Today is a travel day and the start of a pretty quick weekend in and out of Detroit. I'll arrive this evening and head down to Belle Isle tomorrow morning in time for the mandatory photographer's meeting at 7:30AM.
We'll run on a pretty tight schedule this week. It's a two-day race with the main event taking place on Saturday. Detroit Grand Prix is billed as a temporary street course, but in fact, it's on an island in the Detroit River. Belle Isle used to be the jewel of the city... a park that contained an aquarium and world class botanical gardens. Today? Not-so-much.
Kudos to Roger Penske's crew, though. They take a portion of the island and dress it up for the event. Even more to their credit, profits from the event funnel directly back into the restoration of Belle Isle. And, believe me, Penske does it right. This place looks spectacular to television and arriving visitors. It's really well done and probably the best organized event of the season.
Shooting is a mixed bag. It's not quite as cramped as most street venues and it's certainly a heck of a lot more scenic. But it still offers a challenge finding great locations. We're looking to tell the story of the racing, the island, and the city. There's a river and a skyline that beg to be incorporated into your shots. You want to come away with shots that report... "this is racing on Belle Isle."
We'll probably be shooting from pit island again this week, but I'm pretty comfortable with that. Detroit offers easy access to the island and once out there, you're pretty free to roam a grassy section up and down pit lane. This is also a good spot to incorporate the grandstands into some shots.
Hopefully I'll have the time to post some updates through out the weekend, so do check back.