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Le Mans Photographer Guest Post – Jarrod Moore

The 24 hours of Le Mans is one of the biggest Motorsport Events held every year and for Motorsport photographers, it is the big one.

So how do you cover an event like Le Mans? , I reached out to three different photographer friends that covered this year’s event and asked them some questions about the experience.

First up is Australian Photographer Jarrod Moore.
Jarrod was born in Melbourne and has spent the last few years based in the UK working a Motorsport Photographer.

Now over to Jarrod to let him tell you his story.

Le Mans is the pinnacle of motorsport event coverage for me. It is the longest week you will ever work in your life, you will leave the paddock on Sunday evening absolutely broken, both physically and mentally. However, you know that no matter how much it hurts, that was one of the most amazing weeks in motorsport you will live through.

The scale of the track and the event itself means that you have a huge variety in what you can photograph throughout the week. You can go out into the forest (if you have the patience to deal with the media shuttle bus), walk the main track or check out the campsites all under various lighting conditions. You can stand in the same place and get very different shots depending on the time of day.

  • What number trip was this for you to Lemans? This was my 4th trip to Le Mans. The first time I camped with some friends just near the paddock. It was a fantastic way to see Le Mans for my first time.

  • What gear do you take to Lemans? I take two cameras, a Canon 1DX and a 5d III. I use a Canon 400 2.8, a 70-200, 24-70 and now a Sigma 50mm Art.

  • Who were you shooting for a Lemans? I had two clients for Le Mans. I was working with ProSportImages to cover the main Le Mans race, who distribute through REX features. I was also working with Beadyeyephotography to cover the return of McLaren to Le Mans during the ‘Road to Le Mans’ GT3 support races.  It was great to be able to capture McLaren’s chief test driver Chris Goodwin return to Le Mans after he last competed in ’97, in the McLaren F1 GTR.

  • When does your week begin at Lemans? For some, it starts on Sunday a week for the race, with the teams unloading their cars for scrutineering and a team photo. I generally get to the track on Tuesday to attend one of the media briefings and get myself sorted with a desk and a locker for the week. The track action starts on Wednesday with support races and Practice/Q1 for the main field.

  • What is your favorite part of Lemans? It’s the variety. You have so much choice on where you can shoot and at what time of day. Not many places give you that.

  • How does race day start for you? In the past, I took it pretty easy on the morning of race day. I used to get up and out of the place where I was staying around 10:30-11:00 and head to the track as it’s a long day. This year was different, with support races taking place early in the morning I was at the track by 8:00 am. There is also some nice light in the Pits for when the main field to a warm up session and driver change practice so I decided to get down there for that as well.

  • How do you stay awake during race day? The past few years the Michelin cafe has opened up right down the far end of the media centre. Which is great as they have loads of coffee, Red Bull and small snacks to keep you energy levels up.

  • How do you approach your race day ? Most of the time you have a lot of the shots you want from the practice sessions. So it’s generally choosing where you want to cover the start of the race from, picking where you will go for sunset and sunrise and then making it up as you go.

  • Pitlane coverage looks to be challenging to cover, with you having to wear a race suit and helmet and limited access to garages, how do you approach it ? Pit lane in any WEC race is hard work. Cars catch fire, its happened in the past and will happen again in the future.  I was standing about 2m away from the 458 of Clearwater racing when the fuel system spilt fuel every where as the operator pulled the hose off. You have never seen people move so fast in your life. We were lucky, it didn’t catch. But it served as a reminder as to why you MUST wear a FIA approved fire suit and helmet (for me being almost 2m tall it also protects me from every single fuel boom that I almost always hit with my head) Then there is the cars that pull in and out of their garages. They are doing 80km/h. That’s not exactly slow when they are less than a meter from you. The Toyota scares me when that leaves their pit. It’s completely silent and it’s doing the speed limit, in by what appears to be 1 length of the car.

  • What was your favourite shot from this years event ? I would have to say the shots of the cars heading into Indy right before sunset. The tree’s either side create a bit of a tunnel, with the sun setting directly in the middle of the road. Its pretty magic when you are standing there.

Read Part 2 of my series on Le Mans Photographers here as I chat with Andrew Hall and Read Part 3 as I chat with Jamey Price here


2 responses

  1. Pingback: Le Mans Photographer Guest Post – Andrew Hall | Joel Strickland's Blog

  2. Pingback: Le Mans Photographer Guest Post – Jamey Price | Joel Strickland's Blog

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