Singapore Formula Drift 2011 Day 1: Second Time Ain’t A Charm

Posted: June 13, 2011 in Singapore Formula Drift, Sporting Events
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It was June11,2011, 11:00 AM, when me, my wife, & my sister-in-law arrived at the F1 Pit building in Singapore. We were so stoked to see the Singapore Formula Drift 2011 for the second time when mother nature came crashing her ire dampening half of Singapore. We took shelter beside the generator area with hopes running low thinking about the cancellation of the show. In less than an hour, the rain settled a bit but still scattering some so we were still doubtful. We entered the venue showing our passes we acquired from Nikon Singapore which grants us entry to almost all areas inside the venue except for the grandstand. Unfortunately, these passes were only applicable to the first day which was the qualifying rounds. While roaming inside the vicinity, we could see that the track was all wet & my hopes for capturing tire burning smokes went dead. The show was warming up & we could hear the growls of some V8 engines. I brought my brother’s Nikon 24-70 f2.8 & my trusted 135mm f2 DC & took some shots around the area. 

The show was about to start with a dry run. Because we were restricted at the grand stand, we were looking for a place nearest to the drift area until I found this spot which makes a good view showing the Singapore Flyer. I plugged the 24-70 & set my cam to shutter priority at 1/30 seconds , ISO set to auto, & metering set to spot. My first 100+ shots were candidates for easy extinction. Yes, they were technically panning shots, but they depict failed attempts of acceptance. The background & some parts of the car were blurred, but the focal point of the car was her door. It was because I was focusing on the whole car that my main reflex was to focus on its center. I made a realization that shooting cars is like portraiture where you orient your focus point on the eyes. I shifted my focus point to the cars’ headlight, which is their eyes, & got what I wanted.

When the dry run ended, there was an interval of about 30 minutes for the spectators to take a break before the actual qualifying round begins. As the grandstand was almost empty, I was looking for my wife & baby sis but  I could not find them beside me. Then, my wife called me on my handphone & told me to meet her at the grandstand entrance. When I saw them, they were standing  inside the grandstand wearing devilish grins on their faces & prompting me to follow them. And so I did.

The grandstand was an L-shaped terraced benches with 95% covered with 3 meter high fences right in front of the viewing track. The remaining 5% was where most of the public with DSLRs flocked & we were one of them. Because I wasn’t getting enough reach with the 24-70, I plugged my 135mm f2 DC since my wife was hugging the 70-300 & I don’t want to spoil their intimate moment. I stuck with the same settings & wasted hundreds of shutter count. I did acquire a few keepers though & you can see the rest of them at my flickr account.

The day 1 of the Singapore Formula Drift 2011 was a bit disapointing for me due to the heavy rain that washed away all my hopes for capturing tire burning smokes. But that didn’t stop me from learning a valuable lesson. I learned the resemblance between capturing portraiture & motorsports. Aim for the eyes and don’t let the curves distract your focal point. Unless you are trying to portray something else.

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Comments
  1. Ed Spadoni says:

    These are excellent panning shots Ian – you’ve really captured the action.

  2. I agree with Ed. 🙂 and the shots with the SG flyer on the background is another exclusive shot of yours 🙂

  3. QBAPOLSKA says:

    Unbelievable, I’m impressed
    What are the parameters of the camera set for 6 pictures from the bottom (red car)
    thanks

  4. Przemek says:

    Ian great pictures.
    I like the picture is filled with dynamics!
    bravo

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