“Dia de muertos” means the Day of the Dead, a Mexican tradition that honours those loved ones who’ve died. Painted faces are a big part of this day and there were plenty of people having their faces painted and the guy in the headline pic was the stand-out performer at the track today.There was lovely light first thing with the sun behind the drivers as they entered the Paddock resulting in backlit pics. I chose to shoot around the first corner area of the free practice 1 session and shot through a photographer’s window (a hole cut in the wire). At one point I was surprised to see Lewis Hamilton on the grass and heading towards me. I was shooting at 1/40th of a second so I steadied and shot 8 frames of which 2 were sharp. The pic here is a little different to most head on shots as you see the motion of the wheels if you look at the tyre tread. If I had been shooting at say, 1/1000th of a second, there would have been no blur.
I moved to an opening that allowed me to shoot low as the cars headed away from me and had Sebastian Vette’s Ferrari appear in the viewfinder kicking up plenty of dust. Watching the replay on the big screen, I realised he too had come off the track at the corner before Lewis.
I then caught a golf buggy back to the main grandstand but as I was walking to the stand a local Mexican photographer tapped me on the shoulder to alert me to Alfonso Celis being ferried back to the pits after crashing his Force India. I ‘graciased” him.I liked the building in the background of this shot from the stand. In the afternoon session I went into the stadium and headed up to the back of the grandstand. I found some enthusiastic punters who I had to choreograph for certain crowd shots. This was a little tricky as we spoke no common language so I was left to point, gesture and move them about in order to get the shot I wanted. Of course not everyone was as enthusiastic as the people I got involved.I noticed the vendors had all of their notes neatly folded in half and they worked hard to move their product. The view is impressive and I certainly enjoyed shooting wide from the top.Below is a shot using a 45mm tilt shift lens.And below, I have shot through the railing.Then I went down to ground level and shot through the gap between the concrete barrier and the wire fence and made sure I shot the car before it went into the shaded area. And then shot the cars side on at 1/50th of a second to blur th4e crowd in the stands. After an hour of editing I headed back out to the Paddock where the Mexico pollution had softened the light, so it was just a matter of waiting for the right people to walk into the light which Red Bull CEO Christian Horner and Sebastian Vettel did thankfully. Oh and on my way out of the track tonight I came across this group of colourfully clad locals.Well that’s it for today’s blog which was written in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel where Paul McCartney is about to return after doing a soundcheck for his concert tomorrow night at the Aztec stadium. There are a hundred or so fans waiting behind barriers out the front so it should be quite a scene when the 72 year old pulls up.
Buenos Nochas from Mexico (pron; Meh-Hico).
PS Paul’s car drive straight past the gathered throng and went to the basement car park but I did get a very grainy, out of focus shot of the great man with one hand out of the vehicle waving at the fans.