Man, I sure do love Goodwood!! The effort that goes into the events Lord March holds are beyond anything I’ve seen anywhere else. The Festival of Speed and Revival are both world famous, but quickly rising in the ranks is the Members Meeting. This is the 74th year they have held it, but only the 3rd where it was open to the public. What makes the Members Meeting special is the vintage racing and high speed demonstrations. You wont be so likely to ever see more priceless cars banging doors anywhere else on Earth.
From a photography point of view, these events are priceless. Inside the paddock there are no barriers between you and the cars, and occasionally there will be a motor-sport legend hanging around as well. This gives you a lot of opportunity to experiment and get better. How often are you totally left alone to experiment with F-Stops and composition around a priceless race car? I can tell you that there is nowhere else that you, as a photographer, can get this close without a special pass. Any Goodwood event is known for this, and it’s awesome! I found myself kicking the lower skirt of the Ferrari 312 t4 while I was looking through my lense trying to get a shot of the cockpit. OPPS!
I chose to bring my new standard kit with me this time, which consists of the Sony A7,Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8 and Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 G OSS. This is only the 2nd time I’ve taken the 70-200 out for a real shoot, and the 1st time I’ve used it to capture cars at speed.
What I discovered on this shoot is that I really think the OSS makes the images I capture using the Sony 70-200mm f/4.0 just that little bit sharper than with the Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8. My style of photography is very street, so I am constantly raising and lowering my camera at the last minute to capture. Without having stabilization on the 55mm and A7, maybe I’m being a bit quick on the draw and my sharpness is suffering. There is no doubt the 55mm is as sharp of a lens as they make, so I’ll slow it on down when I’m using it next time round.
All in all I’ve got zero complaints with this kit. I think it would be real nice to have an A7ii to get that little bit of freedom the image stabilization would give the 55mm. But that’s also a problem I can fix by slowing it on down when I’m shooting with it. The 70-200mm f/4.0 is a pretty big and heavy lens, both on the camera and in the bag. When it’s on the camera you find yourself holding the camera by the lens, and supporting the lens a lot. At least I did, it’s just really font heavy. But the lens quality leaves me wanting nothing, it’s sharp and looks great. For high speed sport F4 is plenty fast, and it gives you a bit of DOF room as well so I tend to get more keepers than with lenses shot at 1.8.
I’m also presenting my photos in the 1:2.35 Cinemascope aspect ratio, I really love the look and will be doing this more from now on. I love the way it presents the photo as almost like a single frame in a film, and gives more options for asymmetrical compositions. So there is a little behind the scenes from my day of shooting at the 74th Members Meeting at Goodwood. If you have any questions or would like to comment, please join the conversation below. And be sure to check out all of the photos from this years Members Meetings and past kick ass Goodwood events as well.