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Showing posts from September, 2013

On the ELMS Grid at Paul Ricard

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This is the scene on the grid for the final European Le Mans Series race of the 2013 season at the Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet.  The race decided the destination of the eight driver and team titles and the 3 hours of Paul Ricard didn't disappoint with regards to drama and track action.





On Friday we also announced the 2014 calendar which includes five races at Silverstone, Imola, Red Bull Ring, Paul Ricard and a new event at Estoril in Portugal, a place I haven't worked at since I was the press officer for the ELMS in 2001.

The full race report, results and championship positions can be found at www.europeanlemansseries.com

All images taken with a Nikon D800, Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S lens, Lee 0.9 ND Soft Grad.
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Monument National des Sous Mariniers, Toulon

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Near the Tour Royale Museum at the Pointe de la Mitre in Toulon is the national memorial to the 1667 submariners killed on active duty serving in the French Navy.  The memorial was inaugurated on the 28 November 2009 by M. Hubert Falco, Secretary of STate for Defence and Veterans.

 A submarine's conning tower rises 6.5 metres from the ground and in front is a statue of a woman and child, representing the families who were left to grieve.

This monumental work is the work of Olivier Détroyat, architecte urbaniste and Gérard Vié, sculpteur officiel des armées.


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Night Photography Gives a Different Perspective

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You may have noticed that a lot of the photography I have been posting in the past few weeks has been taken at night.  I love this form of images, the city lights and long exposures produce a very different image when compared to the same scene taken during daylight.  One of the reasons for my use of night photography recently has come from necessity because I have spent the last three weeks on the road working in Hungary, Texas and Le Castellet and by the time I have finished my work in the media centre the sun has set. These two images on this page were taken yesterday evening.  The first (above) is of the Toulon harbour front and the second (below) is of the hilltop town of La Cadiere D'Azur near to La Castellet. Both images were taken using long exposures on the Fuji X100 and long exposures mean using a steady platform. I use a Manfrotto MKC3-H01 tripod to provide a solid platform for the camera while the shutter is open.  However, while it is easier to use a tripod as a platfor…

Tour Royale, Toulon

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I decided to visit Toulon yesterday evening to get a break away from the race track at Paul Ricard.  I headed there principally to see the Tall Ships that were resident in the city this month but with no where to park I headed out to the Tour Royale overlooking the entrance of Toulon Harbour.


The Tour Royale (also known as La Grosse Tour) is a fort built in the 16th century to protect the entrance of the Petit Rade, the naval port of Toulon. It was the first fortification of the harbor, built 22 years after Provence became a part of France.  The fort was commissioned in 1513 by King Louis XII at the request of the bishop of Toulon and of the Senechal of Provence. It was placed on the cap de la Manegue, at the end of the pointe de la Mitre, where it could fire at any ships coming into the Rade. After a long and bloody history, Tour Royale became a museum in 2004, and in 2006, it was transferred from the Ministry of Defense to the city of Toulon. and opened to the public. A coastal path …

Title Contenders Photoshoot at Paul Ricard

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Yesterday evening we arranged a photoshoot with four of the five drivers in contention for the 2013 European Le Mans Series LMP2 Driver's crown.  My photo agency DPPI were there to take the picture, along with other members of the media, and I filmed the proceedings in HD 1080P on the Nikon D800.

This is the video of the proceedings -


Ils sont cinq pour un titre…The Photoshootpar ELMS

and here is the final image taken by Florent Gooden of DPPI



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ELMS at Paul Ricard

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We have arrived in the south of France for the season finale of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) at the Circuit Paul Ricard.  The final three hour race of the 2013 season will take place on Saturday afternoon where all of the eight titles will be decided.


Today is a set up day at the track with the teams busily erecting awning and preparing the cars under blue skies.  Later today we will set up a 'Final Showdown' picture with the five drivers who can win the LMP2 drivers title and on Saturday some of them will be crowned 2013 European Le Mans Series Champion. For more information on the European Le Mans Series visit the official website HERE

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The Bridge to No Where

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With less than 24 hours before heading off on my travels again we decided to go and get some fresh sea air after being cooped up on a plane from New York for 8 hours.

At Belhaven Bay there is a bridge that appears to go no where and at high tide it sits in the middle of the water.  At low tide the bridge allows visitors to get across to the large beach on the otherside and to the John Muir Country Park.

Image taken on a Fujifilm Finepix X100 and Fujinon 19mm f2 lens (WCL-X100 fitted)
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Come Fly With Me...

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If you are a regular reader of my blog you'll know that I enjoy staring out of aircraft windows, looking down on the countries that I fly over on my travels with the FIA World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series.

This morning I landed back in Edinburgh after an eight hour flight from Newark, New Jersey.  I had stopped in Newark to get the connecting flight from Houston, Texas and I had a layover of three hours.  




It was dark by the time we took off for the final leg of my journey and we flew over New York, with Manhattan Island all lit up like a Christmas tree.  I had my Fuji X100 on standby so started snapping out of the window of the United Airlines Boeing 757.




As we approached Edinburgh the sun was coming up and as we flew over the Scottish mountains the tops broke through the cloud cover.

I had intended to get some shots of the Forth Rail Bridge as we landed but Mother Nature had produced some low cloud, so the bridge and the Forth were not visible from the airc…

Race Cars and Outdoor Movie in Downtown Austin

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Last Thursday I helped to organise an outdoor showing of the Steve McQueen movie 'Le Mans' for the people of Austin.  As well as having a giant inflatible screen at the Long Center for Performing Arts on the south side of the river in Austin we also had the Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota LMP1 race car, as well as a Daytona Prototype race car and Ferrari and Aston Martin road cars on display.

An small but enthusiastic group of Austin residents attended but a heavy rain storm one hour before the movie was due to start put paid to an expected crowd of around 1000 people.  You can control most things but you can't control the weather.  Perhaps we'll have better luck next year.




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Honouring the American Heroes of Le Mans

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In June the ACO celebrated the 90th anniversary of the first 24 Hours of Le Mans that was held in 1923.  At each of the FIA World Endurance Championship events there has been a special presentation to the oldest surviving competitor in each of the nations we visit and presentations have been made in England, Belgium, France and Brazil. 

In Austin it was the turn of the American drivers, with 93 year old Richard Thompson receiving an entry into the 24 Heures du Man Hall of Fame.  Unfortunately Richard, also known as the 'Flying Dentist', was unable to travel from Florida to Texas but a video presentation was shown to the assembled guests. In addition Corvette acrried a special panel on the back of its cars taking part in Saturday's American Le Mans Series race with the names of all of the 307 American drivers who have competed at Le Mans in the last 90 years.  For more information visit the ACO website HERE

Image taken on a Fuji X100
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On the Grid in Texas

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One of the highlights of any FIA World Endurance Championship meeting is the opportunity to walk on the grid before the start of the race.  The atmosphere at this time is electric as the teams and drivers prepare for the start.  There is also a carnival atmosphere as VIP, media and fans mingle with the drivers, teams, grid girls and other participants.

These shots were taken yesterday during the build up of the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.











Images taken on a Nikon D800, Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S

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Texas Sunrise

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This is the scene this morning at the Circuit of the Americas ahead of today's fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.


The race can be seen live online at www.fiawec.com from 11am (local) / 5pm in the UK.

Image taken on a Fuji X100

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Willie Nelson

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While in Austin for the presentation of the FIA WEC at the W Hotel I spotted this bronze statue to singer Willie Nelson on the corner of 2nd Street. 



Willie Nelson was born on the 29 April 1933 is a worldwide recognised country music singer-songwriter, as well as an author, poet, actor and activist.  The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978), made him one of the most recognized artists in country music.

For more on Willie Nelson CLICK HERE or HERE




Images taken on a Fuji X100

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FIA WEC Promotion in Austin

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Tuesday evening in Austin and one of the LMP1 race cars from the FIA World Endurance Championship was on display outside the W Hotel along with promo girls and lots of giveaways to raise awareness of the race that will take place at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday.  I went down to take a few pictures for the official website and Facebook page and talk to the members of the local media who attended the event.





Images taken on a Fuji X100

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Austin, Texas

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After flights from Edinburgh to Newark, then Newark to Houston and then a three hour drive from Houston to Austin, I arrived late last night  in the Hyatt hotel in the Texan city.  This was the sight from my hotel window and I had to take a picture of the capital city of the Lone Star state.

Austin was founded in 1839 and is named in honor of Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas" and the republic's first secretary of state. Austin is located on the Colorado River with a current population of around 850,000 people, making it the 11th largest city in the United States. For more information on Austin visit the government website HERE

Image taken on a Nikon D800, Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S, Tripod, 30s @f5.6 ISO400  

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X100 Review: Low Light Test in Budapest

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One of the many things that impresses me about the small but perfectly formed Fujifilm Finepix X100 Black is the low light ability of the sensor.  For a crop framed camera the way the camera handles high ISO settings is amazing and, in my opinion, is on a par with Nikon's full frame cameras, which are renowned for their low light abilities.


Take these shots taken on Friday night in Budapest around midnight.  This little church was lit by street lights and the statue of the Virgin Mary on top of the colomn was in deep shadow.  Despite these limitations I was able to get usable shots without the use of a tripod and handholding the X100.  The camera was set to 3200ISO and the Fujinon lens was wide open at f2.  The results, while not perfect, are very usable and I am very happy with the images.


All images taken on a Fujifilm Finepix X100, 19mm f2 (WCL-X100 converter fitted)

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