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St Pete Photo Opportunities

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  • St Pete Photo Opportunities

    Wanted to reach out to our photographers on here and see if there are any vantage points at St. Pete that someone without credentials may have missed in the past.

    Ive been spoiled for many years with tracks such as Mid-Ohio, Road America, and Indianapolis. I’ve always been able to shoot great photos at these tracks, because of low fences and close action. When I attended last year, St. Pete has plenty of close action, but a lot of fencing!

    Any insight would be much appreciated!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Fletnj01 View Post
    Wanted to reach out to our photographers on here and see if there are any vantage points at St. Pete that someone without credentials may have missed in the past.

    Ive been spoiled for many years with tracks such as Mid-Ohio, Road America, and Indianapolis. I’ve always been able to shoot great photos at these tracks, because of low fences and close action. When I attended last year, St. Pete has plenty of close action, but a lot of fencing!

    Any insight would be much appreciated!
    Front Stretch - go high in the front-stretch grandstands on a practice day and you can get some good motion blur shots of the cars heading down the straight, there is no inside fencing to obstruct your views.


    Turn 5, drivers right on exit there are a bunch of photographer peep-holes that you can shoot through as long as they are all not blocked.

    Turn 10 is my favorite, although a bit dodgy. Go to the fence at the end of the run-off area and there are peep holes that shoot straight down where you can catch the cars entering and apexing into turn 10. *Keep in mind that a Bentley almost cleared that fence last year...
    "when you no longer go for the gap, you are no longer a racing driver" Ayrton Senna

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    • #3
      Originally posted by sean26 View Post
      Front Stretch - go high in the front-stretch grandstands on a practice day and you can get some good motion blur shots of the cars heading down the straight, there is no inside fencing to obstruct your views.


      Turn 5, drivers right on exit there are a bunch of photographer peep-holes that you can shoot through as long as they are all not blocked.

      Turn 10 is my favorite, although a bit dodgy. Go to the fence at the end of the run-off area and there are peep holes that shoot straight down where you can catch the cars entering and apexing into turn 10. *Keep in mind that a Bentley almost cleared that fence last year...
      Great information!

      Didn’t even think of the front stretch. Went there on Friday last year and wasn’t overly impressed, ended up shooting some through the fence of pit lane, didn’t think about motion blur high.

      T5 was a great spot, but I was always a few minutes too late for Indycar. Got some great Lights photos though! Also found some sliding rear shots next to the safety truck at entrance of T5. Crowd Fencing only there.

      Havent been to that spot in 10, so I will definitely have to check that out! And yes I remember that, but being in dodgy places is half the fun of getting that perfect photo! I’ve often found myself in heavily wooded areas, clearly out of bounds at Road America.

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      • #4
        Can't get you around the fence but my favorite views are from Turn 10.

        I've also gotten some cool pics from turn 2.
        Center Grove Trojans
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        • #5
          Turn One ain't bad...


          "Ooh woo, I'm a Rebel just for kicks, now
          I been feeling it since 1966, now..."

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          • #6
            Agreed for racing action. But the scenery from Turn 10 is better IMHO.
            Center Grove Trojans
            2008 5A Football State Champs
            2015 6A Football State Champs
            2011 Track State Champs

            Center Grove Jr. Trojans
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            • #7
              There is an opening in the fence at turn 12 looking towards turn 13. Absolutely fantastic for video as the cars really step out baaaad in turn 12 that the TV coverage never shows. I was amazed at how much the back end danced through that turn.
              Have attended: Indy 500 (36), Belle Island (3), Kentucky (4), St Pete (3), Homestead (1), Texas (2) Michigan (5), Cleveland (3), Iowa (6), Chicagoland (5), IRP (2), Eldora (3)...

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              • #8
                I haven't been since 2012, so I'm not 100% on anything. They had closed up alot of the holes I had in previous visits. But the one that counts should still remain. Pioneer Park, turns 3,4,5. the twisty section before the double right hander that sends them back down Bay Shore Dr. (backstretch). ANYHOW, the TV Camera is set up to catch the cars as they make the right hander off Hotel Straight, they come straight at him then make the hard left. The TV man has a huge cutout in his fence, and there is a fence between him and you. Stand behind him and you will see where my current Avatar came from! That is where I shoot the start. I will sit on that curb for an hour and a half before the start of the race, sun baking and dyin' of thirst, to make sure I get that hole. There's a real good chance I might be there. The biggest mistake I see people make, they shoot high over his shoulder. That gives every shot a down ward angle. I shoot low, under his armpit. That puts me at eye level with the drivers. Shoot em straight into the eyes. That down angle kills everything. And by being down low, with everybody up high, theres nobody in your way, and there is room for others to get their lenses in the hole too. . I will shoot the first 2 laps, and then take off on my lap of the track, stopping at all my holes I scouted during practice. But, before I leave that hole, I make sure to hand it off to someone who is cool. I let the little kids squeeze in up front, so they can see. That, you have to yield to, Pops can stand back.
                "Far better it is to dare mighty things, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat" -Teddy Roosevelt

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by damilt View Post
                  There is an opening in the fence at turn 12 looking towards turn 13... <snip>
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                  • #10
                    Without tickets to grandstands, and they are specific, you can't go in and stand at the rail and start shooting. They allow you in on Friday practice, but I got bounced out of the front stretch grandstand waiting for the start of Friday practice. , picked out of a line of 20 of us, because I had the professional white Canon lens. The old man yellow shirt jumped me and asked how I got that professional equipment into the track. " I walked through gate #1 security check point, sir. There is a 6 inch lens rule, as per the rule book. This lens is precisely 6 inches." My buddy from Miami, "Just when you start feeling the warm and fuzzy's again, along comes..." We left and never approached that mans sector again for the rest of the weekend.

                    But I did find the area to the far right of the front stretch grandstand, behind Victory lane. There is/was a wide open area with very few people. Only 1 fence to shoot through. It was right at the exit of pit road. You could shoot the braking zone for turn 1. and turn 2. That would be a good place to shoot the start. You would need to be in turn 1 grandstand to have a better angle on turn 1. But turn 1 grandstand is on the outside of the facility and you have to cross the track to get there. Bahhh.

                    I always went General Admission. I held turn 1 seats one year and couldn't sit in them. I went snow blind with that Florida sun reflecting off the white concrete. It would foul my settings beyond return if I tried setting the computer to that. Same with the front stretch. The sun is in your eyes, no good for a photographer. Get out on foot, especially in the Park area, it is shaded and the sun is at your back. You can cover a lap on foot in no time. It's not big.
                    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat" -Teddy Roosevelt

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Unzerdog View Post
                      Without tickets to grandstands, and they are specific, you can't go in and stand at the rail and start shooting. They allow you in on Friday practice, but I got bounced out of the front stretch grandstand waiting for the start of Friday practice. , picked out of a line of 20 of us, because I had the professional white Canon lens. The old man yellow shirt jumped me and asked how I got that professional equipment into the track. " I walked through gate #1 security check point, sir. There is a 6 inch lens rule, as per the rule book. This lens is precisely 6 inches." My buddy from Miami, "Just when you start feeling the warm and fuzzy's again, along comes..." We left and never approached that mans sector again for the rest of the weekend.

                      But I did find the area to the far right of the front stretch grandstand, behind Victory lane. There is/was a wide open area with very few people. Only 1 fence to shoot through. It was right at the exit of pit road. You could shoot the braking zone for turn 1. and turn 2. That would be a good place to shoot the start. You would need to be in turn 1 grandstand to have a better angle on turn 1. But turn 1 grandstand is on the outside of the facility and you have to cross the track to get there. Bahhh.

                      I always went General Admission. I held turn 1 seats one year and couldn't sit in them. I went snow blind with that Florida sun reflecting off the white concrete. It would foul my settings beyond return if I tried setting the computer to that. Same with the front stretch. The sun is in your eyes, no good for a photographer. Get out on foot, especially in the Park area, it is shaded and the sun is at your back. You can cover a lap on foot in no time. It's not big.

                      Thank tou you for the great info! And hopefully we see you there!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by damilt View Post
                        There is an opening in the fence at turn 12 looking towards turn 13. Absolutely fantastic for video as the cars really step out baaaad in turn 12 that the TV coverage never shows. I was amazed at how much the back end danced through that turn.
                        I had no idea about this one. I’m going to have to make my way there early in the weekend!

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                        • #13
                          Enjoy. Use your practice days to scout your locations. look for any gap in the fence, they could be anywhere. Come race time, haul ass and hit all your spots and decide where you want to be when it starts and where it ends. Shoot and scoot, keep moving. Spend a lap or two at each location.

                          Rain. Be prepared, if you are, magic can happen. A quick shower blowing over can be a great thing. Scoop that up.

                          I'll be out of town for a week and will know better on the flip side if i'm making the haul down.
                          "Far better it is to dare mighty things, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat" -Teddy Roosevelt

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