The Green Hills of Thunderhill

by Jeffrey Dahl on Mar.13, 2010, under Jeff's Blog

Woke up to a sunny, cool morning.  It’s definitely not summer yet.  After getting equipment organized and loaded in the car, it was across the parking lot to Starbucks for a coffee and scone.  They are everywhere, aren’t they!

We arrived at the track in plenty of time since it was only a few minutes drive from the hotel.  We stopped at the gate and signed the mandatory insurance waiver, then headed off to registration to get our credentials which this time was a pink hospital type wrist band.

This being the first time at this track I wanted to ask someone where the good locations were.  Other photographers have always been very friendly and helpful when it comes to this advice, and today was no exception.  With my new found knowledge, now I was ready to start shooting!

I spent the morning shooting head on shots with a long lens hoping to get some nice bunched up group shots.  The green rolling hills made for a great background.  I hear that later in the year the hills turn brown and aren’t nearly as photogenic.  But today they were perfect and saturated with nice morning light.

In the afternoon I moved up on a hill overlooking turn 1.  With the sun at my back, I thought it would be a good location to shoot from.  It was not very close to the track but I  figured that I could reach it with my long glass.  As it turned out, it really wasn’t the best location to shoot from.  It just didn’t match my style of shooting.  I got a few good images but nothing spectacular.  With the first set of races completed, I started heading back toward the pits to find some different locations to shoot from where the sun would be at my back.  On my way I noticed a cutout in the fence looking right down the front straightaway.  I had totally missed seeing it on the way up to the hill.  I shot there the rest of the the day and got some good head on and pan shots as they entered turn 1.

I am still a bit rusty from not shooting events during the winter.  I forgot to format my memory cards last night and it really messed me up.  I have a “system” I use for empty versus full cards.  Not formatting the cards really threw me off.  It just makes it harder to know I’ve downloaded all the images when I get back to the hotel.

With racing completed for the day, we loaded our gear and headed back into town for a bite to eat.  Then back to the hotel to the familiar routine of downloading images to both my Hyperdrive and laptop and getting ready for tomorrow.

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