First the tease, now the goods.

Started Jun 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
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PhotoKhan
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First the tease, now the goods.
Jun 5, 2012

My wife is a die-hard F1 fan.

Initially, it was just a moderate interest (like my own) but increasingly, throughout the years, it has grown into a full-fledged passion, one that makes her sit on selected Sundays, laptop in hand, eyes on the TV, sacredly following the incidences of every race in the championship series.

Ayrton Senna and Honda (...for whom she works here, in Portugal...) had a lot to do with it.

Since the level of her interest was just a small fraction of what it is today back in 1996, the last year the Portuguese Grand Prix was held in "Autódromo do Estoril" just a couple of miles from where we live, we had never seen a live race.

This year, I thought it would be a great present (...one that would surely earn me some "Good Husband Good Points... ) to treat ourselves to a trip to see a live F1 race.

Spain, would be the logical choice but I thought "What the heck...nah...!"

If one has to see just a single GP in one's life time (...and how things are going, I am not sure another one will enter our restricted traveling priority list in the future...) mythical Monaco has to be it (...for the ambiance , I mean, since the actual races in Monaco can be quite uneventful. There are very few spots for successful overtakes. This year there were only nine passing moves recorded over the 78 laps. Mark Webber, the winner, was coined "the Monaco train driver" by a Portuguese newspaper ).

So, there we went, at the beginning of the month, for the double treat of seeing a live GP (for her) and enjoy a compelling photography subject (for me).

Budgetary constraints kicked-in and I simply could not bring myself to actually attend the race while paying 500EUR for a grandstand ticket especially since I would certainly regret it, photography-wise, given the fact that I knew I would have to endure 106 minutes of "same POV, limited FOV variations" compounded by high fences at play (...also, 500EUR can buy a lot in this expensive hobby of ours...).

Instead, acting on a tip from a previous year attendee in a F1 online forum, we elected to buy just a single ticket for the best grandstands in the circuit (K) for my wife, for the race day, and put the rest of our budget into a couple of (still expensive) tickets for "Les Caravelles" terrace, for the practices.

This way both my wife and me would have the best from the experience, she enjoying F1 from 2 very different perspectives and me enjoying a privileged high view of most of the circuit.

(...it seems we've chosen well, since there were some fully accredited agency photographers on the terrace during the practice day. I talked to a Getty's one who was as charming as he was overburden with 2 1DMKIV and 1 DsMKIII, featuring, if I noted correctly, 400, 500 and 600s lenses. He did not have any 1DX with him but he told me Getty had some, he just didn't like to mix cameras for an event.)

This option of ours meant I got some great photo ops during the practice day. The downside is that most feature "limited action", with just one car in them.

As for the racing day, I thought I could take some odd shots from some "peeping points" along the city but uncle Bernie has things really well controlled with few of those available and, the few that exist, too far away from the action and packed with viewers, literally hanging from every single available spot.

The only place I could get a glimpse at the track was from the balcony of the northern exit of Monaco's railroad station, which faces the Sainte Devote chicane, at the end of the finishing line stretch. I was lucky enough to have caught the final sequence of the Kamui Kobayashi/Romain Grosjean start incident, although in a somewhat location-limited sequence.

So, here are some of my "harvested" photos from the event. I am very happy with them considering the limited access and the fact that this is my very first attempt at a motor sport racing event.

(...I also took the liberty to include a shot taken in Cannes for the (unfortunately few) ladies here )

Hope you like them!

(Full gallery to be completed in PBase, time allowing for the post-processing of the massive output I got from this trip to the South of France.)

PK

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“Loose praise may feed my ego but constructive criticism advances my skills”
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