It is, of course, a completely subjective discussion. Just what is Australia’s best and worst tracks to photograph at?
To make things easier and less of an outright verbal war, below is a list of my favourite tracks to shoot at.
I already know some of the regular motorsport photographers disagree on some of my choices and I am sure there will be plenty of shooters ‘on the other side of the fence’ who will agree or disagree.
So, what in my opinion makes a track better or less desirable to ply my trade? Is it a track that provides plenty of action of the bump and crash type? Or is it one that provides the photographer with an opportunity to create an image of beauty and make the viewer keep on looking at the image?
For me it’s easy. I like a track that challenges the photographer to work and be creative. I like a scenic track to provide small car big picture type scenes.
I like tracks that I can also get close to the action so that when the reader is engulfed in the picture, he feels that he is almost there and can feel the raw energy of the cars.
I don’t like tracks that do not provide variety and can, as a result, be somewhat banal.
Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit
I don’t really need to say too much more here. It ranks as one of the best racetracks in the world and not just for the drivers and teams.
For us Photographers, it provides us with the whole gambit. Action, scenery, closeness, creativity, corporate opportunities and stock imagery.
The light generally is fantastic and even when it’s not great it’s a track where you can still make something.
It is also a track that provides the amateur photographer or punter with excellent opportunities. I love it
Adelaide Parklands Circuit
This track (especially the old Grand Prix circuit) has pretty much everything. The fences make it hard work but that makes the rewards all that much nicer.
It is a track where you simply cannot get any closer except for a couple of corners (T8).
Lots of wide-angle shots to be made here and of course my favourite the Bridge shot looking down the main straight.
Plenty of action too at the Senna chicane. Flip side it is pretty bad for the amateur shooters as the fences simply get in the way.
Phillip Island Island Grand Prix Circuit
No longer on the Supercar calendar which is a travesty for all. The juxtaposition of loud lumps of metal and carbon fibre (some would call beautiful) with beautiful coastal Australian landscape and the occasional wildlife to boot.
I love this place. Its fast-flowing corners, the ocean backdrop, green grass and blue skies (well) it provides so many vista style shots, action and the odd car and bird pic. Great for punters to get some great pictures.
Less desirable on the DK list of tracks are below. These tracks can provide awesome pictures and it’s a bit like listing your least favourite Pink Floyd or Rolling Stones songs. So, for fear of been banned from tracks here we go
I find this track completely underwhelming. Given they had a clean sheet, a plot of land with swales and dips we could have had a track with sweeping bends, tight bends, different corners.
Instead we got a flat piece of land with most corners looking pretty much identical. There is a great start shot at Turn 3 and one or two others but even now these have been taken away.
What chance of doing something has been taken away by the hideous catch fence that has been erected.
There is no decent chequered flag shot (the car is too far away. If you shoot too much on Friday, you simply are redoing the shots again for the rest of the weekend.
Punters with decent cameras can get some nice shots.
Winton Motor Raceway
Cold mostly (well we do race in Winter) and short. Some good corners but generally not in my favourite list.
The addition to the old circuit does not provide a lot and basically one of the artier shots is when there is a puddle at pit lane exit and the early morning sun is shining.
Gold Coast Street Circuit
It is quite simply the hardest track to work at In Australia. Fenced everywhere and few photographers’ holes.
The angle of the fence in some places takes away the opportunity for other shots. The pics taken from the high-rises are exceptional. Some good opportunities but I won’t miss it.
That said one of the images that helped me win the Motorsport Australia Photographer of the year was from the first chicane.
Oddly because in areas the amateurs/punters are closer to the track they can shoot through the fence and not see it and get some very good images.