(Canon EOS-1D Mark II, 35 mm, 1/8000, f/3.2, ISO 400)
This weekend was the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix in Baltimore City. When I first heard there was going to be a race through the city, I couldn’t be more thrilled as I’m a huge car enthusiast. I’d planned to attend for the past year and I was fortunate enough to get credentials to photograph it. My credentials gave me great access trackside and I was able to get extremely close to the cars flying by (sometimes literally) at over 160mph.
The racing occurred throughout Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Friday, my plane from Vegas (for work) landed around 3:30am and I had to be downtown at 6:30 for a photographers meeting…that was a rough day. I spent it mostly walking around to gain familiarity with the track.
Saturday was the American Le Mans race, which I photographed mostly from the east side of the track.
Sunday was the IndyCar race. I planned to spend most of the time on the west half of the track, but also wanted to see if I could get to a high vantage point. I looked for the tallest building I could find over the track and knocked on the front door. The concierge let me in and said she would call her boss to see if I could shoot from the roof. She hung up the phone and said “he’ll call back in 10 minutes” – not the most promising response. A few minutes later a man came out of a back door, shook my hand, and said “come on up.” We took the service elevator to the top of the building and exited onto a terrace. The view was awesome and overlooked the whole track. I was able to shoot wides of Baltimore and really tight stuff of the track. The guys on the roof could not have been more helpful and accommodating. I ended up spending over half the IRL race shooting from the roof because there were so many cool possibilities.
Below is a mix of American Le Mans Series and IndyCar Series race photos. A big thanks to Nikon Professional Services for lending me a 600mm lens and a D3S – lighter and longer than my Canon 400! Also thanks to the guys for letting me up on their building – some of my better images couldn’t have been done without their help.
(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 190 mm, 1/3200, f/2.8, ISO 200)
This car got damaged within the first minutes of the ALMS race.
(Nikon D3, 600 mm, 1/2000, f/4, ISO 200)
(Canon EOS-1D Mark II, 26 mm, 1/8000, f/2.8, ISO 400)
I saw the sun setting and it produced a gorgeous glow off the pavement. I was challenged to find a spot to shoot from where I could get cars coming at me with the sun in the background. Took me over 45 minutes to walk to this location but the photos were worth it.
(Nikon D3, 850 mm, 1/2000, f/5.6, ISO 500)
Three wheel action:
(Nikon D3, 850 mm, 1/1600, f/5.6, ISO 500)
(Nikon D3, 850 mm, 1/1600, f/5.6, ISO 500)
These photos are from the Sunday IRL, when I was up on top of the building.
(Nikon D3S, 850 mm, 1/8000, f/5.6, ISO 800)
(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 200 mm, 1/40, f/32, ISO 400)
(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 200 mm, 1/8000, f/3.2, ISO 400)
(Nikon D3S, 600 mm, 1/5000, f/5.6, ISO 800)
(Nikon D3S, 600 mm, 1/6400, f/5.6, ISO 800)
(Canon EOS-1D Mark II, 35 mm, 1/8000, f/2.8, ISO 400)
(Nikon D3S, 600 mm, 1/1250, f/4, ISO 400)
(Nikon D3S, 600 mm, 1/2500, f/4, ISO 400)
I talked to this DHS officer for a while. He was there in case of any bomb incidents but brought his radar gun and was having a blast clocking the cars down the straights. The particular straight we were at had cars going 142mph. During a yellow they were going 120.
(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 102 mm, 1/2000, f/2.8, ISO 400)
(Canon EOS-1D Mark II, 32 mm, 1/5000, f/2.8, ISO 400)
At the end of the race, I was shooting by the turn near the pits. I wanted to shoot down the straight so I kept walking down to the runoff area where the safety truck sat ready until there was an incident. Not 30 seconds after leaving the turn, a yellow came out and the safety truck left. I saw it stop immediately after pulling out and figured there was a crash. I rushed back to the turn where I discovered that JR Hildebrand crashed his car into the wall RIGHT where I was standing. Don’t know if I’m lucky or unlucky that I wasn’t there photographing.
(Canon EOS-1D Mark II, 16 mm, 1/4000, f/2.8, ISO 400)
(Canon EOS-1D Mark II, 16 mm, 1/3200, f/2.8, ISO 400)
Here are some shots from the Winner’s Circle.
(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 135 mm, 1/1000, f/2.8, ISO 800)
(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 70 mm, 1/800, f/2.8, ISO 800)
(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 70 mm, 1/1000, f/2.8, ISO 1000)
(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 110 mm, 1/2500, f/3.5, ISO 400)
Here’s a collection of some other famous people I saw:
Danica Patrick signs autographs.
(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 90 mm, 1/400, f/2.8, ISO 200)
Michael Phelps presents the 2nd place IRL trophy to Oriol Servia.
(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 135 mm, 1/3200, f/3.5, ISO 400)
Colin Powell conducts the opening ceremonies Sunday from above. The Nikon 600mm lens really has reach and is insanely sharp.
(Nikon D3S, 600 mm, 1/5000, f/4, ISO 400)