#2 Turn fast ac­tion into art

Practical Photography (UK) - - 10 Clicks -

SPORTS PHO­TOG­RA­PHY is of­ten very im­pres­sive, but it rarely sets new stan­dards in terms of aes­thet­ics. Yet this im­age of an F1 car, by pho­tog­ra­pher Jonathan Hench­man (in­sta­gram.com/ fire­proof.cre­ative) is some­thing re­ally out of the or­di­nary, with its lim­ited, graphic colour pal­ette, plume of sparks and un­con­ven­tional use of neg­a­tive space. What’s also very im­pres­sive is that Jonathan went to the race as a pay­ing spec­ta­tor and took this shot

through a fence from a reg­u­lar view­ing spot that’s ac­ces­si­ble to anyone. Many peo­ple feel that you need track­side ac­cess to get de­cent shots, but this stun­ning im­age shows that it’s not nec­es­sary.

“Shoot­ing the Bri­tish Grand Prix as a spec­ta­tor can be a chal­leng­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Not only do you have to con­tend with try­ing to cap­ture 200mph rac­ing cars while hordes of fel­low pun­ters vie for a space at the front, but you’re also forced to pho­to­graph through some

pretty heavy duty catch fenc­ing. Us­ing a fast lens and a neu­tral den­sity fil­ter al­lows you to keep the shut­ter speed down for the pan­ning ef­fect and also keep the aper­ture wide enough to re­sult in a shal­low depth-offield to make the fence vir­tu­ally in­vis­i­ble. Mak­ing sure you fo­cus your pho­tog­ra­phy ef­forts on the prac­tice ses­sions, where the crowds tend to be a lit­tle lighter, also helps.

“This shot shows Red Bull Rac­ing’s Max Ver­stap­pen fly­ing down the Welling­ton Straight

at Sil­ver­stone, with the sparks fly­ing as the ti­ta­nium blocks un­der the car skip off the track sur­face.

“Get­ting a sharp panned shot isn’t al­ways easy, par­tic­u­larly with sub­jects that move as quickly as F1 cars. While 1/100sec isn’t an es­pe­cially ag­gres­sive shut­ter speed for mo­tor­sport, when the sub­ject is quite close and mov­ing at these sorts of speeds, the amount of back­ground blur is still enough to get some good sep­a­ra­tion.”

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