Professional freelance photographer Frank Hoyinck is here to tell us about his typical day at Le Mans. Enjoy!
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The 24 Hours of Le Mans is arguably the most important endurance race. An event each petrolhead should visit once. 180 drivers piloting 60 cars compete on the 8.5-mile long circuit de la Sarthe in search of fame and glory. It’s no ordinary race for it involves no sleep for all participants. It’s a race of attrition for man and machine.
Arriving two days prior to the race allows the opportunity to visit clients, photograph qualifying and attend the safety briefing.
Saturday. 09:00. The Media Centre packed with cameramen, photographers and journalists from around the world. I make the first of what will be dozens of trips to the coffee machine. Having completed the network setup, I plan the route to walk along the circuit.
10:00. Several photo opportunities scheduled before the start.
14:30. Walk to that all-important first corner, for the start.
15:00. Green flag announces the start. Having covered the first laps I head back to the media centre and upload the photos of the start to the clients.
16:30. Put on fireproof clothing and head to the pits to shoot the first pit stops.
18:00. Pit stops are photographed, back to the track. I stay current on race action via radio linked to an earpiece. Door-to-door racing must be photographed.
21:00. “Golden Hour”. Sunlight fades and the shadows are long, calling for ever longer shutter speed. I’m photographing close racing but allowing my artistic side to search for that unique moment.
22:00 Sunset. Back to the Media Centre for photo editing and uploading to clients who wish to issue press releases before nightfall. Load up on coffee and calories.
23:00. Under artificial lighting, photograph pitstops and driver changes.
02:00. More photo editing, more coffee. The tipping point of photographing activities, as one can follow the race from the monitors’ nut risk falling asleep. I head back out to the circuit.
03:00. Stumbling oversleeping spectators, I find my way through the backyards and golf course in search of that special place from which to photograph the race in complete darkness.
05:00 At the Dunlop curve to capture the sunrise. Race cars reveal the scars of overnight battle. Large black referred to as 200 mph tape, hold sections of cars together.
09:00 Exhaustion starts to creep in. Temptation rears its ugly head, as one wants to rest. However, its best to carry on for both man and machine are being pushed to the limits and a lot can still happen.
14:00. All photographs have been uploaded. More coffee followed by heading to the pits in order to secure a good spot for photographing the podium ceremony.
15:00. The checkered flag. Photograph the different podium ceremonies, quickly followed by editing and uploading.
16:00. Exhausted but satisfied. Sleep.
Thank you, Frank!