The New Camera!
Saturday 9 June 2001
Path > Cottbus to Cottbus via Lausitz Eurospeedway in Germany
I gathered all of the new bits and pieces and almost ran out of the hotel. I was keen to get to the track and see what it could do!
The car ride was unbearably long down the autobahn to Lausitz. I did reel off a few shots of cars and trucks from the passenger seat though.
There was a bit of interest in the media centre. Other journalist that I work with came up and wanted to see the new hardware.
When I ordered the camera, I assumed that the photographers would go for the large size memory cards because you can store more images. Therefore, I ordered a 1 Gig Microdrive with the camera so I can store around about 1000 photos before downloading to the laptop.
It seems that I was wrong and that some of them just swap the smaller cards when they fill up. Maybe my research was paying off and I'd bought the right thing.
The morning consisted of playing with the toy, and working hard of course. I walked around and soon discovered that the lens was wrong. The 70-200mm lens combined with the multiplication of 1.6 due to the digital sensor being smaller than 35mm, meant that wide angle shots didn't exist.
I have the equivalent of 112mm-320mm lens, so the shots around the pits are going to be a bit difficult.
The track shots however, were fantastic! I borrowed a pit bike and rode over to the other side of the track to have a look. It was so easy to take a series of shots, just hold down the button and point.
A few hundred shots later, I had action shots of most of the sidecars from only a half hour session. This was great fun!
Norm and I had arranged to watch the video from the last meeting and criticise our own commentary, so I met him and Jazzy at the OB truck. Hmmm, maybe there were a few mistakes...
"With three laps to go Abbott is catching Steinhausen. It will be interesting to see how he goes in the next four or five laps", was the classic from Norm.
With that pain over, Norm and I discussed how we would improve as we wandered around ensuring that we knew where everything was.
We were at the top storey of the stand for the commentary and the interviews were in pit lane. I would have to really move to get across there in time! Luckily for me, there was a lift for the eight storeys to and from the box.
The afternoon sessions came too soon, and I found myself in pit lane taking photos during the sidecar session. Straight afterwards, I made my way up to the walkway and across the track to the towering stands.
It was about now that things started going down hill. The lift was broken! This would be a disaster for me as I had to get from the commentary spot to the podium for the tv interviews as soon as the session was over. This will test the fitness!
I met Norm in the commentary and we took up our positions. We were so high that we could see almost the whole track as the top eight sidecars went out for their individual flying laps.
Less than half an hour later, I negotiated the stairs and rushed over to conduct the interviews.
My haste left me a little unprepared, and I hadn't composed any questions for the riders. A simple oversight on my part...
Despite this minor issue, combined with the fact that I was mostly out of breath, the interviews went off well.
With the interviews over, I only had the web site to upload and about 600 photos to go through. I was happy with the photos and had managed to take a good shot of Steve Abbott and Jamie Biggs within the first hundred that I reeled off.
The day had been a success. I had made the right decision with the camera and couldn't be happier.
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