Last Sunday was the first time I have ever shot any sort of serious motorsport race and I quickly realized that motorsports photography is a whole different beast. I spent the day shooting the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which is one of the stops on the IndyCar circuit. It takes place on a track that weaves through the city streets of Long Beach which makes it even more interesting.
I found the hardest part of shooting motorsports is getting different angles and not getting stuck in one place on the track. That means running all around the 2-mile circuit spanning multiple city blocks, pushing through crowds, getting lost and finding ways to cross the track, jousting with the 200 other photographers and learning the sometimes crazy restrictions placed on the photographers. I found myself shooting at one far end of the track and then rushing back to the complete opposite end to shoot celebrations.
The other challenge was somehow showing that these cars were going 200 mph and not just cruising by. I liked what I got, but hope the tricks I learned Sunday will help shoot next year’s race.