Speed, Motion, Blur

Speed, Motion, Blur

Tracking movement

For many people, the attraction with motor racing is the visceral atmosphere created by sound, breathtaking speed, automotive smells and moments of intense urgency. One of my objectives when taking photos is to capture some of this atmosphere and “Speed, Motion, Blur” is about that, showing on-track car action only.

When taking them I sometimes amuse myself by referring to them as “art shots”. This is partly because there is a likelihood of a very low success rate so I mitigate inevitable disappointment with humour. The situations and techniques are often marginal for success; camera angles, shutter and vehicle speeds, lighting, patience and location.

A case in point is photo 6, the multicoloured car. I am on the pit wall, virtually leaning over the car as it passes by at top speed, creating a deafening roar whilst kicking up a cloud of dust and grit in its wake. It took many passes to get a vehicle suitably in the frame with the right amount of blur, even at 10fps. I have another good shot where this car is completely in the frame but I chose the one here because of the compositional interest created by a second vehicle following with another in the far distance.

Other photos involve less physical vulnerability, maybe just getting wet, or sunburn! Tracking speed with a camera is touch-and-go and requires much fortitude and luck. I hope you enjoy the results…