RAC Rally - Dalby Forest 2011
At 5am in the morning I’m never the most awake but the draw of taking photos with some motorsports experts i was up and rearing to go (kinda). Upon arriving at Dalby Forest i was greeted with a panicy feeling i had forgotten something…after the chill hit me i realised it wasn’t anything in my camera bag it was my coat….winner!
Luckily Chris McLoughlin was at hand to provide me with a coat or i would have been stuck listening to morning radio in the front seat of the car. After i calmed myself, we met with our guides for the day. Mark Sayer & Gavin Higgins are both very experienced motorsports photographers and offered to show me and Chris (oh and Brian) the ropes. As an experienced photographer i haven’t really had the chance to stretch my legs in to the world of rallying so this was an opportunity to use my ‘fast moving stuff’ skills but gain some of the knowledge about positioning and style from the experts.
With my loaned coat on we walked a good stretch of the course to find a location that would provide both a bit of protection (ie a tree) but enough of a corner to create some dynamism. The corner we chose was Gale Rigg. As i said it was all a little new to me in the fact that i have shot lots of road based action before but not any on the old loose stuff….this led to my first shock…the rocks don’t stay on the side of the road when the car skids, they fly straight out and hit photographers…joy. After my initial panic it was more of a giggle to avoid the big ones with a stylish twist when the car exits the apex!
The mix of cars in the field let some variations in how each vehicle took the corner so capturing shots was an evolving art. due to the fact that i am not a motorsport photographer i think that some of the angles i tried to achieve worked well and gave a slightly different approach to the norm.
After some time at Gale Rigg we wandered up the track to find some more fun. it was evident that when we got to corner 4 the MASSIVE rut in the track. This had to be an interesting place to shoot for a while, now this is not to say that a photographer is always looking for some chaos but it always makes for a little fun if there is a little chaos!
With only one broken drive train we were expecting more from a rut of this magnitude but in saying that the level of air some of the cars got was amazing!
Overall the day was a fantastic trip out and i would advise anyone to go along to future events both to photograph but also to experience the skill and speed of thought that goes in to getting these cars around the circuit at such speeds.
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