Mark Sutton – Life Through The Lens – Indian Celebrations

Mark Sutton – Life Through The Lens – Indian Celebrations
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure: 1/800s | Aperture: F5 | ISO speed: 1100 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom. Last year a lot of the drivers moaned that they weren’t signing autographs for the fans. So this year was they told all the marshals and officials that they could get things signed but they’d have to go behind the fence on the track. The public are not quite as wild and crazy as the marshals but they were quite excited when certain drivers turned up, but it was a nice set-up. The drivers signed a load of cards as they signed things for the fans, and then when they were done they took the cards and handed them out to the marshals who all went crazy. It created a great buzz and it was nice to hear all the excitement. It’s nice to see the drivers giving something back to the fans and the marshals too, who work so hard.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure: 1/1000s | Aperture: F10 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 24-70mm zoom. FP3 had finished and I stepped back on to the pit wall which was a grassy knoll really. That session can be really intense at the end in the pits as they all do practice pit stops; sometimes two cars come in and have to wait, as you can see here. To be a photographer sometimes in the pit lane is quite intense in that session so I just thought if I can step on the pit wall I’ll do it because it gets you out of the way and it gives you a different angle. You’re shooting against the names that are above the pits, but here I was looking for the blistering on the tyres and there are plenty on the back of the Ferrari.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure: 1/1000s | Aperture: F9 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom. Turn 2 is a great position. The great thing about it is that they come through Turn 2, which is a nice picture on its own, and then head uphill to Turn 3. This shot is of the whole field heading up the hill at the start and you can see how wide it is: you can almost get five or sixth cars’ width in to there. Some drivers do dive to the inside and it’s almost a second first corner, if that makes sense. When you’re looking down from Turn 3 everything is a bit backlit, but in this direction the light is just perfect and it creates something different.
(Top Image)Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure: 1/640s | Aperture: F11 | ISO speed: 1250 | Lens: 500mm telephoto. We always have four people at every race and we had military planning in place for the end of the race, and for parc ferme we had someone doing it head on and Keith doing it side on, but he was also going to follow Vettel wherever he went as we expected him to be in parc ferme. Patrick – our other photographer – was doing the chequered flag shot, and I was doing the podium from the pit wall. I jumped off the pit wall to get some nice shots of Rosberg in the pit lane and then I thought ‘Where’s Vettel?’ before I could hear the doughnuts happening! I won’t repeat what I said in my head! I jumped back on the pit wall and shot him but just got smoke, so the better shots came after he got out of the car. It was a serious lottery and I you either get it or you don’t and on this occasion it didn’t quite happen for me.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure: 1/640s | Aperture: F4 | ISO speed: 1250 | Lens: 600mm telephoto. I love these emotions. Vettel was alright on the podium but Grosjean was unbelievable! He was waving his hands up to try and get everyone excited; what a result to come all the way from 17th. It was a great drive and he’s had this incredible run of form since the end of the European season where everyone was ready to write him off and he’s just thrown it back at them. This picture just shows pure emotion on the podium, it was great to see him come on and gee up the crowd and his team. I was expecting that of Vettel but got it from Grosjean instead.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure: 1/60s | Aperture: F7.1 | ISO speed: 1600 | Lens: 24-70mm zoom I tried to get up in to the Paddock Club but it was packed so I thought I’d try something different. I had someone front on and someone side on, so I went just behind the team to the right. Normally, if that was daylight, I’d be thrown out the way because they’d see me and say ‘Mark, don’t stand there! You’re in the bloody picture!’ but because it was dark they cuoldn’t see me. So I just basically shot with their flashes going off. I did a test exposure first and then let all their flashes light up the team. Their flashes lit the team and I got all the silhouettes of the fours going up and it also shows a bit of the carnage going on.

Suzuka Special – Life through the Lens with Keith Sutton

F1 photographer Keith Sutton picks his six favourite shots from the Japanese Grand Prix

© Sutton Images
This shot was taken from the back of the grandstand at Turns 1 and 2. It’s a nice scenic shot and because we had someone down at the first corner taking a head-on shot, I decided to take this one. It’s always nice to get up high, and taking this shot you are also amongst it all with the fans. Because it’s a wide shot I didn’t actually notice the crash at the back between Giedo van der Garde, but you can see the early stages of it at the back of this photo. You can also see Romain Grosjean’s brilliant start to the race, which set things up for a good battle throughout.

© Sutton Images
The fans in Japan are just fantastic. Last year there was a really enthusiastic turn out to see Kamui Kobayahsi take a podium, but even without the Japanese driver the crowds were still strong in 2013. It took me back to the 1990s when Formula One was really big in Japan and this year they were as crazy as ever. They have a competition for the craziest dressed on a Saturday afternoon, so it’s always great to see what people turn up wearing because they all make such a big effort.

© Sutton Images
Towards the end of the race I wandered down to the start-finish straight to capture an image of Sebastian Vettel crossing the line. As I was walking down there, Mark Webber finally made his move on Romain Grosjean for second place and watching that was absolutely unbelievable. The speed they are going at is just incredible, it’s difficult to comprehend. You don’t always notice it at a corner but when you are that close to the cars on the straight you get an idea of just how quick they are.

© Sutton Images

By being on the pit straight for the finish shot, I also got a picture of Grosjean as he pulled in immediately after the chequered flag. He got out of the car and all the crowd were cheering him, so he bowed and waved at the fans in the main grandstand. You don’t often get that kind of interaction between the drivers and fans because the cars usually stopped in parc ferme, so it was great to see.

© Sutton Images
This shot was taken from the side of the podium. Unfortunately we missed out on the champagne celebrations because there was a TV cameraman in the way as they sprayed it. There was a lot of hanging around and waiting patiently, but as Sebastian made his way off the podium I shouted at him and he looked right down the lens. It’s a typical shot of him with his celebratory finger and winner’s trophy, but it’s nice to have a different angle.

© Sutton Images
This was the minute’s silence in memory of Maria de Villota. It was a very private moment in one of the garages and there weren’t many photographers there. There was a TV cameraman, but they wanted to make sure it was done respectfully without all the media hanging around. FIA president Jean Todt gave a short talk to the drivers and it was a very sad moment. When I first started in the late 1970s her father, Emilio de Villota, became a good friend of mine because he was racing then. When Maria came into Formula One we did a bit of work with her and I was very shocked to hear the news on Friday. To see her in Spain this year was amazing after all she’d been through with her accident, but to hear that she had passed away was very sad.

Keith Sutton’s Life Through a Lens – Webber mania and nightshifts in Korea

Keith Sutton’s Life Through a Lens – Webber mania and nightshifts in Korea
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F5.6 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 24-70mm Zoom. One of the main topics at every Korean Grand Prix has been the lack of people attending the weekend. But on race day they all seem to turn up and they all seem to go in the main grandstand. I took this same shot in the first year but it was absolutely torrential and you couldn’t see the sea and the mountains in the distance. What I like about this shot is that it’s got everything in there, with the crowd in the foreground, the start, the pit complex and the bridge. You can do a lot of photos from up on that grandstand.
Top image: Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/500s | Aperture: F13 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 24-70mm Zoom. The spectators that turn up are definitely keen because you see these banners that they make each year. This time round the Mark Webber fans made a massive effort and you can see all the different slogans relating to his retirement and move to Le Mans. Like a lot of people in F1 I will be sad to see Webber go. We knew him when he first came to England in the Formula Ford days, and like a lot of drivers he used to come round to the office to grab some pictures. In fact, he came to our karting event when he was in F3000 and won it! The nice thing about him is that he’s still down to earth and hasn’t really changed after all these years.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F4 | ISO speed: 2500 | Lens: 500mm Telephoto. Another example of the fans dedication in Korea is this picture of Sebastian Vettel with a present in the Red Bull garage. It was taken on Saturday morning and I think one of his team members must have put the gift there that a fan had made for him. Someone’s obviously gone to a big effort, although I’m not sure what the red dot and flowers are all about, and it made him smile ahead of FP3. No one else got this shot and I only managed it because I was focusing on the plate as he went over and picked it up. He then put it away so it was really a very quick thing.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/2000s | Aperture: F8 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 14-24mm Zoom. When I’m shooting at these new race tracks, I always think it’s important to get some idea of where you are in the photo. You know a photo from Abu Dhabi and one from Singapore, but places like China, Bahrain and Korea, there tends to be one particular thing that makes it stand out. In Bahrain it’s the tower, in China it’s the main grandstand and in Korea it’s this bridge. It shows you’re in Korea and I took this during the beautiful weather on Friday morning to get an image straight away that summed up the circuit.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/60s | Aperture: F3.2 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 24-70mm Zoom. When we got to Korea and Japan it gets dark early compared to Europe, so as I wandered into the pit lane on Friday night I took some pictures of the McLaren guys at work. It’s a slightly different photo that you don’t see from every circuit where it stays lighter for longer. What I didn’t realise, though, is that the mechanics curfew is at 2am. So taking to the Red Bull guys, they were saying that they work until 1:55am to make sure they use all the possible time ahead of the curfew.
Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/250s | Aperture: F4 | ISO speed: 800 | Lens: 70-200mm Zoom. Another person who works long hours is Sebastian Vettel. Our shuttle bus went past his hotel in the morning and he was leaving for the track at 8am. So he’s the first of the drivers through the paddock gates in the morning and that actually meant that not many people get a photo of him entering the paddock first thing. This photo shows the rewards he reaps from his hard work as he celebrates with Christian Horner and Jonathan Wheatley. Most people took this shot from the front, but I went to the side to get a different angle and you also get a nice effect from the flashes going off at the front.

Artist in Speed: Keith Sutton meets Michael Turner


Keith Sutton, CEO of Sutton Images, was invited into the Buckinghamshire home and studio of the artist Michael Turner to learn more about the man behind the brush

Michael Turner Gallery Visit, Chesham, England, 11 September 2013.

Michael Turner is one of today’s best-known and highly regarded Motor Sport artists. His racing scenes are instantly recognisable simply by the style in which they are painted with each scene depicting not only the excitement and dynamism of the race, but also the character of the drivers themselves. To own a Michael Turner painting is to own part of the passion that created it, but where did this passion start and how did it turn into his profession.

Michael Turner Gallery Visit, Chesham, England, 11 September 2013.

Michael Turner was born in Harrow, Middlesex, in 1934. One of his earliest memories is that of being pushed in his pram by his mother at the age of 3 and running a toy car through the water on the rain cover. Up until the age of 5 when he had to start his education at primary school, playing with toy cars had given Michael many hours of enjoyment and he would immerse himself into the miniature car world of road signs and pavements of printed card strips he had created on the carpet at his home.

By the age of 6, with the declaration of the Second World War, Michael’s attentions turned to planes and tanks and his interest in cars had taken a back seat. However, this passion for motorsport was to be re-ignited whilst on holiday at the age of 14.
WWII had taken its toll on the people of Britain and luxuries such as holidays had not been possible, but in 1947, some two years after VJ day, Michael and his family were able to get away for a proper holiday to stay with some relatives of his Mother on the Isle of Wight.

It was towards the end of their last week, that the family were looking for something different to do and by chance a poster was spotted advertising the British Empire Trophy car races which were being held on the island as one of the first post-war revivals of motorsport. Michael went along, with his Cousin, to the practice that evening and watched in awe at each passing driver wearing a flat cap and goggles trying to keep control of their car whilst they slid around the tight bends and the delicious smell of Castrol ‘R’ hanging in the air as the driver regained direction and sped away.

From that moment, Michael was devoted to the speed and spectacle of motor sport and to spending a lifetime successfully recreating and recording his visual impressions of the sights and sounds of motor racing on paper and canvas.

Michael Turner Gallery Visit, Chesham, England, 11 September 2013.

Michael was determined to learn as much about motor sport, the cars and the drivers as he could and subscribed to the magazines of the time, Motor, Autocar and Motor Sport where he could read about and see pictures of the growing number of events that were starting up again in post war Britain and Europe.

He persuaded his long-suffering parents to take him to events such as Silverstone, Goodwood, Brands Hatch, road races in Jersey and of course return to the Isle of Man where he could stand as close as possible to the action frantically scribbling with his pencil trying to capture on paper everything his eye could see and taking photographs on his Purma-Special camera for reference for his more detailed paintings.

Michael continued to draw and paint through his school life and in 1951, after attaining 8 passes in his School Certificate Examinations, he enrolled at the Heatherley School of Fine Arts.

He worked hard at getting to know people who were connected to motor racing and through various contacts he made, saw his paintings hung at The Steering Wheel Club which was the meeting place for anyone connected with the sport when in London.

His first real break came from a commission by the British Automobile Racing Club who wanted Michael to provide an illustration from their forthcoming Whit Monday race meeting at Goodwood for publication in the BARC Gazette. Realising, in order to do a good job, he would need a Press Pass he requested one but was left on tenterhooks for days before finally receiving the nod 10 minutes before the first event started on the day. The day’s action left Michael buzzing well into the evening but he settled on recreating a start scene and this was duly published in the Gazette and he was paid the princely sum of 2 guineas.

Then at the age of 18, his full time studying was put on hold when he was called up for the mandatory two years National Service. He trained as a Clerk and was in a unit where he could sketch all sorts of vehicles in the workshops. As he was based in Ashford, Michael was still able to attend evening classes at the Heatherley and keep up his visits to motor racing events.

He was demobbed in 1954 and spent the next 3 years working for advertising studios in London learning his art before becoming a freelance artist in 1957. In 1960 he married his wife Helen and they went on to have three children, 2 daughters and one son, Graham, who has followed in his father’s footsteps to becoming an artist in his own right.

Michael Turner Gallery Visit, Chesham, England, 11 September 2013.

Michael’s passion for motor sport has taken him to most of the major racing circuits throughout Europe, North and South America, Canada and South Africa and gaining a Press Pass is now no great obstacle. With a strong belief that there is no substitute for first hand involvement in order to portray such demanding subjects with authority and feeling, Michael has travelled extensively to the world’s major race tracks to satisfy his need for authenticity, and he continues to visit several Grand Prix each year.

Michael still has a passion for aircraft and he has flown in many service aircraft, from Tiger Moth and Lancaster to Harrier and Tornado, plus aerobatic sorties with the Red Arrows, to gain first hand impressions for his aviation paintings.

He holds a Private Pilots Licence and flies his own Chipmunk aircraft. He is a founder member of The Guild of Aviation Artists, of which he has twice been Chairman and is now President, and an Honorary Fellow of the Guild of Motoring Artists. His clients include many racing drivers, teams, sponsors, pilots, motor and aircraft manufacturers, R.A.F. and Army messes, museums and private collections worldwide, and he has held one man exhibitions in London, New York, Australia and the U.S.A., plus participation in specialist shows in the U.K. and Europe.

To date, Michael has had six books of his paintings published – featuring aircraft of the Royal Air Force, Formula One Motor Racing, Aircraft of the Luftwaffe, Aviation Art, Monaco Grand Prix and Motor Sport Art.

Michael Turner Gallery Visit, Chesham, England, 11 September 2013.

Michael’s next exhibition is commemorating his studio’s 50th Anniversary entitled ‘Exhibition of Paintings by Michael Turner and Graham Turner’ and will be held between 4th and 6th October 2013 at Halton House, Near Wendover, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

I found my visit to ‘Studio 88’ both fascinating and informative. Set in rural Buckinghamshire, Michael’s working studio is a relaxing and charming setting to while away the hours doing what he enjoys and is obviously a master at.

We can only wish him continued success in bringing to life the wonderful, exhilarating sport we are all willing slaves to, and to prove that even though there is no substitute to being at the event in person, just by looking at one of his paintings, you are taken to that moment in time as if you were actually there.

Michael Turner Gallery Visit, Chesham, England, 11 September 2013.