Red Bull Air Racing

Chris Dodkin

West Coast Correspondent
Our friends at Red Bull are all into high octane sports these days, and have been busy sponsoring F1 and also a great international air racing series.

The air races are insane - planes do timed circuits, passing through inflatable gates in a 3D racetrack in the sky.

When they come to San Diego - they set the gates up on pontoons in the harbor, and race over the water for a weekend - very cool.

Air racing poses a real photographic challenge - the planes are fast, and unlike race cars, they move in all three dimensions on an invisible race line! :confused:

You can capture the general race feel with a medium telephoto, but to get frame filling action you need to go 300mm or longer.

You need AI Servo AF, and some way of supporting the lens/camera that will allow free flowing movement, whilst taking the weight.

For last years racing, I went to practice and race day, and rolled out the 1D MKII and 600mm f4L lens.

I used a manfrotto tripod, and a manfrotto gimbal mount - which allows the camera/lens to pivot freely, with almost no effort.

My rig set-up is shown here:


Here are some of the captures from both days:







I'll be going again if they come around again for sure :cool:
Amazing pics - nice and sharp, vibrant colours and really well positioned. Top banana!