Photo of the Week – Speed in Valencia

panning formula 1

My 'money' shot...the perfect pan...

Speed – rapidity in moving, going, traveling, proceeding, or performing; swiftness; optimum rate of motion

The Formula 1 race I attended last weekend in Valencia provided a good photographic challenge for me.  The F1 race is all about speed, and when you are there you can easily see it and feel it as the noise vibrates through you.  But in a photograph speed can be hard to capture.  With the right lens and good camera you can pretty easily stop the motion of a speeding F1 car.  The picture is sharp, but it falls flat as the car might as well be parked on the track.  The challenge is really how to convey motion; very, very fast motion in your photograph.

I had lots of chances to experiment as I attended the time trials and race for the weekend.  I can’t lie, I am no pro so in this situation practice (i.e. lots and lots of shots) makes perfect.  In fact – there were many frames with no cars in them as I missed the cars completely!  But with enough tries, I was able to put together my speediest shots from the weekend.

formula 1 speed

A blur...

spin out

A little too fast causes this scene...

speed blur

Too fast to capture

To get a real idea of the speed – here’s a video of the final turn into the straight away:


Disclosure:  My trip to Valencia and surrounding areas was provided by Tour Spain and Valencia Tourism.  However, all of the opinions expressed here though are my own – as you know how I love to speak my mind!

Your Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. An excellent photo essay. You did a great job playing around with shutter speeds and panning.

  2. Mark H says:

    I love the mood of the Formula One – the deafening noise, the blurring speed. Must be very difficult to capture but you seem to have done a good job.

  3. Anil says:

    I love the last photo, so nice to see the results of the pictures you were taking. I still can’t get that engine sound out of my head :)

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