Mount Panorama photography guide.

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26 Dec 2017 09:07 - 26 Dec 2017 11:13 #10075 by mayhem
mayhem created the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
Where to photo cars at Mount Panorama WITHOUT a media pass.

Copyright Chris Allen Photography. Re-posted with permission at www.shakedownracing.com.au
This guide is not to be reproduced without written consent of the author.


It’s no secret that one of the most special pieces of racetrack in the world is Mount Panorama at Bathurst. There are three great meetings for car nuts to attend at The Mount: the V8 Supercars Bathurst 1000 in October, the GT3 Bathurst 12 Hour in February and the Bathurst Motor Festival in March. All three meetings are unique, and all three meetings are worthwhile attending, especially for photographers.
I’ve been to Bathurst more times than I care to remember, and no matter the meeting it is still the one racetrack that has a special feeling that hits you the moment you get out of your car. And with so many visits to the track I reckon I’ve built up a good enough knowledge base to know where to stand and what to do to get truly great motor racing photographs. So here is my rundown of where to go, at what time of the day to go there and what size lens you’re gunna need as well as an ‘Action Rating’ for each spot where I give you the lowdown on potential spins/crashes. In regards to my suggestions about what time to shoot from each spot, I’m going assume it’s a bright sunny day when you’re there; obviously if it’s cloudy and overcast you can pretty much shoot at any time.

Inside Hell Corner – I love this spot. It’s a great place to take a nice panning shot where the cars are easy to track (even with a monopod) and has an interesting background of grandstands, corporate areas and the crowd. From further up the straight you can get the cars as the roll off the Turn 1 ripple strip, or kick up dirt on the outside.
Best Time: Any morning session/most afternoon sessions, particularly if you have Circular Polarizer filters.
Lens length: 70 – 200mm +
Action Rating: 6 - mainly brake lockups and cars running straight on or wide and onto the grass.

Outside Hell Corner - Turn 1 (from Pit Straight and also going up Mountain Straight)
Best Time: Pretty much all day especially the start of any race.
Lens length: 70 – 200mm +
Action Rating: 7 - First corner of the first lap has potential, otherwise mostly just lockups and cars running wide
Tip: Use pit lane as an interesting backdrop

Coming out of The Cutting: Turn 3
Best Time: Early morning and then afternoon
Lens length: 24 – 70mm, 200mm +
Action Rating: 5 – mostly good for ‘pretty’ shots if you’re quick.
Tip: Pre-focus here to save lens ‘hunting’. Use gardens in foreground. A little further up you can get that famous photo of the cars heading towards Reid Park, with the ‘Mount Panorama’ sign etched into the hill in the background.

Reid Park - Turn 5 There’s a tiny place to stand near the flag marshal point without fencing under the advertising bridge. Catch fencing has wrecked the next few turns as compared to the good old days.
Best Time: Late afternoon to avoid windscreen glare
Lens length: 200mm +
Action Rating: 5. Cars will hit that inside wall every now and then, but you’ll do well to get it all in a sequence without your line of sight being hindered.
Tip: Pre-focus, pre-focus, pre-focus…

McPhillamy/Skyline: the king of locations for long shutter panning shots. Nothing better than a shot of a fast moving race car with the backdrop of the town of Bathurst.
Best Time: Anytime
Lens length: 70mm – 200mm
Action Rating: 7. Cars can run wide here, often with disastrous consequences
Tip: Stand near the rock monuments for fast panning shots, or go further along to shoot towards the cars as they use the ripple strip at McPhillamy. Use the crowd in the foreground for some great perspective shots.

The Esses: This is the scene of that ‘rockstar’ Bathurst photo of the car coming over skyline with that beautiful blue sky in the background. The bad news is, as a punter without media accreditation, you wont get that shot, but the good news is that you will get some great photos in and around the Esses.
Best Time: Morning sessions mostly, at the 12 hour it’s a great spot for that ‘first light’ photo.
Lens length: 24mm – 300mm+
Action Rating: 8
Tip: Don’t fall into the trap of standing in the one spot and shooting the cars head on for too long. Move around, there are some truly great angles for photos at the Esses, including panning through trees, photoing cars directly from above as they go past ‘the tree’. And almost any lens length can be used in this location.

The Dipper: Walk down from the Esses and there is a great spot to shoot the cars as they go into the world famous ‘Dipper’. Some legendary punters have cut holes in the fence there that is a perfect fit for most lenses.
Best Time: Morning session as the afternoon sessions get bad window glare.
Lens length: Around 200mm+
Action Rating: 7. If a car has a lose at the Esses, they invariably end up in the wall that you can see perfectly in this shot.
Tip: You might have to stand on your tip toes if you’re vertically challenged.

The Dipper to Forest Elbow It’s an easy walk down to the Elbow, but an absolute heartbreaker going back up the hill. It can be worth it, although it’s not a spot I rush to. Some good panning shots through the trees as the cars head down Conrod straight can be had, as long as you have good zoom. Also, if you’re of a decent skill as a photographer, you can use the shadow patches across the road for some nice artistic shots.
Best Time: Anytime except around midday with the glare off the windscreens
Lens length: 70-300mm
Action Rating: 5
Tip: Not many pro photographers venture down this way, so if you do get shots of an accident, chances are you might be the ONLY one. There are some places where you can shoot the cars from almost directly above just before they get to the Elbow.

Inside of the Chase
Best Time: On really sunny days it may be best to try and avoid mid-morning to around lunch, otherwise anytime really
Lens length: 200mm+
Action Rating: 9 – lots of lock ups, late braking passes, loses, spins and crashes, it’s a great spot to watch car racing, even more so in the rain as you get shots of spray, and almost always cars running too deep or spinning.
Tip: Use all lengths of lenses for those long shutter pan shots, and use the Rydges hotel as a backdrop.

Outside of the Chase – if you’re ever gunna get a photo of a car running through a sand trap, spinning, locking up or possibly even doing that sky-ground-sky-ground acrobatic trick, then this is the place.
Best Time: (anytime)
Lens length: 200mm +
Action Rating: 9
Tip: It’s also a good spot for long shutter speed panning shots, and with a wider angles lens, you can get interesting backdrops.

Murrays Corner (including from on the footbridge) – an okay spot for photos but one I don’t spend a lot of time at, even more so these days with the catch fencing there.
Best Time: Morning the best
Lens length: 200mm +
Action Rating: 7
Tip: Can be a good spot for last lap heroics.

Pits/Paddock
Best Time: Anytime but just before/after a session is interesting
Lens length: 24 – 70mm with a flash
Action Rating: 7
Tips: Stand on top of the pits for that finish line/chequer flag shot. Then run like crazy to get underneath the podium for champagne shots.

Notes: While Bathurst offers up good shady spots, the sun will burn you like a school fete BBQ, so ALWAYS wear a hat and sunscreen. It’s also a place of weather extremes, so have wet weather gear handy.
Don’t get bogged down at one spot for too long, keep moving, there are so many spots and photo opportunities to be had.
Buy a monopod. And a decent one, you wont regret it.
If you see me, come up and say hi.

Chris Allen Photography:
Instagram - @CaphotoOnInsta, @carsbyCAphoto.
Facebook: Chris Allen Photography

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Last Edit: 26 Dec 2017 11:13 by mayhem.
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26 Dec 2017 09:18 #10077 by maverick
maverick replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
Your time and effort with this is much appreciated, many thanks.

Shakedown, the forum where 1 or 2 people won't be allowed to ruin the enjoyment of others.
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26 Dec 2017 16:47 #10086 by BRP
BRP replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
Thank you for this mate. Looking forward to getting out there and putting your guide to good use.
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26 Dec 2017 17:25 #10087 by Cozzy858
Cozzy858 replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
Thanks for tips mate, For the last few years i have only been shooting with a 18-55mm lens and its so so hard to get nice shots without having to crop a whole lot of crap out ect but hopefully upgrading and getting a 55-300mm lens before Feb keen to get up there and have a go at getting some nice pics :D.
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26 Dec 2017 18:58 #10089 by StueyB83
StueyB83 replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
Gospel truth here, Mayhem. Awesome advice and 100% true.

Now I have to fight for my spot at each turn, so thanks :P

Mech Eng. & Scribe for GT-Report.com

For deciding what to spray on your podium celebrations: champagnetipplers.wordpress.com/
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26 Dec 2017 22:47 #10090 by mayhem
mayhem replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.

Cozzy858 wrote: Thanks for tips mate, For the last few years i have only been shooting with a 18-55mm lens and its so so hard to get nice shots without having to crop a whole lot of crap out ect but hopefully upgrading and getting a 55-300mm lens before Feb keen to get up there and have a go at getting some nice pics :D.


Hey Cozzy, if I were you, and was in the market for a new lens, instead of falling into the 'bigger is better' trap, I'd be considering an f2.8 70 - 200mm. Not sure what body you use, but even a decent second hand lens would be better than a 55 - 300mm. Just some food for thought...

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27 Dec 2017 14:25 #10094 by Cozzy858
Cozzy858 replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
Thanks for the tip mate would there be any big issues I would run into with the bigger lens?

My main issue is getting close enough to what I'm trying to shoot the 55mm just doesn't cut it for sports fine when using it for general stuff.

My camera is a Nikon d3200 nothing fancy still got a lot to learn when it comes to shooting at races with changing the shutter speeds and apature settings when i first got the camera was just using the action settings so basically automatic point and click haha.

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28 Dec 2017 13:19 #10102 by Nadz44
Nadz44 replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
A bigger lens might struggle up top of the mountain because you are generally close to all the action, I have got a 150-600 which will limit where I can take pics..... will be good fun trying though.....

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29 Dec 2017 11:19 #10111 by StueyB83
StueyB83 replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
I run a 70-300mm for the most part and a 17-50 for detail.

But the advice is right, a 200 is pretty much all you need.

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For deciding what to spray on your podium celebrations: champagnetipplers.wordpress.com/

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29 Dec 2017 13:46 #10114 by mayhem
mayhem replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.

Cozzy858 wrote: Thanks for the tip mate would there be any big issues I would run into with the bigger lens?

My main issue is getting close enough to what I'm trying to shoot the 55mm just doesn't cut it for sports fine when using it for general stuff.

My camera is a Nikon d3200 nothing fancy still got a lot to learn when it comes to shooting at races with changing the shutter speeds and apature settings when i first got the camera was just using the action settings so basically automatic point and click haha.


I'd definitely go for a decent f2.8 70 - 200mm over the lens you suggested earlier. You're using a crop sensor camera anyway, so essentially that 200mm is actually a 280mm on your camera. And if you want further reach, you can always buy a teleconverter to give you more zoom, and the quality wont be much different.

There are a number of manufacturers of this f2.8 70 - 200's, Nikon (too expensive), Sigma (I've had two, both were great until they stop working...), Tamron (currently using one now, seems good so far) and Tokina. But the second hand market will open up many more opportunities, and a bargain can be had if you can find one that's been well cared for, and it'd be worth saving a few extra dolalrs to get some decent glass, even if it was second hand.

Try gumtree, ebay and these two sites: www.australiacameramarket.com.au/ and www.cameratrader.com.au/

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29 Dec 2017 16:18 #10117 by johnh875
johnh875 replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
The inside of Mountain Straight near the first hump is a good spot for getting close to the cars without catch fencing in the way
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30 Dec 2017 07:56 #10128 by mayhem
mayhem replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.

johnh875 wrote: The inside of Mountain Straight near the first hump is a good spot for getting close to the cars without catch fencing in the way


Is that at the end of the campgrounds John? I've never been that far up, something I might change in a few weeks time. ;)

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30 Dec 2017 23:52 #10133 by RedZedMikey
RedZedMikey replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
Nice write-up mayhem! Pretty much agree with it all, but questions about inside Hell Corner: Are you talking about shooting the inside corner from the outside of Pit straight, from the end of the pit building, up top, or somewhere else? Wonder how many times I've stood near you, James, nadz, and others without knowing it???
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31 Dec 2017 11:17 #10141 by mayhem
mayhem replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
Mate, anywhere from the commencement of the arc of Turn 1, to further up mountain straight and looking back at Turn 1. For the 1000, you're standing infront of the Supercheap corporate stand/marquee.

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02 Jan 2018 20:25 #10162 by BRP
BRP replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
I'll be easily spotted wearing either a Green Bay Packers hat or black akubra with my black Lowenpro backpack.
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02 Jan 2018 20:31 #10163 by mayhem
mayhem replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.

BRP wrote: I'll be easily spotted wearing either a Green Bay Packers hat or black akubra with my black Lowenpro backpack.


I'm very hard to spot.

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02 Jan 2018 21:24 #10164 by BRP
BRP replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.

mayhem wrote:

BRP wrote: I'll be easily spotted wearing either a Green Bay Packers hat or black akubra with my black Lowenpro backpack.


I'm very hard to spot.


#TheChameleon

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03 Jan 2018 01:13 #10166 by Miguel
Miguel replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.
I'll walk around naked.
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03 Jan 2018 07:41 #10167 by mayhem
mayhem replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.

Miguel wrote: I'll walk around naked.


Me too. Parts of me are hard to spot, especially if its cold.

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03 Jan 2018 09:37 #10169 by maverick
maverick replied the topic: Mount Panorama photography guide.

Miguel wrote: I'll walk around naked.


There goes that meal :S

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