Maserati 250F at Circuit Mont-Tremblant

Go Inside the Ropes – Motorsports Photography Workshop

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]

Show Comments (6)

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  1. Photography class for six people and your advertising to thousands if not hundreds of thousands….I do not see the logic?…

  2. You are not realistic if you instruct from photographer Media locations. Once the class is finished, the student is back behind the fence. In addition to the Media locations, show the students some over the fence locations that a logistically useful for those without a Media pass.

    1. Steve.
      We will cover all areas of the track and how to approach them. Pits, inside the fence and outside the fence. We will also go over presentation and how to get published. Dennis

  3. As a professional photographer the whole idea of giving away your hard earned experience and styles to others seems crazy(even for a fee) – it’s hard enough making a living as a professional in the digital era what with the markets being flooded daily with mediocre photos taken by anybody that can afford a decent camera and the publishers not wanting to spend any money. Lets hope Llew, Dennis & Jeffrey are being extremely well paid as teachers and don’t mind loosing their jobs to their pupils next year!

  4. Jonathan.
    I am responding for myself and not Llew Kinst or Jeffrey Dahl.
    First a little history. 1976 I opened my commercial studio in San Francisco primarily as a still life shooter. Beer, wine and computers were major national and international accounts almost from the first month. I moved to LA in 1985 and moved into the automotive field. Just to give myself some bonfides I have worked on national and international campaigns for Volvo, Ford, Mercedes, Jaguar, Pirelli, and Cadillac among others.

    From the first I participated as a student in workshops given by established professionals. Professionals with work I admired. My purpose was to force my work to a higher level. Some time in mid career I was asked to be an instructor in a workshop. I have continued to accept these opportunities when they are offered.

    I can list a number of reasons why I accept workshops.
    One: In the best workshops I learn as much from the students as they learn from me. Two: It’s the howling mob of photographers following us that force us to higher levels of creative output. Why not expose myself to them early on to keep abreast of what the newer photographer is seeing?
    Three: We are all suffering from the Digital Doldrums of ‘why should I pay for your work when I can get an image that works for almost free’. A workshop is my chance to educate these new photographers on how valuable their images are.
    Four: Sunday night I expect f8 participants to have a number of really outstanding images. If you have never experienced the joy of seeing one of your ‘students’ show off an exceptional image to bad. You have missed one of the wonderful reasons to share our love of photography.

    As for your ‘last words of wisdom’ the more really talented eyes there are around the track shooting the better for all of us. Those of us who can not face the fact that there will always be new talent pushing us,well maybe we are all of better with out them.

    Our f8 Motorsports Photography Workshops participants are going to come out better shooters. Maybe we will help launch a career for a few of them Hooray I say.

    Oh and a last word or two. This work shop is going to be fun, intense, fun, rewarding, and last but not least fun. Jonathan Green I am just sorry you will be spending the weekend in cold old England and not at Laguna Seca with a talented bunch of f8 students.