Spending The Day At The Indianapolis Motor Speedway

For the second straight year I have been lucky enough to photograph the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The speedway is a magical place that is fun and challenging to shoot at. To change positions you really have to go a long ways. Once I learned to use the golf carts that would go by it made life much easier for me. Racing is so unlike anything else that I shoot that it makes it fun to get out and try something new. It has also been a while since I made a sports picture so it was good to get out and make some sports frames as well.

Right Place, Right Time

Sometimes you can do everything right, and still not get the shot in sports photography. Sometimes you can also luck into a shot. Saturday I had a little of both on my side. I wanted a spot to shoot the start of the race from. I knew I wanted to be in turn one so that I could shoot down the straightaway and get the pylon in the shot. I went up to find a spot, and the usher showed me the spotters stand. It was a great place that I could shoot from that I will have to keep in mind. Once I had a cool spot that was mine for a while I shot the start of the race, and then I decided to shoot a round of pit stops. I had an idea to shoot vertical and get everything in. Of course chaos ensued, and I was lucky enough to be there to capture it. This turned out to be one of my favorite shots from the weekend. Click on the photo to see it larger and see the jack man flipped over with the jack still under him. There is also chaos in the background of that as well. It was a cool moment that I was lucky enough to be there to capture. Everyone in the photo was okay so I can say that.

Testing Out the Canon 600mm F/4 Lens

One great thing about being a Canon CPS member is being able to try out gear with no cost attached. Here at the Brickyard it is even easier as you can just walk to the Canon room and see what they have. I get my gear cleaned and checked, and also get to try some things out. This year I just wanted to give the Canon 600mm f/4 a shot. I had never shot with the 600 before. I have used converters to get the focal length, but never a prime 600. It is an amazing lens that comes with an equally amazing price. It was great to use it for two days though. I will have to find a weekend with a lot of field sports going on, and try this thing out again. Luckily for me I didn’t do what I did with the 11-24mm and buy it. I would like to, but for what I shoot it really doesn’t make that much sense. The first three photos in this post were made with the 600 so you can see that I really liked what it gave me.

Putting It All Into Perspective

This was a fun weekend to shoot some racing. Tomorrow I will have a little more on the cup race, but for now let me just say that it was a great weekend. You have moments like the one directly above that really show you just how cool of a city Indianapolis is. With the race moving to September for the foreseeable future I don’t know if I will be around to cover it again. If I am not it was a great ride covering it these last two years.

The Writing Is On The Wall

While waiting in victory lane for the end of the race I started to look around. I was in an elevated position so what more could I see from there? I saw this lone pit crew member just watching the end of the race with his air ratchet in his hands. I had this idea for the photo when I made it, and it turned out much like I had hoped that it would. I am not sure if I like the writing on the wall or not. I like that it is the name of the race, but for this photo I think just blank space would have worked much better. No matter this is one of the little moments that I like to much.

Junior’s Last Ride

This weekend is the final weekend Dale Earnhardt Jr. will spend as a driver at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Of course part of my direction was to get some shots of Junior as he finished his IMS career. Here was an early shot that I made of him during the first Cup practice. I was having some fun with panning playing the how low can I go game with my shutter speed. When you get down to 1/40th of a second the empty seats in the background just turns into a beautiful set of lines. This is one of my favorite panning shots on the day, and thankfully it was of Junior.

Kiss The Bricks Kid

When William Byron won the race I will admit that I didn’t know who he was. He is a 19 year old kid with three wins in the Xfinity Series though so I guess I had better learn who he is. Because of Cup qualifying after the race William did not get his kiss the bricks moment with his team. Instead he had to go it alone. I actually like it this way better. Just the driver and the bricks. I am sure that the rest of the team will get a photo sometime, but this was one of my favorites on the day.

The Week In Photos

Last week was a fun week to make photos, but obviously the weekly photo post is dominated by the events at the Brickyard. Click here to check it out.

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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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