Lewis Hamilton was the big winner today, qualifying on pole position for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix in his shiny Mercedes.He was the last driver to arrive at the track this morning and was greeted by a bevy of photographers waiting on the bank of the olympic rowing lake which backs on to the track.For the first half a dozen drivers I shot low from the pontoon so I could get the trees in the background.Valtteri Bottas arrived with this girlfriend, Emilia Pikkarainen. Emilia participated in the Olympic Games of 2008 at just 15 years of age and currently holds the national record for the 50 meters and 100 meters butterfly, 200 meter butterfly and 200 meters individual medley.
I then moved to the pontoon the drivers crossed (it spans the rowing lake) and shot from below so their caps didn’t cover their eyes. The shots above weren’t shot directly into the sun, the final two are and there is quite a difference in look. I wanted to photograph the final corner, the Wall of Champions (a tyre wall covered by red and white painted rubber), so named because many past greats have hit the outside wall on the exit. I walked for 30 minutes but could not get access to where I needed to go so decided to shoot it from behind which resulted in plenty of pics of the arse end of the cars. As you can see, Kimi Raikonnen mucked it up, launching over the kerb instead of going around it. Half way through I moved 100m up the track and shot the cars going through the chicane and at different shutter speeds. I liked the brightly painted red rail and tried some close up shots so the red dominated the background.Here’s the hole in the fence that I shot through. This Williams is on it’s way back to the pits. In the afternoon I hiked more than a kilometre to the hairpin where the stands were full and the punters were lapping up the warm weather. I took my 45mm tilt shift lens which allows me to set the focus plane. Here, I had the focused area run top to bottom so anything in that plain is in focus, anything left or right goes progressively out of focus. It makes for an interesting effect. Local favourite Lance Stroll (above) got the crowd out of their seats as he headed out for qualifying. After 15 minutes here I moved to the stand on the right and on the way found a shot through trees.When I eventually got to the stand I lasted about 10 minutes shooting a few different shots. Again a number of cars were locking up at the hairpin. For the final 10 minutes of qualifying, I moved down to the ground and shot through a hole in the fence, capturing cars coming at me as they were at the mid point of the hairpin.
I didn’t realise until I was editing my shots that Daniel had his hand out of the cockpit and was fisted up. I’m not sure why as I don’t think there was anyone around him at the time, but it makes for an interesting shot.
So that was pretty much it, although I did miss getting a shot of Hollywood actor Michael Douglas who was in the McLaren hospitality area, of course, there’s always tomorrow.