Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
Armour and protection
“My kit is always getting knocked about as I’m racing around trying to keep up with the rallies; I’m constantly heaving the gear in and out of cars and switching cameras,” says Jakob.
“So to protect my camera bodies I’ve covered them with Camera Armor and my lenses with neoprene covers.” You’ll find armour for DSLR bodies at www.cameraarmor.com, and www.wildlifewatchingsupplies.co.uk sell neoprene covers for many telephoto lenses.
Flash for action
Unlike some action sport events, when shooting motorsport photography from the track side, it’s fine to use flash. “I often use flash on bright days when I want to fill in the shadows on the ‘dark’ side of the cars.
“Using my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and sticking with Tv mode, I set my flash manually as I want to expose for the car not the whole scene, usually around 1/2 power on sunny days. I’ll also use High Speed Sync on my Speedlite so it will still fire properly when using a fast 1/500 sec shutter speed.”
Memory card backup
One of the benefits of pro bodies for motorsport photography is that you can record images to two memory cards simultaneously. “I use two cards together to instantly back-up my shots in case a card fails or gets damaged,” advises Jakob. “It’s good working practice and I just can’t afford to let big clients down because of a faulty memory card.”
Super-fast telephoto lens
Jakob’s secret weapon for shooting rallies in dark forests is his old Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM lens. “It’s super-fast, enabling me to achieve fast enough shutter speeds when light levels are too low for my 70-200mm f/2.8. At f/1.8, it’s over a stop faster – and two stops faster than cheaper f/4 lenses. Even at f/1.8 it’s super-sharp, too. It’s also a brilliant portrait lens, and I often use it in the paddock after races.”
Bring at least two camera bodies
“Generally I’ll have my 70-200mm lens on one Canon EOS-1D Mark III body and my 300mm on the other Mark III body. This means I’m ready for most shots, plus it saves switching lenses in dusty rally stages,” says Jakob. “I also use my old 1D Mark N with a wide-angle lens and stick it on a tripod close to a corner so I can fire it remotely – two shots for the price of one!”
PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Motorsport photography tips for during the shoot
PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day
Common mistakes at every shutter speed (and the best settings to use)
Using shutter speed creatively: how to take control of your shutter for cool effects
Pro secrets: how to use a telephoto lens for awesome landscapes
7 cheap photo accessories you really need to own