Heat, Cars, And Canon Cameras - Part One

on January 29, 2017

Way back in 2014 Canon Australia and Camera Electronic hosted a workshop day at Barbagallo raceway to show enthusiasts how to take motor sport photographs. I attended and it was the noisiest day of my life apart from the battle of Waterloo. Well last Saturday they did it again, but this time with even bigger motors - this time it was not motorcycles, but full-sized Porsche sports cars.

It's not just a case of standing out there going deaf - the core of the day was comprised of a very professional presentation by a person who is a motor sport photographer. The target audience were enthusiasts who love race cars and who have an interest in the Canon brand...though there was no hard and fast rule that restricted attendance on the brand basis. There were, however some very trenchant points that could be made to tie the Canon brand to this form of photography - the speaker made them honestly, and showed images to back them up.

To set the scene, Barbagallo Raceway in Wanneroo is a large sporting complex with a twisting up-and-down race track set over it. The buildings that service this race track - car pits, tyre stores, mechanic's workshops, and catering facilities are pretty good, if a trifle basic. In any case they are far and away better than those provided by the old Caversham raceway. There is the basic problem, however, that the physical location and layout of the place makes it a bit of a journey to get to. It's out at the end of a pokey little road that only allows one way access. This is being corrected, as I see major works on the road, but it is still in Wanneroo...and I am still in Bull Creek. If you live in Wanneroo, disregard my grumbling.

It was also hot as a griddle out there. The old Caversham raceway had more trees and was marginally cooler, if cruder. It is a trade off, and perhaps I should not even complain, as the Camera Electronic and Canon Australia always book out the air conditioned facility at McCracken house for these deals...and provide a good lunch. Hey, at least I have not had to spear a Tiger Snake to get back to the car at Barbagallo like I did at Caversham. And the Caversham hot dog of 1964 has been replaced with one that contains meat...

Okay, the day on the track was given over to a Porsche Owners Club. It reminded me of either a clinical conference or a minyan, but then I am a cynic at heart. The cars were gorgeous and of more variety that I expected - there was even a bathtub racer from the 50's or 60's out there, though I noted at the lunch interval that it drove off with more smoke coming out of the exhausts than it started with. Perhaps raced not wisely, but too well...

Never mind - the club required the drivers to walk over the course before they would let them drive it - a sensible way of approaching high speed driving. Then they sent them out in a big old slow snake of cars to suss out the way the thing feels. Then they released the cars in batches of 5 or 6 to build up speed and confidence. In the end - at the 2:00 o'clock mark - there were some who were circulating at quite respectable speeds indeed. They were noisy enough to disturb the photo analysis session that the lecturer conducted - but it still went ahead. And you'll find out more about that tomorrow!