On Friday I went to Brands Hatch for the first time ever. I blame my mate Sam, who’d talked about going to see the Superbikes, but then had to work. Thing is, he’d sold it to me too well, and although he couldn’t make it, I had to go anyway!
I like to constantly challenge my photography … and taking pictures of bikes is not something I have tried beforel So I took a bag of goodies, got some advice from friends on where I should stand … and headed off to Brands Hatch.
The first thing that hit me, as soon as I got out of the car, was the noise. The races had started already, and I could hear the bikes all the way from the carpark. It was spine-tingling goose-bumping noise … and I was still quite some distance from the track. I started to smile … and I pretty much had a smile on my face for the rest of my time at Brands Hatch!
I found my way to Druid’s corner, as had been suggested to me, and headed over the bridge. I could look across the track to the stands, and see plenty of the track. The racing had already started although it was just the practice races before the main 3-day meet from Saturday. I just stood for a while … letting the noise sink in … and enjoying the racing around me.
I found my way over the bridge to the centre of the Druids corner, so that I could photograph with as few barriers and nets as possible. I spent quite a lot of time there, taking shots as the riders approached the corner, and came round safely the other side.
After a while, the heat was quite overwhelming so I decided to take a wander around the track and see what other angles I could find.
First I found a spot looking at the Druids bend, and it was a perfect spot to take the riders leaning right over as they took the bend …
The shot above shows Jenny Tinmouth – the only female rider on the circuit who got signed by Splitlath Motorsport this year, and is competing in the British Superbikes for the first time. I was obviously drawn to taking pictures of her as she went round the circuit … and loved watching her keep up with her fellow riders.
Other than Jenny, I watched the other bikes with as much fascination, being my first proper bike racing event. The noise continued to raise the goosebumps .. and watching the degree to which the bikes leaned was simply jaw-dropping at times. I enjoyed walking around the track, seeing the various bends and straights, but I was always pulled back towards Druids corner for most of my shots.
I really did enjoy the day at the Superbikes, and will definitely go again. I was shooting with my 5DmkII and my 50D with the 100-400 lens, and my 24-105. Next time, I will go for a faster lens as the shots weren’t sharp enough for my satisfaction. However, as a first attempt, I can only say I had a fantastic day out – and want to go again!