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Best racing car photo I ever took:

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by Gatorrari, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Feb 27, 2004
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    Jim Pernikoff
    I'm strictly an amateur photographer, but I do want to take good pics and not waste film. In fact I'm using the same Canon FTb I've used to shoot every racing event I've been to since 1976.

    In this case, everything clicked (pun intended). This is Didier Pironi on his way to pole position at Montreal in the 126C2 in 1982, the first of my 12 trips to Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. Unfortunately, Didier stalled at the start and was hit by Riccardo Paletti, with fatal results for the latter. The spare car was not as up-to-date and Pironi finished ninth.

    This photo would be impossible to shoot today. Since they've reconfigured the circuit, where I was standing is now in the middle of the pit entrance lane!
     
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  3. sduke

    sduke Formula Junior

    Mar 10, 2003
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    fantastic photo!!

    Thanks for sharing
     
  4. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    If anyone's wondering, the photo is cropped somewhat. Even though it may be fine on other technical points, getting the car perfectly centered would have been a very lucky break.
     
  5. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
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    Jim I can imagine, very nice!
     
  6. paulie_b

    paulie_b F1 Veteran
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    great picture!
     
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  8. Bertus

    Bertus Formula 3

    Mar 1, 2004
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    Very nice, i would love to see some more vintage Ferrari F pics!!
     
  9. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Why is the name on the side of the car "Prost"?
     
  10. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Great shot!

    I remember the Paletti accident. I was watching it live on TV and it was such a horrible moment. Just awful.
     
  11. vince308

    vince308 Formula 3

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    it's not Prost, it's Pironi, but it looks a little bit like Prost, Lol
     
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  13. aawil

    aawil Formula 3

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    Great pic for sure.
     
  14. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Frankly I was glad I didn't actually see the Paletti accident. My seat was near the far right end of the grandstand, and due to the geometry of everything I couldn't actually see the front two rows of the grid. Thus I did not see Pironi stall or what happened afterwards.

    That was the most miserable race I ever attended. It was bitterly cold and I was not dressed for it. The race was not scheduled to start until 3 PM (delayed due to World Cup soccer TV commitments), and after the fatal crash the restart didn't happen until 5 PM! I watched until half distance, by which time Nelson Piquet led a procession of strung-out cars. I got back to my motel just as the race ended, and aside from a couple of guys running out of gas in the last laps, there were no position changes from the time I had left.

    The next year was much better. It was much warmer and Rene Arnoux won for Ferrari......
     
  15. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    While we're on the subject of vintage shots:

    A couple of my pictures from that same time period: Villeneuve in 79 in the Motodrom in Hockenheim (my first live race) and Arnoux in 83 around the casino in Monaco.
     
  16. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

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    Great shots, Andreas. Here's Villeneuve and Pironi at Long Beach in '82, about a month before Gilles' accident.
     
  17. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Here is a rather unique pic taken during Saturday practice at Watkins Glen in 1980. Gilles in the 312T5 leads Marc Surer's ATS and Hector Rebaque's Brabham in a formation more typical of the Blue Angels!

    It's unfortunate that in 1980, Gilles' car was hardly more effective than the other two cars in the shot. I recall that Scheckter finished 11th after a routine drive during which he passed no one for position! Not a fun way to end a successful career.

    At least Bud Moeller let me sit in his 312T5 (a sister car to the one in the pic) a few years ago at the Glen; still the only F1 car I've ever sat in. Thanks, Bud!
     
  18. Admiral Thrawn

    Admiral Thrawn F1 Rookie

    Jul 2, 2003
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    Nice shots.

    How quick were those old 80's F1 cars compared with the ones today?
     
  19. Sorry

    Sorry Rookie

    Mar 11, 2004
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    The lap record at Montreal, just for comparison, is 1:15.960 by Juan Pablo Montoya in a Williams BMW. Fastest qualifying time in 1980 was 1:27.328 by Nelson Piquet in a Brabham Ford.

    Looking "ahead" to the turbo years, in 1986, pole time was 1:24.118 by Nigel Mansell in a Williams Honda. In the final year of the turbos in f1, Ayrton Senna put his McLaren Honda on pole with a time of 1:21.681.

    So even with NA engines in theory still putting out less horsepower than some of the turbos in their heyday, modern cars just shred the old F1 cars in terms of speed around the circuit. Engineering advances in aerodynamics, tires, transmissions (paddle shifters and traction control, etc) have gotten modern f1 cars to the point where they would just annihilate cars of just a few years ago. Just for fun I did a comparison of pole times at Monaco (picked at random, I realize it is a slow circuit) in 1980, 88, and 2003, and the gaps are similarly huge in favor of the modern f1 cars.

    Regards.
     
  20. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

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    Jim, awesome pics, I envy all the races you ave been to, looks like you have been a Tifosi for a long time, so happy you made your ownership drea, come true.
     
  21. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

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    #18 writerguy, Mar 25, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Great shot. (and i am a professional so ya done well)
    here is a good comparison from this last weekend for you.

    The motorcycle pictured is the same in both pix but in one the shutter was at 1/4000 sec FROZEN you can even see the exhaust (in the big screen you can make out the heat coming off the exhaust pipe)
    The second one was at 1/250 sec and panned with the movement.
    It is hard to get that pan just right but you did a great job on that photo.
    These were taken at Motor Sport Ranch and the Woman driving (yup) is a member of the TexasCowgirl's motorcycle club. THey really get cooking on that track.
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  22. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Sounds a bit patronizing to me. I always believed if somebody knows how to operate a camera and has the eye for it, he/she can do just as good as many of the pros given access.

    Once I got lucky and got a Paddock pass it was so easy to get great shots, that it was almost boring. I remember thinking to myself, that's like fishing in a barrell or go hunting in a zoo. But maybe I don't qualify as purely amateur anymore since I have been freelancing for newspapers.

    Maybe I'm just sour grapes because I can't get over the fact, that I got the entire JPM vs Rubens collision on film and offered it to RACER and they didn't even respond. Heck I would have given it to them for free. Now I cancelled my subscription.
    :(
     
  23. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

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    Not patronizing just saying he did well and if those who want a shot at getting that kind of background pan this is how to do it...

    And Access is a great thing that is how you get the shots without the barriers and catch fences getting in the way.

    Sorry to hear about Racer not responding but from their perspective I am wiling to bet they had Hundreds of people call and say they had it but in fact they had a little dot in the side of the frame that kinda looked something like they had it.
    It always helps to know WHO to call at the magazine because the stooge answering the phone isn't going to know squat.

    edit
    Also Luck is a huge factor in any sports photography, but knowledge and timing (seeing it before it happens/ Anticipation) are just as important. It does no good to have everything in place for the shot of the century and be pointing at the apex of the corner when the real action is behind you....
     
  24. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Yeah, you're right of course. But I really had the money shot: 600 mm tele lens onto the action. No obstructions. Razor sharp. The whole sequence from first contact to the kitty litter with finally Rubens walking away. After all this is where JPM lost his WC. It would have been a nice sequence.

    Helas, I still have a newspaper at home where they printed an entire half page of my racing shots from the German GP. Makes me feel better in my hurt pride.
    :)

    PS: Got another WC terminating moment: Hakkinen pulling into the garage with a smoking engine.
     
  25. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

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    Luck sometimes can bite you on the A$$ too, I had the complete and completely devastating crash at the CART race in Toronto where the corner worker and driver died, I know I had it in telephoto motor-wind flying but I also screwed the pooch and accidently dropped the camera as I was diving away from the wheel of one of the cars as it came across the track destroying the film and part of that camera.

    These are the things that happen.

    In hind site I am sometimes glad I didn't freeze that moment for history...
     
  26. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Wow! Fascinating. I guess you should go digital.
    :)

    A few years ago I was proudly at the "photographer's hill" on the USGP infield with my N70 and a 300mm lens. Next to me was a real pro (but he didn't get the access badge), he showed me how it's done: D100 and 600mm lens. He borrowed me the lens for one roll of film, I didn't need to see anything else after that. That lens has now become my constant companion at the USGP. And in a few days I should be getting a D70. Finally.
     
  27. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

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    Actually the dive and roll would have killed the digital images too, flash cards don't like to be jostled like that. There is a really good story about the Photog who shot that "Firemen raising old glory" at 9-11 and he says that the first 200 images he shot that day were destroyed when he got slammed to the ground and his camera was hit.
    I am now shooting with a D 100 and have a 200-2.8 that is a great tool but that 600 is the sweetest (most expensive) hammer I own
     
  28. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    You got the AF 600mm Nikkor, which costs about 12k?
    I just rent it for the event. I'm so afraid something might happen to it I literally "sleep" with that lens.
    :)
     

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