If there is a better grand prix than Monaco, I can’t wait to experience it because this place has been nothing short of amazing. There are people and boats everywhere, it’s chock a block and they’re all having the time of their life. I had to head outside the track in the afternoon and my god, there were thousands in the streets too. I’ve not seen the likes of it an apparently it’s normally a sleep little town! Anyway, the morning saw me wander the paddock where Sebastian Vettel entered via bicycle, as did Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas used a boat while the others arrived on foot. Billy Hill, the loud hailer guy, was back in his spot on the hill which was packed today. It costs nothing to sit there and it has a fine view of the final two turns and you get to listen to Billy all day, he’s most entertaining. The morning session saw me go to the far end of the track and work the gorgeous Casino Square area. There are large photography holes all around the track and I identified one that provided me with an opportunity to shoot the cars coming towards me with the Hotel De Paris in the background.I shot tight and wide and really liked the ornate street lights in the background. Shooting at 14 frames a second means you have a good chance of getting a shot with the car neatly between the two.
You simply don’t get that sort of shot anywhere else, it’s so full of character. I then moved about 200m up the hill and shot them coming towards me, going past me with the casino in the background and away from me down the hill to Mirabeau. Once I had plenty of standard shots I decided to try some slower shutter speed shots which are getting a little easier for me but there is still plenty of work to be done on this facet of my photography. Then it was down to Mirabeau where the cars come downhill, dodging a tree route at the top of the decline and going through shadows, which is always nice photo-wise. I look for the shots where the car is in the light and was happy to find a number of them. But the best part of the morning was at Loews Hairpin in front of the Fairmont Hotel where, once again, I was less than a metre from the cars as they sped past. The noise and wind were bracing and I will be back there again tomorrow for another serve. I was also able to go right down to the hairpin as long as I stood in the garden which made for some interesting shots. For qualifying I headed up to the 16th floor of the Panorama building on the first corner. It offered a great view of the first corner below and out to sea; this gave me an opportunity to use the tilt shift lens for a novel effect.There were also plenty of other shots to nail over the 1 hour session. I did like the shot below as it clearly shows how close the cars are as they head away from the start and back towards it.In this shot you might be able to see the rear tyre that had shredded on the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson. At the end of the session, Kimi Raikonnen was smiling having nabbed pole from Vettel, with Bottas in third. I popped in to the press conference for a few minutes to snap the trio and that was the end of my day. Tomorrow I’m hoping Daniel Ricciardo can pull off a surprise victory on this tight street circuit.