Monday, July 14, 2014

F1 through the viewfinder

We all enjoy the nice images that capture the 300+ km/h action in Formula 1.

Some of us enjoy the close-up technically detailed ones, while others favor the creative action of an unusual angles and effects.
All this is brought to us by a selected group of photographers, who are shooting the F1 circus by no accident. You may probably know or don't know that F1 photographers are quite literally an elite group, whose work is being re-evaluated every year and thus you get your permanent or temporary permission to shoot. This means that even if you consider yourself a lens-ninja and you pay an entry fee, it won't be possible. So, the cream of the crop.

Fortunately, today we have on board one of them. His name is Vladimir Rys. Born in Prague 30+ years ago, Vlad becomes one of the leading figures behind the DSLR viewfinder that brings a stunning photographic quality. Here's what he has to share with all of you. But, before we get there, congratulations Germany on your football world title - photo of Nico Rosberg by Vladimir Rys:

Why did you start doing this
Cause of my love to photography and to the excitement of capturing a whole story in one single image and
maybe also cause I always liked to see things differently to what I have been told by others and transformed this into pictures.

What are the most iconic races you've shoot
Monaco - every Monaco is amazing, Singapore - I love that race too and probably Monza, which you can’t really not love...

The most incredible shot I've ever done
I have a few shots I quite like, but I always hope the most incredible one is the next one maybe...

P.S. I've picked up an incredible shot myself #KeepFightingMichael

How hard it is - what obstacles you face?
F1 has always been the hardest place to work for a sports photographer. Not only it is so difficult to get in, but also it is very expensive to travel around to all races being most of the season somewhere overseas. But also at the track we have a lot of hurdles to get over, more and more every year actually, "health & safety" has grown at some countries to a ridiculous level, where common sense doesn't work anymore and photographers really struggle to work. But these rules are same for everybody, so you have to get on with it and deliver.

What are the technical details
I work with Canon cameras and lenses, but occasionally use also Carl Zeiss and one Nikon lenses mounted on my Canon 1Dx's and "f-stop gear" supplies me with top class camera bags to travel and ship all my equipment safe around the World. Getting into more technical details we could spend the whole day speaking about apertures, lenses, filters, etc., but the only thing that really counts is the eye... If you have the eye to see something different. the technical skills and the instinct than you get something special. Balance all these into one moment and you get something special. Still, some numbers: I use variety on lenses starting with 14mm, 24mm, 35, 50, 85, 100, 200, 400. The only zoom I have is the 70 - 200mm lens, but I normally don’t use it for shooting F1.

What about wide apertures? Love shooting wide open f1.2 - 1.4 It’s very hard and tricky, but if you get it sharp than it’s worth the risk.
Does the size matter? Average RAW image size is at around 20 MB so it is quite a loads of data at the end of the day. An edited JPG image could come out something between 6 - 15 MB at the end.

Spain 2013
Final words 
The only thing I would like to add is that variety of styles and looks are changing now and than, but if you have your own signature and style you are recognized for, than this is timeless and priceless. 

Once again, you can check Vlad's F1 work here - and get in touch on Twitter - or Facebook -