Motorsports photography blog

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Formula Ford Crash

While organising my files the other night I came across the following sequence of images which I shot in 1994 of a Formula Ford crash at Donington Park. They were taken on a Canon EOS 620 using Ektachrome 200 pushed to ISO 400. Consequently they are quite grainy and the original transparencies are slightly damaged as well.

Formula Ford crash


However while they capture the incident very well they also illustrate the weakness of film cameras for sports photography

and that was the number of exposures available. Film was usually 36 exposures long and I took this sequence during the last race with perhaps seven frames left. These two had been dicing for some laps and I sensed that something was going to happen. I could see by the marshals reactions before they came into view that they were close. Sure enough they appeared with wheels interlocked and I shot the inevitable sequence of events. Fortunately no one was hurt and I got several decent images, but what I didn’t get was the car as it burst into flames or the marshals tackling the blaze because I ran out of film. I sometimes think back to my Olympus OM2n and EOS 620 with great affection, very different cameras but both very capable in their own way. But then could I really go back to film with its limited number of exposures, grain and that agonising wait for the roll to be developed? It would be unthinkable now.

Formula Ford

Nick Fleming gets nudged by Omar Bettin at the Esses

Formula Ford

The car rolls and is momentarily airborne.

Formula Ford

Nick Fleming struggles to remove the steering wheel...

Formula Ford

and crawls unhurt from the car....

Formula Ford Crash

to be helped to safety.

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