May 06  



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Jan Heylen




These images were taken at the Long Beach Grand Prix from one of 4 photo stands.  Only 5 years ago, I remember how difficult it was to get 1 in a 100 really sharp images with a manual focus 500 mm lens.  Today's auto focus lenses seldom miss focus under most lighting conditions. 


Most of the images were taken during warm-up and qualifying sessions.  This year several of the top contenders crashed and were eliminated from the race on lap 1.  If you went to the race to take pictures of Paul Tracy's car, you were out of luck.


Being limited to the confines of a photo stand, you have to really think about the type of image you want to capture.  Capturing perfectly focused images of a single car is no longer a challenge.  However, capturing 2 or 3 cars trying to pass each other is more interesting.  I also noticed a lot of photographers testing their panning skills.  In this case, experimenting with the correct shutter speed is critical. 


The image above was captured on a D2X with 80-400 VR zoom on carbon tripod with ball head.


To view additional images, click here.