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Technische Daten

Dieser Artikel ist leider nicht verfügbar auf Deutsch
September 2010

Jad Sherif had just returned from the Hungarian Grand Prix when CPN caught up with the experienced Lebanese shooter to talk motorsports photography. He was looking forward to a two-week break, but before he could relax, Mark Alexander quizzed him about his low light, high-speed shot taken during a qualifying session at this year’s Le Mans race.

Hand-held and taken a few minutes before midnight, the enthralling image combines sport, speed and strong graphical elements captured in the blink of an eye. It’s the kind of shot that could only be taken at Le Mans. “It’s an event I just love,” says Jad. "There’s a great atmosphere, it’s relaxed and the fans are real connoisseurs. It’s also something different to Formula 1 – you get great light in the morning and evening whereas in Formula 1 we’re doing sessions at 11am and 2pm when it’s not so nice. At Le Mans you can use the cars’ lights and the surrounding buildings – you have more leeway."

© Jad Sherif

Motorsport photographer Jad Sherif.

Although a lot of preparation goes into shooting a race, this "off-the-cuff" shot was captured during a qualifying session when there was more opportunity to experiment. Jad reveals: "During the 24-hour race we plan to be at certain places at certain times because of sunsets and sunrises. This was shot at the end of a qualifying session when we could do more of what we felt like doing. In this shot, I knew the curbing was colourful with the whole ‘S’ painted in blue and yellow, so I thought I’d play with colours, movement and light."

To capture these elements, Jad used a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV DSLR with an EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens. "It’s a fabulous camera. I got it at the end of last year and I am really happy with it. The sharpness, colour and autofocus are all extremely good. Since I’ve got it, I’ve never looked back."

The noise management capabilities of the EOS-1D Mark IV DSLR at high ISOs also impressed Jad: "I wanted to shoot at f/5.6 so that I had some depth-of-field; that’s why I pushed the ISO speed. It was more for comfort, but even at ISO 1000 the shots were extremely acceptable, and it meant that I could go down to f/5.6 at 1/15sec. During the weekend I went to ISO 3000, more as a test than out of necessity. I wanted to push the camera to its limits, so I pushed up the ISO with an 800mm lens and the results were incredible."

Shooting speeding cars through a tight chicane at midnight also added some technical challenges to the image. "The shutter speed was 1/15sec on the 300mm lens, so I had to move with the car. You pick up the car in the apex and follow it right to left as it moves away from you. If you try to do it right to left and then left to right you’ll get yourself in a tangle," reveals Jad.

Despite the vivid colours and striking composition, Jad admits he’d like to return to the chicane to improve on the shot next year. "I’d like to go back to that spot and try to get the movement of a second car in the foreground. It would work better and certainly increase the speed aspect."


The 'S' shot at Le Mans – Jad Sherif

Location: Le Mans, France
Date: 2010
Camera: EOS-1D Mark IV
Lens: EF300mm f/2.8L IS ISM
Exposure: 1/15sec at f/5.6
ISO speed: 1000