After a lot of work and a little sleep, I’ve managed to cobble together some of my favorite shots from our coverage of the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona for Top Gear. This was our first Rolex 24 and a bit of a last minute trip – compounded by a shoot back in Jacksonville smack dab in the middle of the race – but with a little creativity and even less sleep, I was able to be at the race during the day, at night, through dawn and into the morning. Above is one of my favorite photos from the race – a six second time exposure from high in the stands about 20 minutes before sunrise. With cars gunning through the front stretch at over 175mph, the moderate exposure time allowed for some great light trails.
Of course, what kind of endurance race photographer would I be if I didn’t manage to get the ever important ‘red-glowy brake rotor’ photo (above). The trick with these sort of photos is to keep the ISO as low as you can while maintaining a half-way manageable shutter speed (the above shot was an 80th of a second) – that and taking a near-infinite amount of photos because most will be somewhere on the spectrum between ‘slightly fuzzy’ and ”a blurry mess’. Below is another one of those ‘shoot it until you get something you like’ sort of shots. Crossing the start-finish line at nearly 200MPH, the car goes from completely outside the frame, to inside the frame, to out the other side in under a 10th of a second – meaning timing is everything. The trick here is a smaller aperture and pre-focusing on the rough location the cars are passing through. All joking aside, practice does help a whole lot with timing and smoothness on both of these type of shots – so go out there and practice and you’ll find before long that the ratio of ‘keepers’ to ‘if you squint can I call this artsy?’ will greatly improve.
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Copyright 2014 Deremer Studios – Jacksonville, FL
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