The inaugural f8 Motorsports Photography Workshop was held March 22-24, 2013 during the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA) Spring Club event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Laguna Seca was even more beautiful than usual with the wild flowers in full bloom and the normal brown hills a bright vibrant green. The ten students attending not only had perfect weather and spectacular backgrounds but also a great selection of historic race cars to shoot over the two-day event.
The students gathered at the track on Friday evening for a 2-hour class that covered shooting techniques, equipment, safety and media requirements. The experience of the participants was varied with a few having shot at Laguna before to one student who only wanted to learn how to photograph his grandkids’ sports events and thought that if he could learn how to shoot a race car at 150 MPH, then taking pictures of children would be easy. Jeffrey Dahl, Llew Kinst and Sports Car Digest’s own Dennis Gray offered personal insight from their lifetime behind the lens as well as hands on practice of different shooting techniques.
Saturday the group was split in half with some following Jeffrey and the others following Dennis out in the field and over the fence for their first time up close to the cars. Each student was given full media credentials and a photo vest to complete the experience of working as a pro. At lunch the conversation and excitement was almost as fast as the cars on track. Techniques were reviewed and a new set of locations explained for the afternoon shoot.
Once the last race was over everyone gathered in the track classroom where John Lamm of Road & Track spoke of his experiences and what to expect as a professional. The second guest speaker Allan Rosenberg spoke on the art of editing and post production. Allan is a master of taking images to that next level of excellence.
Sunday morning was spent shooting people in the paddock and then the students were allowed to take off on their own to shoot what and where they wanted. Over lunch, Pam Shatraw from Victory Lane talked about the ins-and-outs of working with publications and how to get into the business.
Group f8‘s first East Coast event will be held July 13-14, 2013 at Canada’s Mont-Tremblant for the Sommet des Legendes. A new Laguna Seca event has been added to the schedule and will be held during the Legends of Motorsports 50th Anniversary of McLaren, June 15-16. Judging from the grins on each student’s face, we would highly recommend attending. For more information, visit www.f8photoworkshops.com.
The Group f8 students submitted their best work for critique, with our 50 favorite shots displayed in the full-width view of our website. The remaining images can be found on the last page of the article, offering a comprehensive view of all the photographs submitted by the Group f8 participants.