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Go Inside the Ropes – Motorsports Photography Workshop

Maserati 250F at Circuit Mont-Tremblant
Maserati 250F at Circuit Mont-Tremblant

A new series of motorsports photography workshops will offer aspiring photographers the chance to shoot with and learn from the best in the business. Newly formed Group f/8 will initially conduct two seminars that give amateur photographers the chance to shoot where only the professionals can go, while shooting a great selection of historic racing cars.

The Group f/8 series kicks off at the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA) club event, held March 23-24, 2013 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, California. The second workshop will take place at the Legends of Motorsports races at Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Canada, July 12-14, 2013. Students will have full press credentials allowing them access to shooting areas normally off limits to all but the professional press corps. Class size is limited to six students per instructor, ensuring plenty of one-on-one interaction with the instructors.

The workshop starts with an evening classroom session where professional photographers will share their experience and techniques used in creating their images. Topics include: Introduction to equipment, knowing your way around the track, pre-visualizing your image, composing in the camera, capturing motion, camera handling and shooting positions and paddock photography. In addition, there will be instruction on how to become a professional, how to get media passes, shooting on assignment and safety and etiquette at the track.

Saturday morning the students will gather at the track and receive full media photo passes. Instructors will take students out to different shooting locations for hands-on instruction on the techniques they learned in the classroom. Each corner offers a different challenge where the instructors can give insight and demonstrate shooting options and techniques. Over a box lunch in the media center students will have an opportunity to compare notes and ask questions before heading out for the afternoon session.

Jaguar XK120
Jaguar XK120 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (photo: Dennis Gray)

Saturday evening’s class will cover image editing, writing captions and computer techniques. Students will share their work and be critiqued by the instructors. On Sunday, instructors will take students through the paddock for practice shooting detail images and people. After lunch the students will be able to continue to shoot with the instructors or head off on their own.

After the weekend the students have just a bit of homework to do. After editing their images, they will submit their best work for critique and posting on the f8 website. The best shots taken over the weekend will then be published in Sports Car Digest.

Organizers report the HMSA March 23-24 workshop is filling up fast. Group f/8 instructors for the Laguna Seca workshop will be Llew Kinst, Dennis Gray and Jeffrey Dahl. This is your chance to get input from top professionals on where to shoot, how to best utilize your equipment, how to interact with track staff and much more. You will be inside the fence with ‘hands-on’ instruction on improving your photographic skills.

For more information or to register for an upcoming workshop, visit

[Source: Group f/8]