24 Hours of Le Mans 2014

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Better late than never… In my defence, I have re-processed a load of these especially for the website.

In 2014 I got to do something I’d been promising myself I would do since I was a kid – The 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done and, if you’re a motorsport fan, then it should be very high on your bucket list. Taking a sleeping bag to the Porsche Curves and sitting in the chilly dawn air is something else.

The challenges of photographing Le Mans (or, I should imagine, any other 24 hour race) are numerous. Mainly the ever-changing light. Especially when you’re shooting on a budget lens. I’d have killed for something in an F2.8 flavour. And fences are ever present, meaning that a wonderful lattice appears in many photos. Again, this is something that faster glass would have helped reduce. A deluge produced another variable in the light conditions and the resulting spray limited visibility of the cars as they drove away from me through the Dunlop Chicane. It also threw a spanner in many of the teams’ race, including the Audi and Toyota LMP cars who crashed on the Hunaudières straight.

I did try my hand at some slow shutter speed photos, but only one of them came out in an aesthetically pleasing way, even if it’s not a technically good photo (more abstract art than anything).

My favourite photos are panned shot of the Aston Martin at dusk and the Porsche passing the P2 car whilst bottoming out – a very lucky photo!

As a set, this isn’t my best photography and I think I’ve come a long way in the last 2 years. I do plan on going again in 2017 so will hopefully be able to try improving night-time racing photography. Le Mans 2014 will, however, remain etched in my memory for all the right reasons.