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Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix, 2018

We landed in Melbourne after 22hrs of travel on Sunday, and got to the hotel.  I asked my chairman who I was traveling with what his plans were. He responded: “a nap, a run, and a shower, then he’d meet me downstairs for our 6:30pm meeting with our hosts”.  This was music to my tired ears as there was a Formula One race that was due to start just two hours from then.  I dropped off my luggage, grabbed camera gear and ran through the streets of Melbourne to get to Albert Park.

All images were made with the Leica SL and either an adapted old Canon FD 500mm Reflex lens, or an adapted 35mm f/1.4 Zeiss Distagon T* EF lens.  They are both manual focus lenses which makes action photography a bit harder, but I’ve found that manual focus slows me down in a good way, and I’m spending more time with manual focus lenses.

 

Camera: Leica SL
Exposure: 1/8000
Aperture: f/1.4
Focal Length: 35mm
ISO: 100

 

Camera: Leica SL
Exposure: 1/10000
Aperture: f/1.4
Focal Length: 35mm
ISO: 100

 

Camera: Leica SL
Exposure: 1/16000
Aperture: f/1.8
Focal Length: 35mm
ISO: 100

I was particularly stoked when walking in the front gate to the Formula One race to see a bunch of Studebakers sitting there.  Yes, there was factory representation from Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, BMW, Bentley, Rolls Royce, etc…, but there were also Australian drivers clubs with an amazing diversity of automobiles from across the automotive spectrum.  But given that my first automotive experience was with Studebakers, this was a real treat.

 

Camera: Leica SL
Exposure: 1/2000
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 500mm
ISO: 800

 

Camera: Leica SL
Exposure: 1/10000
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 500mm
ISO: 1,600

 

Camera: Leica SL
Exposure: 1/4000
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 500mm
ISO: 1,600

 

Camera: Leica SL
Exposure: 1/10000
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 500mm
ISO: 1,600

 

There were also flyovers from the Royal Australian Air Force.  The Roulettes did their incredible precision work, followed by an amazing demonstration by an F/A-18 Hornet, then a couple of flyovers by a C-17 right before the race started.

 

Camera: Leica SL
Exposure: 1/6400
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 500mm
ISO: 1,600

 

Camera: Leica SL
Exposure: 1/2000
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 500mm
ISO: 800

 

Camera: Leica SL
Exposure: 1/2500
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 500mm
ISO: 1,600

 

Camera: Leica SL
Exposure: 1/4000
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 500mm
ISO: 1,600

 

Camera: Leica SL
Exposure: 1/2000
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 500mm
ISO: 1,600

 

Then there was the racing.  This was my first Formula One race and I just purchased a general admissions ticket.  In the future, I suspect doing my homework prior and finding a good viewing stand seat would help with seeing some of the action a bit better.  Or perhaps I should just go as press and really get into the action.  The problem with that is that it takes some of the fun out of it when you are working rather than taking the experience in, which is what this was for me… An experience, making photos rather than focusing on delivering a product.

There was enough time to get back to the hotel, get cleaned up and make the meeting by 6:30pm, and wow… did I sleep well that night.

 

Categories: Daily, Travel.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Bryan,

    I see the cars changed a bit since I last watched F1 on the TV (during Michael Schuhmacher’s career mostly). Do they have little windshields now? Or is that just an outcrop from the body? And they seem to have more straight lines again, as they did in the mid 1980’s?

    So my impression of watching Formula 1 “in person” had always been that it’s really difficult to get tickets unless you book long in advance, but that’s not so, I guess? Also, do they make it easy to actually know who and by how much somebody is leading?

    Very cool photos and video. Thanks for sharing.
    Ruben

    • It is a wraparound bar. No windshields, but they should have just gone that direction. As for the cars, they were waaaaay quieter than the last time I heard a Formula One engine. The new hybrid power plants are quiet.

      As for tickets, I literally walked up to the ticket booth an hour before the race and bought a general admission ticket. The announcers keep everyone in the loop, but watching the action is honestly easier on TV. ;-)



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