2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona

pwol

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
175
Location
CT
Wow…. what a race.


  • I drove down from CT to Daytona for the Rolex 24. This is my first time attending/shooting a race outside of Lime Rock. It was a 2,400 mile road trip both ways that I did by myself. I put a air mattress in the back of a minivan so I can sleep along the drive and sleep right at the track parking. I slept at some huge truck stop in North Carolina on the way down, and drove back home in one straight shot, just stopping for gas and bathroom breaks.

  • If anyone is into glamping, check out the Therm-a-rest MondoKing3d xxl. Its insulated with a high r value and is very comfortable. I slept so much better than I thought I would, honestly I think it was more comfortable than my bed at home.

  • My original plan was to watch the race up to midnight, then sleep for ~5 hours. Then the weather forecast changed for the worst. They were saying rain was going to start at 4am, and that it would come down very hard for the whole day. So I decided to stay up for as long as I can so I can shoot as much as I can before the rain came. I ended up staying awake for the entire 24 hour race. I put the camera away and watched the race from the grandstands for the last 8 or so hours.

  • The race was absolutely amazing. I fell in love with the whole 24 hour race experience at Daytona, and hope I can make it next year. Going to little 3 hour sprint races at Lime Rock is going to be so different now lol. People are calling this years Rolex 24 a classic. Brilliant racing up until the rain came. There were so many yellow flags and 2 red flags which was a huge bummer (first time they ever had 2 red flags in one race, and only had 8 red flags ever), but I still had alot of fun watching the race in the rain. I sat by turn 1 under the grandstand overhang and watched cars spin out basically every single lap. My socks/shoes were soaking wet and freezing the entire day but I still had such a good time.

  • I rented the Panasonic 200mm with the 1.4tc. Wow, this lens is special. I just didnt have the skills to make the most of it. I felt like a fraud, it was pretty embarrassing. This was my first time using anything longer than my Olympus 75mm and I just wasn't effective with it. I got discouraged and left in my car for some parts of the race to reduce weight in my backpack.

  • Overall I’m disappointed with my shots, but I still had an amazing time at the race. I had so many shots planned in my head that I didnt end up getting. Looking back there are so many little things I could have done better, so many things I could have done different. It was my first time at Daytona so I guess it’s a good first start and now I know where I can improve for future events.

  • I wanted to cull my photos more…. But the Rolex 24 is an endurance race, I had an endurance road trip, endurance photo editing, I think it’s fitting to post alot of photos for an endurance viewing experience.

  • I’d love to hear which one is your favorite, and any thoughts, comments, critique, etc etc.

I’ll start with my favorite photo from the race. I took this at 1am. I left my tripod in the car, and already walked some 10 miles at this point, so I didnt feel like going back for it. Luckily I had my small tabletop mini tripod in my bag. I put my folding step stool on one of the grandstand seats, then put my tripod on the stool. I took TONS of shots before getting a clean series. I had to time it around pit stops, as they never were consistent between stich points and just looked dumb. I’m thinking about getting this printed on a 10”x36” metal print.


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019 Rolex 24 IMSA Daytona by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-30.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-31.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-32.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-33.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-34.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-35.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-36.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-37.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-39.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-40.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-41.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-24.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-25.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-26.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-27.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-28.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-29.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-1.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-22.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr
 
Last edited:

pwol

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
175
Location
CT
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-1.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-44.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr





I took these in the early hours of the morning. I forgot my step stool in the grandstands, so I was using one of the empty step stools somebody left chained to the fence. So not alot of variety.


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-46.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-3.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-19.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-4.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-5.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-6.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-7.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-8.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-14.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-16.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr



Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-20.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr



Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-9.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
2019-Rolex24-48.jpg by Paul Wolanski, on Flickr
 
Last edited:

Wibbly23

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
131
some seriously awesome work in there for sure. i love grandstands as a backdrop for panning as the parallel lines add a nice geometry to the composition, and really do a good job of blending together to indicate speed in ways that vertical lines simply don't.


great shots!
 

ijm5012

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
7,963
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Real Name
Ian
Great stuff Paul, glad you enjoyed yourself! I'm really looking forward to Sebring, should be great with the WEC running on Friday, and IMSA on Saturday.

Were you shooting with C-AF with your E-M5 II? How'd you find it to work out?

Working with a telephoto prime can be limiting, but that's really the way to separate the subject from the background when shooting images that aren't panning. Speaking of panning, the shots are really good. For some reason, I too had great success with the E-M5 II when pre-focusing and panning.
 

pwol

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
175
Location
CT
some seriously awesome work in there for sure. i love grandstands as a backdrop for panning as the parallel lines add a nice geometry to the composition, and really do a good job of blending together to indicate speed in ways that vertical lines simply don't.


great shots!
Thanks man, I agree.

Great stuff Paul, glad you enjoyed yourself! I'm really looking forward to Sebring, should be great with the WEC running on Friday, and IMSA on Saturday.

Were you shooting with C-AF with your E-M5 II? How'd you find it to work out?

Working with a telephoto prime can be limiting, but that's really the way to separate the subject from the background when shooting images that aren't panning. Speaking of panning, the shots are really good. For some reason, I too had great success with the E-M5 II when pre-focusing and panning.
Thanks, I didnt expect to have such a good time. It was just amazing staying up for the entire 24 hours.

I took thousands and thousands of shots, not a single one was with c-af. Using c-af wasnt even a thought lol, I know its just a em5ii. I guess I could have tried using it for a couple series just to experiment. Pre focus manual for everything, which was very tricky with the 200+1.4x.

I feel like my panning at Daytona was significantly worse than my previous work at Lime Rock. I think being sleep deprived, over caffeinated, balancing on a small plastic folding stool, and shooting at 1/13-1/30 most of the time played a big role in that. I only had like a 10" step stool, I thought that'd be enough being 6'3", but it wasnt. It was doable but I had to hold my camera a bit higher than I'd like, so that was awkward. I'll know for next time.

I was planning on going to Sebring too, but I dont know if I'm going to go now. I'm a bit burned out driving 20+ hours each way and sifting through thousands of pictures. Who knows, I might see you there.
 

Canonista

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Messages
673
Location
Southern California
Nice work! I especially like the panning shots with the nicely shaped lighting in the background. Reinforces the point that planning for and being selective about the background makes a huge difference.

Will you try a zoom lens next time? I’m leaning towards getting the PL100-400 for my first foray shooting mirrorless at a car race. If panning, a slow zoom probably wouldn’t make much difference at night since one would be shooting at slow speeds anyway.
 

ijm5012

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
7,963
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Real Name
Ian
Paul,

I also want to add that your processing of these is very good. Exposure is spot-on, as are the colors. Really good stuff.

You're making the 6 week wait to Sebring that much more difficult!
 

pwol

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
175
Location
CT
Nice work! I especially like the panning shots with the nicely shaped lighting in the background. Reinforces the point that planning for and being selective about the background makes a huge difference.

Will you try a zoom lens next time? I’m leaning towards getting the PL100-400 for my first foray shooting mirrorless at a car race. If panning, a slow zoom probably wouldn’t make much difference at night since one would be shooting at slow speeds anyway.
Thanks. Yeah the ferris wheel shot is probably the most photographed spot at Daytona IMSA races. It's always packed with photographers shooting over the fence, along with tons of official photographers shooting it closer to the track. I didnt shoot there much until 3-4 am, so it wasnt too crowded.

A zoom would be nice, I rented the PL200 specifically for still "freeze" shots to mix it up, as I only really did panning shots in the past. A zoom would definitely be better for panning. I'm not sure if I'll rent a lens next time, or just stick to what I own. I was disappointed with my performance with the 200, so part of me wants to rent it again to challenge myself.

Hats off the all the people from the "motorsports thread" here that shoot panning shots with the 300mm. Some amazing work there that I appreciate so much more after my first attempt at tele panning.

Paul,

I also want to add that your processing of these is very good. Exposure is spot-on, as are the colors. Really good stuff.

You're making the 6 week wait to Sebring that much more difficult!
Thanks man I really appreciate it. The white balance was off in almost all of the shots, so fine tuning it was tedious. I probably spent most of my editing time fixing WB. I still feel like some are a bit off, but owell good enough.

Have you ever been to Sebring? I've been looking into it and I think it'd be more difficult to get unique photos there than shooting at Daytona. Obviously the start/finish straight is a prime spot, but then the rest of it looks almost exactly the same. Close access on both sides so most shots have rvs and pop up tents in them. It looks pretty challenging, but I know you'll get great shots and I look forward to seeing them. Some good ol 1/10 panning should help out alot, lol. I cant wait either, whether I go down and watch in person or stay home and watch it on my tv. It should be a pretty solid weekend.
 

ijm5012

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
7,963
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Real Name
Ian
Thanks man I really appreciate it. The white balance was off in almost all of the shots, so fine tuning it was tedious. I probably spent most of my editing time fixing WB.
Holy shit man, that's tedious as hell! I spent a fair amount of time editing my images from Petit Le Mans, but most of that was levels/tone curve adjustments. I used Auto-WB and was very pleased with how it handled the lighting. Granted, that was pretty much all natural light, versus you having to deal with the track lights, LEDs, etc.

Have you ever been to Sebring? I've been looking into it and I think it'd be more difficult to get unique photos there than shooting at Daytona.

Close access on both sides so most shots have rvs and pop up tents in them. Some 1/10 panning should help out alot, lol. I cant wait either, whether I go down and watch in person or stay home and watch it on my tv. It should be a pretty solid weekend.
I've not been to Sebring before, but a lot of the season-long credentialed photographers are in an IMSA group on FB and I asked how photo access is the general public. They said it's actually quite good, since there are a lot of places with no or low catch fencing.

As far as the backgrounds go, yeah you've just gotta work on the composition. However, sometimes a colorful/distracting background or foreground can help if you get your shutter speed low enough. Here's a shot from last year's Petit Le Mans, and in the background is a pop-up tent, porta-john, emergency vehicles, etc.

If you don't make it down for Sebring, I would highly recommend the Petit Le Mans. Fantastic track, great weather, and it's 10 hours. I know what you mean about the "short" 3 hour long races now. I'll go to Mid-Ohio in May, but after attending one of the longer endurance rounds, the normal rounds just seem so short.
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom