|Despised by millions, bookmarked by a handful.|
Clipsal 500 2006
March 23rd - March 26th, 2006
My previous Clipsal galleries have always had their fair share of abstract photos, and this year is no different. I thought I'd start off this year's gallery with some photos that technically shouldn't be here in this gallery — these photos were taken either on my way to or as I was leaving the event.
I guess the first photo here is an example of ninja photography, which was something that was easy to do with my old über-compact Optio S, but it's terribly hard to be subtle with such a big camera like the 20D.
While sitting on the bus (on my way to the track), camera in my lap, I see this girl opposite me and see a cool photo opportunity. Camera still in lap, I blindly had to guess and set up the zoom, focus and angle of the camera, trying to frame and shoot a photo between moving passengers & the constant rumble of the bus. "Shooting from the hip", literally.
The last two shots on this page are of some cute dogs who were just casually sitting in the back of a ute parked in Wakefield Street. I spotted them as I was leaving town for the day...
This shoot was held in the V8 paddocks, a restricted area behind the pits. Unfortunately I only caught the last half of the shoot, but it was still a good sneak-peek preview of what to expect when the competition began later that day...
Because of the comments I heard last year, this gallery contains photos of all 25 entrants so you can choose your own favourite fairly. There are some entrants with more photos than others in the gallery, but it's my damn website so I'm allowed to put some bias on things... :)
For what it's worth, my two favourite entrants would have to be Florencia Liguori and Leakhena Yoeun (who also entered last year — she was my favourite in '05 too!), with Eliza Miller getting an honorable mention as well. All three looked stunningly beautiful, presented themselves well, and it was clear they were having a fun time at the event...
Learning from my experiences in 2005, I did have some sort of plan in my head before going to this year's event. This plan was based on the pre-event schedules and regarded what sort of stuff I should shoot on what days to maximise my coverage on everything for the site.
What I discovered this year that I will apply to my 2007 strategy is that rescheduling (like the Bartercard comp postponement) can happen and I should always have a backup plan so I won't be stuck with full CF cards before it's even midday!
There were a few models from last year's parade who were back again this year, but there were also some new faces to keep things interesting too.
There were plenty of familiar faces in the crowd as well — I bumped into a few people who've been to my website before, and there were a couple of guys who talked to me last year about my camera gear who I saw again... Even many of the performers from the Bahrain tent nearby seemed to 'migrate' over to the runway whenever the shows were about to start!
Some Bahraini representatives set up what I would call a "cultural area" right behind the pit straight stands (to promote interest for their race), which means I passed by them everytime I left my seat. This area was a very smallish tent with several large Persian rugs out the front. At most times during the day, there were performers on the outside rugs playing traditional music from Bahrain. I could often hear the drums from my seat in the stands nearby, and it was pretty cool...
It was only on the final race day that I found time to check inside the tent, and I was really surprised. The tent looked so small on the outside but it felt so different from the inside, and also very insulated from the noise & crowds everywhere else around the circuit. Quite relaxing, even.
This tent was actually one of my top highlights from this year's event, because of the mood it set and also from a photographic perspective. The tent was very dimly lit, so there were many special considerations I had to take with my shots in there. Prior to this I had practically zero low-light shooting experience with my new camera, but as it happens the photos mostly turned out great!
Back in March I spewed a mini-rant about one particular 2006 grid girl however, which seems to be supported by comments on the forum and even by other spectators around the track. Because I feel that one particular person was not suitable for the event, you'll find a bit of mosaic work in the gallery if you keep an eye out for it... Muahahar. :)
I should clarify that I don't have a problem with any of the other grid girls that I met, infact there were several stand-out grid girls that were extremely pleasant & polite to me everytime we crossed paths. Just like my favourite Bartercard girls, these ladies were enjoying themselves...
Drivers can enter the pits, or someone might spin out exiting the hairpin to the straight (rare), but aside from that you'll just collect hundreds of shots of cars going fast in a straight line.
This year I tried shooting the practice & warmup sessions around different parts of the track for some variety. The tactic sort of worked but the schedule shuffling caught me off-guard and affected things, so there's definitely room for improvement next year...
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