ISO 100, F9 and 1/30th of a second. Pretty happy with the result.