Mike Warburton Photography


Wyedean Forest Rally 2013

Posted by Mike Warburton Photography on February 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM

My first Rally of the year came in the form of the 2013 Wyedean last weekend and was a very welcome respite from the very often frustrating world of Wildlife Photography.

After printing out the Stage maps a few days earlier I decided on going to the first stage (Sallow Vallets..........whatever that means!) and arrived with my son and two of his mates in tow at first light.The walk down to the stage was a chance to fill in my sons mates on Rally `etiquette`.In other words `How to avoid getting killed and/or having your face peppered with granite!`

My usual method of shooting a stage is to walk a few miles down mentally noting interesting spots such as bends etc and then as the field drive through making my way back shooting as I go.This gives different perspectives as it can be quite boring seeing/shooting cars in the same positions on the same part of the track.

After about 2 miles I set the camera up in anticipation of the first class through,the 1400cc`s.The organisers run these less powerful cars first as they do less damage to the sometimes quite fragile loose gravel surface.If you have ever been to a forest rally then you will know how much the 4wd turbo cars can rut the stage making it near impossible for the 2wd 1400 class to drive on.

The light was absolutely abysmal to be fair.Thick fog hung in the trees along with the arrival of the rain.I bolted my trusty Sigma 50-500 on the 50d along with the waterproof cover.The first cars came through and although I was shooting at 1000 iso and only 1/125th sec had some great panning shots through the mud.A roadside ditch gave me a chance to try out the ultra wide angle 10-20mm and had some good low level shots I was pleased with.

The rain eased along with the fog in the break before the big boys came through so took my chance to make my way back to a slight hairpin I noted on the walk downstage.Another photographer had the same idea so I had to settle with going upstage a bit and shoot the cars exiting the bend.

One of the highlights has to be shooting a Toyota Celica GT4 for the first time,especially as it was in the works Castrol livery as driven by the likes of Didier Auriol and Juha Kankunnen.Thats the great thing about these clubman Rallies,you get all sorts of machinery of all different ages.

This was the first time I have used the Canon 50d at a Motorsports event so was keen to try out the A1 Servo tracking autofocus system.I have never rated it much on my other cameras which I mainly put down to the lens but I was so wrong.The 50d locked onto the cars straight away and followed it all the way as it came towards me,went passed and then drove away from me without missing a frame.Really pleased with that and looking forward to my next event which will be the Tour of Epynt next month on the ultra fast tarmac of the Sennybridge Ranges.


Really got the buzz for Rallying again now and its much less frustrating than Wildlife but come the weekend I will be back in my remote cold hide high in the Brecon Beacons waiting...........waiting.........and waiting to click that shutter button!

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