AutoGrass Racing

Beauty by emily

Themes, Themes, Themes, love, loath or hate, they do get you thinking.


Well I think its fair to say I haven’t got any, so thanks to a post by Vin Scothern ( I was drawn by the impression of speed ) grass track racing looked interesting.

So a quick message and some google searches I found Nottingham Autograss based at the Oxton Raceway.

As usual a post NOPS drink and I found 3 fellows who would also like to come along.

I gave Dan Barnett the PR Officer a call to see what was what who passed our name onto Ted the chairman.  This turned out to be a great move as Ted is a fellow photographer, he informed us that if we had insurance, high vis vests and overalls we would be allowed into the inner field (space permitting only 3 per post).  Alas 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, but the lack of overalls meant no in field for  us, but all was not lost as we could go up the raised platforms, they did prove to be a bit wobbly though.

It was my first time at Autograss racing, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Cold was all I actually expected so I was fully thermalled!, if thats a real term.

WOW was my first impression, the action was just there, not over there in the distance, but just there, to give you an idea on my 60D (crop sensor) 100mm was at times too much lens.

The racing was fast and furious (well except for some novice races), but what really struck me was the amount of racing, literally as soon as one race had finished and the cars cleared the circuit another race began, this went on from about 11am til 4pm, with a very small break (which fortunately coincided with the first downpour).

Great to have the opportunity for a nice cup of tea and massive sausage and egg butties, I obviously declined the food to keep my healthy physique but a couple of others (who cant be mentioned to protect the innocent tucked in).  CN and RH escaped the rain with me but poor RD was positioned in the farthest raised platform so did get a tad wet.

What was really great was that you could find a couple of locations where the background wasn’t white vans and the number of races meant you could try lots of different techniques.  On tripod, off-tripod, fast shutter speed, slow(ish) shutter speed, manual focus, tracking focus (if your lucky enough to have it) and even my fav, back button focusing.

There were only 3 other shooters there a couple of Canon users who were very well kitted, one with the 200-400 built in extender money boat.  They were friendly northerners from near junction 30 and told us of a few other race meetings to try.  They also convinced me to go as low as 1/60 and give panning a go, great tip and produced nearly all my fav shots. The other guy there had a video camera that took a mere 800 frames a second, he’d dialed it back to a mere 200 frames a second for motorsport!.

Due to the frequency of the races, your really did rack up the shots, I think we all shot 1-2 thousand images, so ensure you have lots and lots of memory cards and batteries.  You also need to put a couple of evenings in your calender to cull the images down I certainly shot lots of soft images (being polite) and just ignore the actuation count increase.

We did get a couple of showers, but the racing didn’t stop and landscapers are used to a bit of wet stuff.  It was quite ironic that they had actually been watering the track earlier in the day.

So would we go again, I think a unanimous yes, you really should give it a go and try some different techniques.  Oh and don’t forget to take some shots of the gang!, we apparently forgot to, so no happy NOPers shots i’m afraid.  And not getting in the in-field didn’t seem to matter, in fact you probably got a better background to your images from the outside looking in.

So have a look at

Below are a couple of my images

more can be found at

by Lester Woodward


Beauty by emily

Beauty by emily

CS5 but not Adobe

CS5 but not Adobe

red peril

red peril