Putting the telephoto away…

The real strengths of Micro 4/3 rest in shorter focal lengths, 12-45mm being a particularly well covered range with plenty of high quality fast glass available. It would make sense, then, to experiment with any lens you may have in your kit bag, there is no rule that says motorsport must be shot with the longest focal length you have available.

The most obvious area to experiment with your other kit would be in the paddock, Formula One aside you will normally find plenty of areas accessible that offer up interesting photo opportunities. Track days also offer a good chance to wander around and check out the cars close up.

The shot below was taken using the Holga ‘Digital’ 25mm f8 lens in the car park during a Mini track day. Due to the nature of its construction every lens produces slightly different photos, it may seem illogical to bolt such a thing to a relatively high-end camera, but it’s great fun to use. For best results, crank the ISO right up and don’t worry about technicalities such as trying to shoot in focus.

Olympus E-PL2 + Holga 25mm f8

Many non-competitive events (such as demonstration days or themed events) have completely open paddocks for you to enjoy, these are often rich in photographic opportunities with an almost overwhelming array of interesting angles and things going on. I spotted the rally car below through a pile of tyres and used a Fisheye to enhance the ‘through the tyre’ view.

Olympus E-PL2 + Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye

You will frequently find car displays at events, fortunately from a photographic perspective these are often neatly lined up rows of interesting cars. If you have a fast lens you can blur out any distracting backgrounds to keep the focus on the subject in question.

Olympus E-PL2 + Olympus 45mm f1.8

Public grid walks aren’t too common but it’s worth checking the timetable of events before you leave home to see if there is one scheduled during the day. These are usually very very busy so it pays to be waiting at the gate in good time, most people head straight for the front of the grid to see the most popular cars, so I will always head straight to the back for a slightly less stressful experience.

Olympus E-PL2 + Olympus 45mm f1.8

Some events even open up the garages for the public, it goes without saying that you really need to keep your wits about you and keep well out of the way of the mechanics when they are busy. It’s well worth spending some time around the garages though as there are some wonderful photo opportunities to be found, particularly during endurance racing.

Panasonic G3 + Olympus 45mm f1.8

Motor racing circuits are often interesting places themselves, fences and signage can offer up some nice lines and compositions if you think outside of the box a little. The wonderful thing about Micro Four Thirds is that it’s no hassle to pack all the little primes, having the 14mm f2.5, 20mm f1.7 and 45mm f1.8 in your bag takes up no more room than a single DSLR prime lens.

Panasonic G3 + Olympus 45mm f1.8

Finally, there is nothing to say you can’t shoot some track action with slightly wider lens. I find the 45mm f1.8 in particular to be quite a nice focal length for a wider shot. All too often there is a need amongst photographers to get in as tight as possible, ignoring the wider scene.

Panasonic G3 + Olympus 45mm f1.8

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