Tak­ing the fast track

Moto GP fan and keen pho­tog­ra­pher Monique would love to make a liv­ing from her ex­cit­ing, high-speed hobby

NPhoto - - Over To You… -

Mo­tor­sports have al­ways been a big part of my life, and so has pho­tog­ra­phy. I’ll pho­to­graph just about any­thing on wheels, but my first love is Moto GP, and it was af­ter I at­tended my first Moto GP event at the Phillip Is­land Grand Prix Cir­cuit in Vic­to­ria in 2008 that I de­cided that pho­tograph­ing Moto GP was what I wanted to do for a liv­ing. At the time, I had a cam­era that wasn’t ca­pa­ble of get­ting the re­sults I wanted, but

Cap­tur­ing the speed

in 2011 I was bought a Nikon D7000 and 18-55mm and 55300mm lenses, which I taught my­self how to use. Fol­low­ing Moto GP can take you to some of the most beau­ti­ful places in the world. My favourite cir­cuit is Phillip Is­land, where the ocean pro­vides a spec­tac­u­lar back­drop. As the rid­ers fly down the straight and into the first turn, it looks like they’re rid­ing into the sea! The fans help to cre­ate an amaz­ing at­mos­phere, but they can also get in the way, so for me it’s al­ways an ear­ly­morn­ing start to get a good spot on the fence. And I stay away from people wav­ing flags; some of them are pretty big and can ruin a shot!

Hav­ing a zoom lens of 300mm-plus is cru­cial, as there are spots around the track where you’re quite a long way from the rid­ers, and hav­ing a

cam­era that is ca­pa­ble of a fast burst rate helps a lot too. You have to dial in the right set­tings, com­pose the shot and fire the shut­ter at the right mo­ment. The bikes fly past in an in­stant, so you must be ready at all times!

The weather at Phillip Is­land can change from hour to hour, but it’s of­ten cold, windy and rain­ing, so I al­ways carry an um­brella, wet weather gear and a cam­era sleeve.

Com­pared to Moto GP, shoot­ing mo­tocross is a breeze. There’s less to think about, and you can have fun as it’s a more re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment. I al­ways

Hav­ing a zoom lens of 300mm-plus is cru­cial, as there are spots around the track where you’re quite a long way from the rid­ers

try to get close to the ac­tion, and I don’t mind get­ting dirty. When you’re ly­ing on the ground play­ing with an­gles, get­ting splat­tered with mud flick­ing off the wheels, you’ll want to wear your not-so-good clothes!

Start­ing out

If I had any ad­vice for some­one want­ing to shoot Moto GP, it would be to spend the first day of a race weekend, Fri­day, shoot­ing the free prac­tice ses­sions. Get your set­tings right, prac­tise your pan­ning tech­nique and find good spots, ready qual­i­fy­ing on the Satur­day and race day on Sun­day. Have fun and don’t be afraid to ex­per­i­ment: try a slower shut­ter speed, shoot por­trait in­stead of land­scape, and who knows, you might just get a win­ning im­age!

01 ALE X MAR­QUE Z Nikon D7000, Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR DX, 1/2000 sec, f/5.6, ISO400

03 VALE NTI NO ROSSI Nikon D7000, Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR DX, 1/8000 sec, f/6.3, ISO1250

02 HONDA RC 213V Nikon D7000, Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 G, 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO800

04 BOYS WIL BE BOYS Nikon D7000, Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR DX, 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO100

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