Mark Sutton – Life Through a Lens 2015 – Part Two

Mark Sutton – Life Through a Lens 2015 – Part Two
F1 photographer Mark Sutton talks ESPN through his favourite shots from the second half of the 2015 season.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/400s | Aperture: F8 | ISO speed : 200 | Lens: 24-70mm zoom

Belgium

I turned up at the final chicane about 20 laps before the end of the race and quickly took some photos of the retired Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, thinking nothing of it. The next minute all the marshals started telling other photographers not to take any pictures, despite one of them taking pictures with his mobile phone! I had my photos in the bag; some low down ones as well as this one. It seemed the order to stop taking photos had come from race control, but I don’t see why as we are simply documenting what happened in the race.

Camera model: Taken on Apple iPhone 6

Italy

People always say “always have a camera with you” and photos like this are the reason why. I was leaving the track at the end of the day and luckily I timed my exit alongside Lewis Hamilton. I actually took this on my iPhone, but it just goes to show how far mobile phone technology has come that you can get such a high-quality photo so easily. I took about 58 frames and immediately sent the best to the office when I got in my car to go back to the hotel, which is a great way to work. I couldn’t have got my camera out in time because I would have missed it, it was that quick. I thought he was just going to ride out the paddock, but he stopped and did this burnout for the fans, who had been waiting there all evening to get a glimpse of an F1 driver or two. The atmosphere was amazing because he was so pumped and after the burnout he cruised past the fans, looking like Easy Rider without his helmet on.

Camera model: Nikon D4s | Exposure time: 1/15s | Aperture: F18 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 500mm telephoto

Singapore

The night races this year have been really great for sparks. You see them in the daylight but they get enhanced a great deal under the lights. This is on a longer lens, a 500, panning into the first corner from the same position I took the Hamilton and Rosberg photograph (above), I’m sat there hoping the cars will spark because they were bottoming out over a bump or two there, and this one is a great shot of Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus doing just that. We’ve had Bahrain and now Singapore where there’s been some great spark shots and I imagine it will be similar at Abu Dhabi in November.

Camera model: Nikon D4s | Exposure time: 1/320s | Aperture: F4 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 24-70mm zoom

Japan

This is was at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend — the track walk on Thursday. What a lot of people don’t know is that after the pit walk they open the pit lane up for local school children. Each class picks or is allocated a team which they will welcome to the paddock. So each school will be outside the garage of each team — ten schools, ten teams. It helps them gain an interest in one team and an individual driver. Here they have old-school cycle helmets, typical of motorcycle helmets in Japan, and have coloured them. They’ve also made the Sebastian Vettel glasses out of cardboard, which I thought looked great. All of the kids are then sat opposite the garages so it makes for an easy picture to grab. They’re all very fanatical and I don’t know why other venues on the calendar don’t do the same thing with local schools because it’s a great idea and a good way of giving young people the F1 bug early.

Camera: Nikon D4s | Nikkor 70-200mm & 1.4X extender 280mm | Shutter Speed: 1/1000s | Exposure: F6.3 | ISO: 400

Russia

I shot the start of the race from the photographers’ tower at Turn 1 in order to capture the two Mercedes fighting in the first corner, but when I panned back through the pack I saw Nico Hulkenberg spinning. It looked like he spun on his own and ended up facing the wrong way before Marcus Ericsson collected him and went over the top. The TV cameras didn’t really capture how close the Sauber got to Hulkenberg’s head as it scraped along the side of the Force India. It just shows you that it could have been a lot worse than what it was and he was a very lucky boy. The rear wheel could have made contact with his head, but you just don’t know what will happen in those circumstances and it all happens so quickly. I was lucky to pan round at the right time and had the right lens on my camera, because it was easy to miss if you had too long a lens.

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/320s | Aperture: F8 | Lens: 24-70mm zoom

United States

I got to the Lewis Hamilton celebration quite late. All year he’s been running away from the champagne after the Mercedes victory shot. This time he probably thought as he’d won the championship there’s no point running away; he just stood there and they doused him. Not just him, either, the man on the left is spraying the champagne towards me and just after this covered my lens with it. I took some shots of Lewis on the shoulders of his engineers later and it still had droplets on it.

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F5 | Lens: 10.5mm fish eye

Mexico

This is an amazing section of the circuit. The organisers did an incredible job — on Friday alone there was 89,000 people at the circuit and this bit was like a party atmosphere all weekend. I went here on Friday because there was rain predicted for the rest of the weekend so this was the best opportunity for a good shot of the stadium. I knew exactly where to go because I had gone around on Wednesday to find the best spot. My brother Keith was on the far right shooting there but I decided to go in the middle. The fans were amazing, they were helpful, they moved out of the way if you were taking shots. Like the drivers said on the podium it was like a football stadium. The grandstand is just concrete, no steps at all, and no cover over it either but everyone was there having a good time watching the F1. You can see that section being sold out every year we go back to Mexico.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/1250s | Aperture: F9 | ISO speed: 1600 | Lens: 24mm-70mm Zoom

Brazil

It’s rare to catch drivers giving a full burnout in the pit box because sometimes there’s already rubber down and they don’t need to put down as much. They tend to come in and do these practice pit stops, you can see the guy has got his finger on the button ready to give Kimi Raikkonen the green light to go again. They tend to do it all around the same time at the end of the session and you can be in two pit boxes at the same time, so the rear of one and the front of another. The teams can fret about that a bit because they don’t want you ruining their pit stop practices so you’ve got to be careful to stay out of their way, so sometimes you miss out on these opportunities.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/250s | Aperture: F6.3 | ISO speed: 1600 | Lens: 24mm-70mm Zoom

Abu Dhabi

This is Nico Rosberg celebrating with his half of the Mercedes garage, his mechanics. I was in a helicopter for most of the race doing different shots so I came down after the chequered flag, downloaded everything and by the time I had I thought I should go out to do this in the pit lane. I managed to find quite a good spot, did the usual whole team shot and then you get Lewis or Nico posing with their whole team. There’s raw emotion on Nico’s face and as a photographer you want to find pictures which tell this sort of story about a weekend and this is quite nice to explain the end of Rosberg’s season.

Mark Sutton – Life Through a Lens 2015 – Part One

Mark Sutton – Life Through a Lens 2015 – Part One
F1 photographer Mark Sutton talks ESPN through his favourite shot of each race from the first half of the 2015 season.

Camera model: NIKON D4S | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F10 Flash | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 70-200mm zoom.

Australia

This just looks a bit sparse because there’s two more cars missing after Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat failed to make it to the grid. So it’s two more cars on top of Bottas, the two Marussia’s and even Caterham if you think back to 2014. So in theory it’s seven cars missing from last year and it looks a bit sparse. It’s sad because we need those cars on the grid to give the fans watching in the crowd a show. Despite the limited numbers its still a spectacular start shot because there’s the people in the background, that main grandstand is a great place for fans to sit. Obviously it was a sunny day, there’s Melbourne signs, there’s a blue sky – it’s your typical Melbourne shot, the sort of shot which will be used as a preview of the Australian Grand Prix in years to come. This is the first time I did that shot, I was originally down for Turn 2 until a last-minute change and I’m glad I did because it’s a nice final picture.

Nikon D4s Nikkor 24-70mm F11 1/250th ISO 200 with flash

Malaysia

I never heard from Lewis Hamilton after my last column, I was expecting a nod or something from the team! I had some positive comments about what I said last time and this is another bizarre Lewis moment. It’s the Malaysian national anthem and he has this insistence of carrying an umbrella. There’s nothing wrong with carrying one when it’s hot, but I still feel it’s a bit of an insult to the people and a bit disrespectful. The worst thing is he’s still wearing his hat, when none of the other drivers (aside from Max Verstappen) are. I was a bit bewildered looking at it. Worst of all, when I looked at the picture a bit closer he’s actually got his headphones in as well. So whether he knows the national anthem is even going on is another story! I tweeted about it and said it was a bit insulting to the Malaysian people. You know you’ve got to do it at every race, you know the score, if he’s got the umbrella again and the hat on in China then something needs to be said to him. As world champion he’s an ambassador for the sport and he shouldn’t act in that way.

Nikon D4s | Exposure time: 1/1000s Aperture F7.1 | ISO speed: 400.

China

I did the finish as usual, crossed over and climbed the podium tower for a bit of height. I’m never sure whether it’s the right side or the right angle, you just have to be lucky in those instances. On this occasion I was lucky as I was on the right and shooting as they shot champagne across me, if you like. There was quite a bit of emotion on that podium – or maybe it was aggression, I don’t know, it seemed a mixture of both! The champagne just seemed to carry on forever. This is just after Lewis went and sprayed the girl, which caused a bit of controversy, but he spent most of his time spraying Sebastian and Nico. The champagne shower at the end is spectacular and always makes a good shot.

Nikon D4s | Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F10.

Monaco

I’m really pleased with how this photo turned out. Without an elevated podium you never know what you’re going to get in Monaco but this captures quite nicely the moment – the melee for the photographers and the joy and eleation on Rosberg’s face. It’s a good shot and always nice to have the champagne celebrations on the track as it’s a bit different to the rest of the calendar.

Camera model : Nikon D4s | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture : F5 | ISO speed: 400.

Canada

This was my photo of the day. I got to the front and was actually the first photographer to get up to the area we are allowed to shoot from. Everyone went to the left and I went to the right as I knew there would be cameras obstructing the view the other way. I was able to get right to the top of our tower – if you look, I’m pretty much level with Lewis as I shoot this – and it makes a really nice shot with the spray.

Camera model: Nikon D4 | Exposure time: 1/160s | Aperture: F5.6 | ISO speed: 1600

Austria

This was a great shot through the new McLaren garage screen – it’s picture perfect. I got down low and could see Fernando Alonso’s eyes perfectly in the middle of the gap. When I started first of all it was quite dark because the mechanics were all around him and it caused a bit of a shadow. When they moved away the shadow went and I was able to get this shot. I love this picture because you can’t do it with most teams, if you want a cockpit shot you need to go and do it from the side on. It’s just the visor, the Schuberth logo either side of his eyes. It’s on a long lens so you get slight blurring from the front of the chassis. It’s something different from a race weekend that you’re always looking for.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 10/10000 sec | Aperture: F/4 | ISO speed: ISO-800

Britain

It was pouring down at this moment and I didn’t have my rain cover with me, but I didn’t care and I was laughing to myself that I hadn’t taken any waterproofs. I was just concentrating on people coming out of the last corner and it paid off because Kimi lost it, did a tankslapper and then half spun and caught it. The crowd were going crazy because he managed to hold it and I just followed it all the way through. I knew someone was going to spin, I think Mehri spun as well, and you could see them struggling because they were the drivers on old intermediates that they had swapped to too early. It’s always nice to capture a bit of action and there was plenty going on when the rain hit all around the track, some of which the TV cameras didn’t catch.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F13 | ISO speed: 200

Hungary

This was qualifying, in Q2. I had been editing up until the end of Q1 and then got out on track for the middle session. I saw Fernando Alonso crawling round the corner and knew he wouldn’t be able to get up the hill, so he’d have to get out of the car – and immediately there’s a picture. So he pulled up and the marshals took a while to get to him and he started pushing it. I managed to catch a shot of Vettel’s Ferrari passing Alonso pushing the car. I thought it was quite a nice picture because Alonso left McLaren for Ferrari and Vettel took his seat. This image shows the contrasting fortunes they’re having this year – even more so as Vettel went on to win the race.

Mark Sutton – Life Through The Lens – Brazil and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Rubber down

Mark Sutton – Life Through The Lens – Brazil and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Rubber down
Veteran F1 photographer Mark Sutton talks ESPN through his favourite shots from Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/1250s | Aperture: F9 | ISO speed: 1600 | Lens: 24mm-70mm Zoom

Rubber down

It’s rare to catch drivers giving a full burnout in the pit box because sometimes there’s already rubber down and they don’t need to put down as much. They tend to come in and do these practice pit stops, you can see the guy has got his finger on the button ready to give Kimi Raikkonen the green light to go again. They tend to do it all around the same time at the end of the session and you can be in two pit boxes at the same time, so the rear of one and the front of another. The teams can fret about that a bit because they don’t want you ruining their pit stop practices so you’ve got to be careful to stay out of their way, so sometimes you miss out on these opportunities.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/1000s Aperture: F9 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 70-200mm Zoom

King of the parade

Lewis Hamilton turned up to the driver parade last and went to the front of the truck without saying much to anyone else — every driver has their own way and that’s something he does quite a lot. It’s bizarre how they do it in Brazil, they go the wrong way down the pit lane and then turn around at the end and comes down the track. On this occasion Lewis went straight to the top of the track and was lapping up the applause of the fans. This weekend he had the special Ayrton Senna helmet and the Brazil cap and I think he really appreciates those local fans and enjoys racing in Brazil, even though he’s still never won there.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/400s | Aperture: F8 | ISO speed: 400 | Lens: 500mm telephoto

A team victory

I really like this shot from Brazil. This mechanic is James Waddell, who has probably been around the paddock for 20-25 years. He was at the current Mercedes team in the Honda and BAR days, and was at other teams before that. He’s started to grow his moustache so it curls up on the ends, he’s always up for a laugh and one of those guys in the paddock I’ve got to know quite well. What’s nice about this is that, in the old days, it always used to be the same people up there — Ron Dennis or Adrian Newey, whoever the main guy was — but now they are spreading it out between different people within the team. It’s good that they give appreciation to different people in the team who are away from the spotlight but still doing a very important job.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/500s | Aperture: F5.6 | ISO speed: 18000 | Lens: 500mm telephoto

Focused Seb

This is from the Ferrari garage during the practice session in Abu Dhabi. The drivers are always boiling hot in those cockpits and for some reason they are only ever concerned with cooling their face rather than anywhere else, I guess that’s the important part. When they are on the track they can get the air through the helmet as well so maybe it’s to simulate that. You can see the curly jet cooling tube here next to Vettel, who has his usual steely look about him when he’s sat in there. These are always shots I like taking because you get the good mix of human emotion along with them being in the car, which you can’t see once the visor is down.

Camera model: NIKON D4S | Exposure time: 1/1000s | Aperture: F13 | ISO speed: 200 | Lens: 10.5mm Fish Eye

National pride

For this year they had coloured the tunnel on the pit lane exit in the colours of the United Arab Emirates for the 44th anniversary of its independence. The number was quite prominent throughout the weekend, including trackside during the race. I stayed around for the celebrations the following week and they were quite spectacular. This pit lane shot is always a good one because it’s so unique — Herman Tilke gets criticised for some of his circuits but this design is a really one and a good part of the F1 calendar, I think. We saw one GP2 driver get this pit exit completely wrong during the weekend and end up in the wall but we haven’t seen that from a Formula One car yet.

Camera model: Nikon D4S | Exposure time: 1/250s | Aperture: F6.3 | ISO speed: 1600 | Lens: 24mm-70mm Zoom

The man in form

This is Nico Rosberg celebrating with his half of the Mercedes garage, his mechanics. I was in a helicopter for most of the race doing different shots so I came down after the chequered flag, downloaded everything and by the time I had I thought I should go out to do this in the pit lane. I managed to find quite a good spot, did the usual whole team shot and then you get Lewis or Nico posing with their whole team. There’s raw emotion on Nico’s face and as a photographer you want to find pictures which tell this sort of story about a weekend and this is quite nice to explain the end of Rosberg’s season.