Okay, so as you can see from the title of this post, I shot the Indy 500 this past weekend and I LOVED it! It was such a big event and I feel so lucky that my boss at the IndyStar trusted me enough to put me in some important situations. This experience was so amazing.
I've never shot a car race before, let alone something as big as the Indy 500. I wasn't assigned a specific place to shoot from, so I just roamed around the Speedway, looking for any possible way to create photos different from the hundreds of other photographers there.
The first day I shot, Carb Day, gave me the opportunity to get angles that I wouldn't have gotten during the race, such as being directly in front of the pit crews and right along the walls that separate the pits from the pitlane.
On race day, I was amazed at the amount of people who turned out. Obviously I knew it would be crazy, but it's hard to comprehend if you've never seen it before. I knew I wanted to get a photo from an angle where you could see the leader board turn green for the green flag, but I also wanted to be able to show *just how many* people were in the stands for the race. Shooting wide at turn 1, I could take a photo that showed packed stands all the way down the straightaway back to turn 4.
Something I wasn't expecting was how laid back the pit crews seemed to be when the drivers were racing. I expected the pit crews to be constantly moving, but in reality, they spent much of their time sitting on the wall of the pit lane watching the race on the big screen. I'm sure there was a lot going through their heads, but from my point of view, it looked like they were "just chilling" so I wanted to show that.
My boss at the IndyStar put me in Victory Lane for the award ceremony, and that was SO cool. I felt so lucky to be standing there in that moment. I knew I wanted to shoot the milk shot tight, so I brought a 300 with me. When I got out to the stands, no one else had a 300. I panicked, like oh my goodness, maybe I'm making a big mistake. Maybe I'm gonna be wayyyyy too close with this 300. I mean, all these guys have done this a million times before, so I must've really misjudged this distance. However, I'm glad the 300 is what I brought. I actually wish my milk shot was tighter, but I think with the 300 I was able to get out a lot of the clutter that I would've gotten from my angle. So maybe me, the rookie, did make the right call on that 300.