1974 Porsche 911 RSR
1974 Porsche 911 RSR (photo: Andrew Buckley)

HMSA Spring Club Races 2013 – f8 Student Photo Gallery

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.

HMSA Spring Club Historic Races 2013 – f8 Student Photo Gallery (no particular order)

1959 Lister Chevrolet
Nick Colonna has the power down coming out of Turn 3 in his 1959 Lister Chevrolet. (photo: Victor Varela)
1968 Chevron B-14
Jeffery Giannini drives his 1968 Chevron B-14 down pit road. (photo: Victor Varela)
1963 Lotus 27
Chris Locke waits patiently in his 1963 Lotus 27. (photo: Victor Varela)
1973 Chevron B23
1973 Chevron B23, driven by Francois Castaing. (photo: Victor Varela)
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Alex Curtis keeps the back-end of this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing in check, coming out of Turn 11 (photo: Victor Varela)
1963 Lotus 27 Formula Junior
Danny Baker’s 1963 Lotus 27 Formula Junior shows off its cockpit and instrumentation. (photo: Victor Varela)
1935 Scuderia Ferrari - Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C-35
Peter Giddings points the 1935 Scuderia Ferrari – Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C-35 into the apex of Turn 11. (photo: Victor Varela)
Porsche 911 IROC
Chip Connor negotiates turn 8 at Laguna Seca in his Porsche 911 IROC. (photo: Andre Urruty)
1973 Chevron B23
Francois Castaing – 1973 Chevron B23. (photo: Andre Urruty)
Ginetta G4R
Michael Sweeney’s Ginetta G4R uses all the available real estate at Laguna Seca’s Turn 5. (photo: Andre Urruty)

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  1. 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. This event will feature a number of ‘Big Banger’ Can-AM cars. If you have never photographed these monsters up close and at speed this is the chance. More information will post on http://www.f8photoworkshops.com today. Any questions please drop me a line. [email protected] and i’ll do my best to get you an answer. Dennis

  2. Well Dennis, looks as if your “students” were listening… Great photographs, my top 10, the photo of Noel Park, 1958 Chevrolet Corvette photo 90 / 156,exploring the outermost limits of his cars handling. #50 /156 a gaggle of touring cars, #81 /156 Lola T70, #92 showing the land contours, then my other favorites but not in any order of merit, #s 94, 102, 109, 115, 116, 129. But in saying that all the photographs are excellent.

  3. Having a credential and access is very nice but getting them at most events, especially a major event, is much more difficult than the film era. I strongly recommend the student photographers keep tabs on their best locations and investigate how they would get the same shot from the other side of the fence. Laguna Seca has more non credential viewpoints than Sonoma Raceway due to extensive catch fences. The photos are great but now the challenge will be to do the same without credential access. I know from experience from the first races at Laguna Seca in 1959, the Can Am era of the late 60s and 70s, the Mille Migilias of the mid l980s and 90s, and now the historic era.

  4. Steve. One of our goals with the f8 workshops is to get our students exposed to the outside world including editors. We will be working with our students on portfolio presentation, self promotion, and other areas that the working pro uses everyday. We can’t insure that each student will get an assignment to cover the Historics but we can insure they get exposure, a portfolio of images, and ideas on how to place that portfolio in front of editors. Then it’s up to each student to insure he folllows through. We know it’s not that simple and we tell all the students that having a portfolio of wonderful images is just the beginning of a long slog to accreditation. f8 is a starting point and a place to find ideas and support in this slog. Jeff, Llew and I have used our experience to build a program we wish we had stumbled onto twenty years ago.
    Thanks for your comment on the f8 images. Dennis
    By the way you beat me by a year. My first Laguna race was 1960.