2020 has been an unusual year, to say the least, and its meant fewer car shows. In fact, this shooter hadn’t been to any before MPACT. But the weather held out, the BMWs were plentiful, and Pocono raceway is always an excellent atmosphere to shoot in. Take a tour of the paddocks with me in this blog, with some tips along the way.
No closed track this year, but MPACT itself is still a thrill.
Get there early
Yes, I know, getting up at 5 AM can be rough, but if you want a chance at good light and minimal clutter, then getting to the show early is key. Arriving by 7:30, it gave me a good hour to get my gear out and walk alone in the relative peace of the track and garages. It also gave me excellent lighting conditions, because once 11 AM hits, the images will have much more contrast.
Enjoy the people
Being the only major car show that wasn’t cancelled, MPACT was busy, to say the least. But don’t get discouraged if you’ve got people in your shoot, embrace it. They help tell the story, especially this year with all the masks and such.
However, it’s up to you to understand the difference between clean and cluttered, so be patient if there is a crowd around. Some might say to come back later, but I find that waiting is better. You’re already in a position you like, so just keep looking through your lens and fire shots.
Shooting MPACT isn’t like a regular shoot. You can’t stage a car, or clear things out of the way, so walk around a lot. The cars are always in motion, and if you see an M3 you love but hate where it is, then look for another.
Finding owners can be difficult as they also want to enjoy the show, but if you see one by their car, go ahead and ask if they can maybe turn a wheel in, or move it over just a bit. Many are very accommodating for a shot.
MPACT is unique in that it’s held at a track, and you can race on it. It provides a great opportunity to get some shots with motion blur in them. I’m able to get behind the car and shoot much closer, so if you’re in the grand stands, bring your long lens (70-200 should be good), and fire away.
It’s a great place to practice, because if you miss one cool BMW, another is right behind it.
Take some you time
I’ve been covering car shows for many years now, and it’s both a blessing and a curse. You’re so worried about taking a shot that you don’t step out from behind the lens and actually enjoy the show. So do a walk around, then pause and enjoy the cars just to enjoy the cars. You might miss a shot or two, but gain a friend.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
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