If you’re unfamiliar, Bristol Motor Speedway is an auto racing track located in Bristol, Tennessee. It is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI), and is the home of the World Championship auto races. This year is the 125th anniversary of Bristol Motor Speedway, and the entire month of May is “Bristol Month” when everything associated with the speedway is celebrated.
The grandstands at Bristol Motor Speedway hold 100,000 people, and over 300,000 fans watch the action on the large screen TV’s (more commonly known as “Jumbotrons”) that surround the track. In fact, the track is so big that NFL fans will sometimes travel to the speedway just to see a game. The infield is 25 yards wide and 75 yards long, which makes for a very picturesque scene. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for photographers to capture the action. The following will go over some of the challenges photographers face when trying to shoot on the infield at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Toughest Obstacle To Film On
The toughest obstacle to film on is the grandstands. Trying to get the perfect shot from directly in front of the stands is quite difficult. The further back you go, the less obstructed your view becomes, and that’s always a good thing.
The good thing is that even from the back of the grandstands, you still have a great view of the infield, so there’s that. But if you want to film any vehicles coming in for a sharp turn, you’re going to have to find the right spot in the stands. There are a few areas where you can get this kind of shot, but they’re often blocked by people or security guards. You simply can’t do anything about the latter, but the former is something you can work with.
Lighting Takes Precedence
When you’re shooting a sports event like this, you’ll quickly learn that lighting and timing are everything. The track is surrounded by light poles, so if you want to get a good picture of the cars, you’re going to have to work with what’s available. Fortunately, at Bristol Motor Speedway, there are always a few clouds that pass overhead, so even if it’s bright out, there’s still ambient light.
The problem is that the farther back you are in the grandstands, the less light there is. This is especially difficult when you’re trying to get a night shot. If you ask me, the best time to get a good picture at the speedway is during the day, when there’s still plenty of light. Fortunately, the closer you get to the front, the brighter the picture becomes.
One of the many things Bristol Motor Speedway does to prevent people from blocking the action during a race is remove all temporary seating, except for the areas behind home plate and in the bleachers. It’s easy for people to climb up there and block your view of the track, so SMI removes all of this when the gates open.
The good thing is that even from these areas, you can still get a great picture of the racing action. You just have to find the right spot behind the bleachers or in front of home plate. These are the best places to shoot from if you want to get some action shots, as long as you don’t want to include too many people in your picture.
No Place For A Kid To Sit
I don’t know about you, but watching sports events with my kid is one of my favorite things. I love taking her to games and teaching her about the different players and how they all operate. Unfortunately, when you have a kid with you, there’s nowhere for them to sit. There aren’t any areas in the grandstands that are kid-friendly, and if you want to sit with your family during a game, you’re going to have to find a place outside the stadium. This isn’t ideal, but it’s the nature of the beast.
The best option is to bring a picnic and lay out some blankets. You and your family can sit together and enjoy the game. If it’s cold, you can pile on more blankets and even set up a little fire ring. This is the perfect solution if you want to sit comfortably while taking in the game.
Shooting Platforms And Ramps
On the subject of taking pictures at sports events, few things are as frustrating as trying to get a good picture of the game from a low shooting platform. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the baseball park or the football stadium. When you’re in the last row of the balcony at your local ballpark, it’s almost impossible to get a good shot without hitting your foot on the metal railing while trying to shoot over the heads of the people in front of you.
This is why shooting platforms and ramps are so important. They prevent injuries to photographers trying to get the perfect shot and allow them to get a different perspective on the game. For example, you can position yourself on top of a ramp and look down on the field from a different angle. The same goes for the lighting booth. These are all important things to consider when trying to get the perfect shot.
No Man’s Land
Another thing that can be frustrating while trying to get a picture of a sporting event is going to “No Man’s Land.” This is where the stands and the field meet, and it’s not easy to get a good picture when there’s all this clutter in the way. Especially when you want to get a shot of the field where the game will eventually take place. If you can’t find a good spot in the stands, you might end up in No Man’s Land. In these situations, you simply have to resort to using your imagination and find a place where you think the picture will be worth it.
Fortunately, there is a way around this. If you see a gap in the stands where there is no one around, you can sneak through and get a picture of the field from behind the plate. Just make sure you stay out of sight of the officials until the last moment so you don’t get a yellow card or a red card for sneaking.
Noisy, Polluting Cars
I don’t know about you, but I hate it when drivers run their engines while at the track. Not only is it distracting, but it’s also rather noisy. Fortunately, this can be a good thing for photographers. When cars are running well, it creates a nice atmosphere at the track.
This is why it’s important to check the engine compartment of the car you’re going to photograph before getting in. When you’re at a baseball game and a car passes by with its engine running, you can sometimes hear it from the other side of the outfield. Even if it’s a quiet night and there aren’t any other cars on the track, it’s still rather unsettling. It can be a distraction for the people around you as well, especially if it’s a long car ride and they’re not used to it.
The best option is to find a location at a neutral site away from the track. This can be a good place to park and get some shots before the cars arrive at the track. Often there will be people walking their dogs or kids around the area, and it can be a peaceful place to do your photography.
Limited Number Of Takeouts
Speaking of distractions, few things are more distracting than having people walk in front of your camera while you’re trying to shoot. This is why temporary fencing is so important at sports events. It keeps people out of the picture and out of the way of the action, while still letting spectators come in and watch the game.
There are times when people will be standing right next to you while you’re trying to get a shot, so it’s important to keep your eye on the game rather than looking at the stands or the people walking by. Even if it’s someone you know or someone you meet occasionally, chances are they don’t know when or where the next picture is going to be taken. So, for the sake of maintaining your concentration, just keep your eye on the ball.
These are some of the things that can make photography at a sporting event difficult. Hopefully, this article will help you find the pictures worth it.