Hello everyone! My name’s Rob Blank and I’m a photographer from the Netherlands. As a motorsport and car enthusiast, I visited races as a little boy with my dad. A couple of years ago I decided to take my camera with me and started to explore photography. Today, I’m a freelance photographer.
When I started shooting cars, I just wanted the car in frame and didn’t think about composition. Nowadays I prefer black and white photography, because it’s all about composition.
Photography is all about light. Sunset or sunrise, these moments are when the magic happens.
Racing in the winter is unique. It’s your opportunity to show off the surroundings.
Racing in front of a packed grandstand shows how popular racing is. As a photographer, I’m glad that the crowd don’t all wear white t-shirts.
I also shoot powerboat racing. A lot of people think it’s fun, but when it’s pouring with rain I still have to take the shot.
I’ve been lucky enough to shoot F1 cars in action. Unfortunately not during race weekends yet, but during testing. The setting sun provided the opportunity for some unique shots.
I shoot at least 20 events a year and a lot of them are at my home track of Zandvoort. To keep photography interesting I challenge myself. Every event I have to come home with a unique shot I haven’t taken before. It keeps you creative.
It’s not all about the cars. Surroundings matter as well. Especially when the the track is surrounded by thousands of enthusiastic fans cheering for local hero Jos Verstappen. It’s about capturing this moment.
Evening light in the pits. Like I stated before, photography is all about light. So I prefer those moments at the beginning or end of a race day.
At night it’s about using what light is available.
On track you see some unique creations, like this Porsche 997 GT3 with a chopped roof which reduces air resistance.
Over the last few months, I’ve preferred to use ultra wide-angle lenses around the track. This gives a totally different perspective.
The Renault Clio RS is a small and agile race car. This means close racing.
It’s always great to see a bunch of cars so close together. It really gives a great sense of racing and a reminder of how small the margins are for mistakes.
A Trabant; not the first car you think of racing on track. It’s not all about speed, but also about enjoying yourself doing what you like most. Just like photography is for myself.
It’s great to see the emotions of the team after winning. The mechanics are the driving force behind motor racing itself. Unfortunately, Peugeot withdrew after the 2011 season.
I do like shooting vintage race cars. Not only do I like the shapes of the cars dating back before I was born, but I like the relaxed atmosphere during those events. It’s great to have a little chat with the racing drivers.
The track itself I use as a canvas. I like to make use of the curves, bends and crests. That’s why I love classic tracks like Zandvoort and Spa-Francorchamps. They’re not always the easiest tracks to work at though. At Spa-Francorchamps, you have to walk a lot to get from spot to spot.
It’s a unique track though. You can feel the forces of nature that shaped the track. After all these years, the Eau Rouge and Raidillon combination is still spectacular. Especially when a F1 car is racing up it flat out.
It’s not only about capturing the speed, but also about showing the setting.
Racing is emotion. That’s why I love the sport. The cars are beautiful machines but the drivers’ input gives the sport emotion.
Over the last couple of years motorsport photography has allowed me to do what I enjoy the most. I have learned a lot about light and techniques, while shooting the sport I love. I would like to thank Speedhunters and Paddy in particular for giving me the opportunity to write this guest blog and showcase some of my work. I hope I will improve myself as a photographer over the coming years and continue to enjoy what I do.
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