Kind of a frustrating day for me today. I didn't really hit the stride I was hoping for. I felt good shooting and thought I was on my game... but after reviewing the day's "catch," I'm not real thrilled.
With my long lens I was fine... and with the location and light, I got some head on and short tight pans that I'm very pleased with. But, with my mid-range zoom and panning, I really fell down. It might of been a combination of things... but in the end, I was just plain old missing.
I started the morning shooting from driver's left looking back to the apex of turn four. I was able to line up a nice look that gave a good angle showing the car crest a hill and the apex at the same time. The backdrop was nothing but woods and sat quite a ways back. The light was great.
As I shot, I started moving back... and alternated between my 500mm on 70mm-200mm. The results with the 70mm-200mm were, as I previously mentioned, not what I hoped for... but some were nice. With the look of the location and shooting loose, I may have second guessed myself and dropped the shutter speed a little slower than I was ready for. Maybe I was guilty of swinging for the fences. With the 500mm, I'm afraid that even though I shifted my location, the overall look may have not changed as much as I would have liked.
I took the Leica out for a bit after lunch and did a quick walk through the paddock. I missed the autograph session.. but by this time in the season, they're all beginning to look alike anyway. I did get a few "postcard" shots I liked though.
The afternoon practice went off at 1:25PM. Nice light. NOT!!! But.. it is what it is so you do what you gotta do. LOL Jim Sykes and I decided to make the long trek out to 5a-5b... otherwise known as Moss Corners. Our reasoning was two fold. First we may not have time Sunday and second, if it rains, the hillside back through the woods literally gets as slippery as a bar of soap. So... off we went.
I've found in the past that the 500mm is a little too much glass back there. Shooting the 500mm on the 40D's 1:6 sensor pushed out the focal equivalent to 800mm. To say it's tight would be an understatement. So, I grabbed a third camera and mounted up my 300mm f/4. This is a really nice little lens and I keep telling myself I don't use it enough. The other body had the 70mm-200mm mounted.
I shot the obligatory 5a head-ons with the 300mm. Other than having to stop down nearly a full stop, the color and light were actually pretty good considering the time of day. Maybe it's the time of year.
Next, I walked way back to the far side of 5b and took my 500mm of the monopod for some handheld pan shots. Oh boy... heavy and a bit awkward. I was hoping to get a few tight shots of the open cockpit drivers at the apex. The results were a bit hit and miss... mostly due to overall sharpness. 5b is a slow corner and it required getting down around 1/200 sec to maintain wheel spin. Unfortunately, in some shots the car would be sharp but the driver's helmet soft. In others vice versa. I did a few this way and after my arms gave out I switched to the 300mm.
As luck would have it, the session was cut short due to the asphalt breaking up in turn 4 again. You can read more in John Dagys' daily reports on Trackbytes.
Tomorrow is race day... which means getting into our fire suits for battle. Man they get hot.