Translate

29 Apr 2017

A big sea


A big sea on a sunny day is something really special. There is the sound of the waves and the force with which they hit the rocks, the beautiful salty smell and the dampness from the spray.
Photo taken last month at North Avoca on the Central Coast of NSW with the Leica Q.

27 Apr 2017

Almost a winner




This photo taken at Avoca Beach, back in January, is one of my all time favourites.
I have high hopes for it in photo competitions. It was selected in the final 6 for a recent Sydney Morning Herald photo competition and it has just been given highly commended in the US i-shot-it Premium photo competition-that's the one I won last year with a nice cash prize.
I guess I should be pleased that it has done so well but sadly there was only a prize for the winner in both competitions.
I'll keep entering it as I feel that it is going to be a winner soon.

24 Apr 2017

Q for quality








If you read the The Rolling Road regularly you will know that I am a big Leica fan going way back to 1968. I am very fortunate to have owned quite a few Leica cameras over the years and my current trio of the X1, the X Vario and the Q are all capable of producing superb image quality but of the three the Leica Q is the star performer. As well as producing superb image quality the Q is a joy to use. It feels and looks like a classic Leica film camera and the controls and menus are straightforward and simple.
The lead designer for the Q was a young Swede, Vincent Laine. Not only is he a very talented designer but he is also a talented photographer. He has an Instagram account @vincent.laine. You can read his bio and see examples of his photography on his personal website Vincent Laine  .
Photos above - grandson Felix and pit lane both taken with the Q. From the camera jpeg files with light post processing in Lightroom. The Blogger system compresses the photos so what you see here are highly compressed files. The originals on a big monitor screen have real punch.

23 Apr 2017

Daniel Berehulak

Australian freelance photographer Daniel Berehulak has just won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for photography for his New York Times story on the extrajudicial drug killings in Phillipines.
The photos are quite extraordinary. See Pulitzer Prize .
Daniel is no stranger to major photography awards. His work is outstanding. In my book he is currently one of the world's top photojournalists.
You can find his website here Daniel Berehulak  
Also there is an excellent, albeit somewhat old, interview with him here Interview 

I really enjoy looking at great photography by photographers like Daniel. I spend a lot of time looking at photographs-and I am certain that this exposure to good photography has inspired me to really improve my own photography in the past seven years.
I have been taking photographs for nearly 60 years but nearly all my "best" photos have been taken in the past 7 years. I put this down to the internet.

19 Apr 2017

Not my thing






I don't take photos of sunrises and sunsets-they are not my thing-well that's what I say. But on Monday I broke my own rule. I went for an extended early morning walk with a camera. I was close to the rocks below the Skillion at the Terrigal Haven when I saw that a cloud formation was lining up to make a special sunrise. I walked onto the rocks and waited. I took six photos-this is the best of them. It was taken on the Leica Q as a jpeg file and this is the full frame-no cropping. It was taken at 1/800th sec and F2.8 at ISO 100 . I did some post processing in Lightroom to pull some detail up in the shadow area. I did not touch the colour settings-it really was like this.
Although I have seen thousands of sunrises I am always surprised by how quickly the sun appears. One minute the sky is lightening and the next an orange orb is rapidly ascending into the sky. If you stand around messing with your camera settings the show will be over before you know it.

15 Apr 2017

At the end of the day.


It's almost a given that it rains heavily over the Easter weekend here on the east coast of Australia. Well, there is always the exception that proves the rule and this Easter is the exception. Beautiful warm days-27ºC- and not a sign of rain so far. Yesterday was grandchildren day and we took advantage of the weather to take the crew onto the rock shelf by Terrigal Haven-always a popular outing-when the tide is out.
The light was glorious this afternoon at 4.00 when I took this photo of the crowds still on Terrigal Beach. The sea must still be warm going by the numbers swimming.
This was taken with my Leica X Vario-a beautiful camera. Leica have stopped producing the X Vario-it was a poor seller-and it was much maligned at launch-so sad- -but the reality is that it really is an outstanding camera.
For balanced and fair comment on the X Vario search under Leica X Vario on the excellent Macfilos blog see MACFILOS
If you want to get into Leica ownership with an outstanding camera check out the X Varios for sale on eBay. Prices have come tumbling down so you can pick up a bargain.

11 Apr 2017

Morning





I'm an early riser. I am usually awake by 5.00 am wherever I am and I'm out of the house for my brisk morning walk most mornings by 5.45. It's the best time for photos -as long as there is light. For the last few weeks it has still been dark right through until at least 6.30 which puts a dampener on photography. Fortunately we put the clock back by an hour and moved off summer time two weekends ago . So now I can look for those early morning photos again.
I always find it sad to see people with cameras on tripods down around the beach in the morning. Straight photos of the sunrise are just so easy and ordinary. There are so many more interesting photos to be taken around the beach if you just look for them. I am trying to get a worthwhile picture every day to post on my instagram account @therollingroad.  I'm not always succesful but I have been quite pleased with some of the recent shots-above.
I find that Instagram is a convenient way to gain visibility for my photography and there is some really great photography on it -if you know where to look.
My reservation about Instagram is that it is now owned by Facebook an organisation for which I have no respect. I don't have a Facebook account and plan never to have one.
All photos were taken with the Leica Q

7 Apr 2017

Mark's Fruit Hut

Molong is 37kms north of Orange in the central west of New South Wales-see previous post.  It is still an attractive little town but it is obviously a shadow of its former self. There is a post office, a bank, some cafes, shops, some offices and a once grand departmental store which is long gone. On the Mitchell Highway heading north into the town there are grain silos beside a railway line but now the farming is grazing-sheep and cattle- and it looks as if the silos are no longer used.
Driving towards the town beside the road were handpainted notices advertising fruit for sale and in the rest area set off the highway was a small iron hut signed Mark's Fruit Hut. We pulled in and bought some grapes and plums from Mark-above - who was there with his two children. There was little traffic on the road. Mark has a very tough gig. It was pleasant enough on Saturday but in the height of summer he would really feel the heat and keeping his stock fresh must be expensive and difficult. I feel for people like Mark.
He readily agreed to me taking his photo. I'd like to do more photos like this. If I had a week wandering the back roads in the area I am sure I could come back with a decent portfolio.
 

3 Apr 2017

An Australian photo.


I've just spent 5 days inland in and around Orange in NSW-about 300kms drive from home in Terrigal. Once you cross the Blue Mountains it is almost as if you have entered another country. The eastern seaboard of Australia north and south of Sydney in particular is becoming more and more crowded and frantic. It is almost more California than Australia. Cross the Blue Mountains and head inland to Orange and you can sense a change of attitude. They drive very quickly out on the open roads -but the distances out there are big so they have a reason -but in town it's"no worries"country. It's still easy to park on the main street and there is way less hassle than in Terrigal yet alone in Sydney. It's not as if it is "hick". Coming into town there are all the usual suspects in luxury car dealers and plenty of cafes serve excellent coffee-which could hold their own in Sydney or Melbourne. It's a modern city but with a distinct country vibe. It's not all good news- it is stinking hot in summer -as I just saw when I stayed in Orange for the Bathurst 12 hour race in early February-and it is cold in winter. In fact it was already cold overnight last weekend.
Back in February the country was dry, parched and brown. Recent heavy rains have changed that. Now the country is a glorious green.
Once you are clear of the vineyards and orchards of the Orange area and head further inland you are into big sky country. It is empty and it is depopulated with the remnants of once thriving country towns and villages now standing sad and decaying. Changes in agriculture practices, consolidations of farms, mechanisation, much improved roads and cars/trucks and the population's demand for better services in education and health and regional air links to Sydney and Canberra has led to the bigger rural centres like Orange, Bathurst, Parkes and Dubbo expanding and prospering whilst the small settlements have just withered away as the populations declined.  Once thriving towns like Molong and Cudal have nothing to offer. If they are lucky they have retained a post office and very rarely a bank but the butchers, bakers and minimarts along with the doctors and dentists and other staples of a small town have long gone. It is a pattern repeated across rural Australia.
If you divert onto the narrow backroads deep into the country it is glorious and empty apart from the sheep and the cattle. Plenty of rusting tanks and the occasional abandoned farmhouse but the vistas are just beautiful.
I took five photos in the five days. I really was looking for the one special shot which summed up country Australia. I think I came close to nailing it with the shot above. So Australian. Sheep and gumtrees and some sparking light from a blue sky. Photo taken on the Leica X1.


28 Mar 2017

Heaven

Went for a run with the local Classic Porsche Register on Sunday from Cowan on the Old Pacfic Highway,NSW to Laguna in the lower Hunter Valley. We could not have chosen a better day. There was some early morning fog for the first few kilometres but after that it was full sunshine, not too hot and beautiful driving roads with very little traffic.Heaven.
My newly serviced 2.2 T was running beautifully.A new set of plug leads seems to have fixed the random misfires which had been troubling the car for some time. Photo above shows me in the T on a bridge on the Old Pacific Highway in the early morning fog. Photo taken by Rob Scheeren of autofokus911.
I spent my time talking cars and spent very little time taking photos but I had to shoot Ernie Panaioli's Fun 356 which was looking immaculate-as always.

Leica X1 photo.

25 Mar 2017

The racer

 i went to the International Festival of Speed historic motorcycle race meeting at Sydney Motor Sport Park today. This event gets bigger each year. This year they were honouring Giacomo Agostini who was there with his family and a big collection of Italian motorcycles.
The great thing about these meetings is that they are so accessible. You can wander into the pits and wander down pitlane . The historic motorcycle racing fraternity are very laid back. There is always a great atmosphere and a laudable lack of officious officials.
I made a big effort to get there early to try and catch some sparkling light for some pitlane photos. In previous years I have come away with some worthwhile pitlane shots of riders and bikes.
No such luck this year. The light was not cooperating so I did not take many photos and with two exceptions I was not at all happy with the photos I took. They were just ordinary. No point in keeping ordinary photos. So I junked them all except two -the one above which I really like-as for me it exudes the atmosphere of the event-and the shot of Agostini below.


Photos taken with the Leica Q

22 Mar 2017

The Sony a7-not a good idea



I've, at last, just sold the Sony a7 camera which I acquired nearly three years ago.  At the time the Sony a7 was the "in" camera and friend Roger, whose opinion and expertise I respect, had just bought one and he was very enthusiastic about it-and as far as I know he still is.
Now over the years I've owned a few cameras and I've always bonded with them. I loved my original Leica, the Olympus OM2 and all the film Leicas-they were gorgeous. I was never so keen on the big clunky Canon EOS SLRs but they were great tools. I did handle a few Sony a7's before I took the plunge but as soon as I unpacked the camera I knew something was amiss. It just did not feel right. It felt like a piece of plastic electronics-not a camera. The haptics were all wrong. But it got worse when I came to use it. The menu system is a total nightmare as are the controls. Knobs and buttons everywhere and the knobs did not have a nice mechanical feel when used. To put it bluntly I hated it but I thought that I have it so I will persevere.
The camera came with the Sony kit zoom lens which is like most kit zooms nothing special. At the time Sony's selection of a7 lenses was pretty thin so I bought some adapters and used legacy lenses which I had in my cupboard. Using these was not much fun. All the forums and fan sites carry on about the joys of using legacy lenses but for the most part they are a pain.
It was not all bad news as I did get some good action photos and photos of my grandchildren with it.  But it was hard work. After a few months I put the a7 up on eBay but only got silly offers so it stayed on the shelf -unloved and largely unused. A couple of weeks ago I decided that it was silly leaving it there - the batteries would go off and cameras do not improve through lack of use. So this time I put it on Gumtree. There were quite a few a7's on offer on the local Gumtree and most were the higher resolution later models. It was a crowded market but in the end I took a fair offer and it has gone. Thank goodness. A lesson learnt.  I have only myself to blame. I had this gut feeling that I just wasn't going to like the camera but then I thought "look at the enthusiastic reviews- this is the way forward". I should have gone with my instinct.
Now apart from the film Hasselblad-which is another issue- I am back to being 100% Leica and it is going to stay that way going forward. You can only have one Sony a7 in your life.

18 Mar 2017

The way we were

I stumbled across a few ancient strips of negatives a few days ago and I scanned them in and found a couple of intriguing photographs both of which are good reminders of what "the good old days" were really like for all those who constantly yearn for them.
The first photo below was taken by me in Bulgaria in 1971. Going to a Black Sea resort was very popular in those days for British as well as German,Dutch and Scandinavian tourists. The resorts were just fine but when you ventured inland you saw the real Bulgaria which was a hardline communist state. It was grim and this street scene is typical.  I just cannot believe reports that many Hungarians and Estonians apparently yearn for the good old communist days. Be careful what you wish for.
The second photo was also taken by me in a street market in London in the early 1960s. The photo is very evocative and conveys how grim it was in that period.
Out of curiosity I Goggled Marie's Cafe and much to my surprise find that it is still in business as a smart Thai restaurant in exactly the same location. See  Marie's Cafe . Lower Marsh St, Lambeth where the photo was taken is now an "up and coming area" and the street market is still going. Below is a photo from Google streetview of the location today. What is it about British streets and betting shops?  Many of the buildings remain the same. Little did I know when I went out on that wet and cold day all those years ago that I would be able "revisit" the location on a computer screen whilst sitting on the other side of the planet 50 years later. And some people want to go back to the good old days? Give me a break.


15 Mar 2017

The smiling photographer


Because Terrigal is such an attractive location it attracts photographers. On my early morning walk I often see a photography group-usually from a camera club - with their tripods and Nikon and Canon DSLRs-everyone of them earnestly staring at glowing LCD screens in the twilight as they try and capture a totally boring scene of moving water over rocks by the rockpool at the end of the beach. Inevitably the camera club groups are nerdy types - male and female - with big Lowepro backpacks and very serious demeanours.
I have never had any interest in joining a camera club and my recent exposure to these club members in Terrigal has done nothing to change my mind. I have also experienced camera snobbery whilst talking to these groups. When I show them the little Leica X1 in my hand they can barely conceal their contempt. They almost say out loud " you can't take real photos with that toy". One actually said to me that "you can only take the sort of photos we take with a serious DSLR". I thought about this and concluded that he is probably right but not in quite the way he intended.
I believe that photography is a solitary pursuit and you cannot practice creative photography in a group. Even if I go for a bushwalk with my good photographer friend Peter I rarely ever come back with a good photograph although this maybe more down to the fact that I don't do landscape photography than being with someone.
Anyway it was a delight to meet a solitary photographer earlier in the week on my early morning walk . She is not quite a local she comes from Wyoming about 14kms away so she was dedicated to get up early. She has a great smile. I hope her photographic excursion was worthwhile.
Leica X1 photo.

13 Mar 2017

Vale John Surtees



John Surtees died on 10th March at the age of 83. He was one of motor sport's greats. The only ever F1 and 500cc motorcycle world champion. He was a great engineer and a brilliant driver and rider. I was very fortunate to have seen him race in Ferraris, Hondas and Lolas. Photo above taken at, I think, Silverstone showing him looking on whilst the Honda engineers work on his car. All so different to today's F1 paddock scenes. A giant from another age.

9 Mar 2017

Surf days

In the last two months I have been looking at a book of photographs- A lifetime of Looking- by the British photographer Jane Bown who died in 2014. Jane worked for the Observer newspaper and was best known for her superb portraits of celebrities but she also photographed many of the newsworthy events in the UK in the post war era. She was a master of her craft.
On the back cover of the book is a quote by her-"Some people take photographs.I find them." This really hits a chord with me. I guess that it is something I have known for many years but not always applied .
 Our long very hot summer has drawn to a close-it is not cold but it has been wet and very stormy. Yesterday I went out to nearby Avoca Beach between the showers and the storms seeking to follow Jane's axiom and look for pictures.  The strong winds had whipped up the sea and the surf was big. I came back with some good photos. Today the storms had passed but the surf is still high and at Avoca there is a big surf competition. I drew an almost total photo blank. The one  shot I did get was of one of the pro surf photographers in action on the beach. He was using an enormous Canon lens and the latest Canon pro DSLR body. He said the total kit was worth over  $25000. No point in trying to compete with that.
Here's my photo haul from the two days. I am particularly pleased with the photo of the young surfer on the rock against the big storm out at sea-above. This one just came together for a couple of seconds. It was not staged. The sun broke through right on cue, a big wave came and he turned in my direction. Eureka. Sheer luck.








All photos taken with the Leica XV

5 Mar 2017

On the road again

Warren's car is on the road again-after two and a half years and a big spend. It sounds great and he seems very happy with the performance and the gearchange from the rebuilt gearbox. I hope that he does not now regret his personal customisation of the car. Top photo shows Simon of Autowerks (right) doing the handover to Warren on Friday afternoon.


The yellow car is my 2.7 which is still grounded at Autowerks with starting maladies . It was not a good week for me and my Porsches as I had to replace both batteries of the 2.2 on Monday at a cost of $360. I should not really complain as they had been in the car for just over 9 years-is this a record? The early cars have two batteries housed in boxes behind the headlamps in both wings. This setup was adopted for weight distribution reasons. Getting the batteries in and out is not a simple task. I am glad that they started to fail whilst the car was at home. The NRMA or any roadside assistance battery supplier would not carry the unusual size batteries and they certainly would not have been prepared to spend the time changing the batteries over.


27 Feb 2017

Nearly there

Friend Warren's Porsche 911 1977 Targa is back on the road after a two and a half year rebuild. Warren has customised the body and interior. It's his personal "Singer" car. You end up doing this if you read too many Porsche magazines.
The engine and gearbox have been totally rebuit by Autowerks in Charmhaven,NSW. Photos below.
Two weeks ago Warren and I went to Autowerks to see the engine before it went back into the car. The car passed its rego last week and is now being shaken down. We plan to go up and collect it this week. I will put up photos of the finished car hopefully later this week.
I will also be collecting-I hope- my 2.7 which arrived at Autowerks last Friday afternoon on a flat bed truck after failing to start in hot conditions in a car park in Terrigal Friday morning.  This is the first time in 16 years of ownership that the car has let me down like this. I had to use the NRMA for which I have memberships for the four family cars and they were about as useful as a chocolate teapot and it seems that my experience was not unique. No renewals coming up next year. It seems that the NRMA are just not prepared to look at even attempting any sort of rectification on a car nowadays. They basically change tyres, bring fuel when you have run out, rescue children and dogs from locked cars and jumpstart cars or sell you a replacement battery.
I have bought a lithium-ion jumpstart power pack which I will keep in a Porsche and use if I have to attempt a jumpstart again.





24 Feb 2017

Racing food


One thing you used to be able to count on at any motor racing meeting was unhealthy food. Le Mans was bad but so were Australian circuits. Ghastly food was a given. At Le Mans there used to be big tented restaurants where food was served to hundreds sitting at trestle tables. The food was steak with the consistency of racing tyres or pork swimming in fat served with salads and very greasy fries. And as for the prices-sacre bleu! At stalls around the circuit there were sausages cooked on hot plates and the sausages were literally floating on a sea of fat. I have a photo of one of those stalls from 2004 but I cannot find the file which maybe just as well. After a weekend at Le Mans your chances of dying from heart disease must have more than doubled.
When I last went to the Le Mans 24 hour race I was really surprised at how much the food offerings at the circuit had improved. Filled baguettes, salads and even fruit were easy to find.
 I remember in 1989 I went to a round of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship at Spa. I was there with a group of Jaguar dealers so it was a junket and we had a lavish lunch laid on in a suite above the pits. With a colleague, John Crawford, I managed to sneak away from the groaning tables of fine food to find a little stall serving  Belgian frites. They serve them freshly fried and piping hot in a paper cone with mayonnaise and they are delicious. Mission accomplished. I took quite a few photos that day but sadly none of one of the most memorable parts of the race - les frites.
At the Bathurst 12 hours three weeks ago there was a choice of healthy food available in the paddock but for breakfast Warren and I went for a motor racing staple - a bacon and egg roll. Vintage motor racing food-and this time I did have a camera ready.

21 Feb 2017

Tyre changes




Big fat slicks seen at the recent Bathurst 12 hours. As it was a dry race there was no need for wet tyres although all teams had sets ready just in case. The quantity of tyres used in these endurance races is extraordinary. The tyre fitters from the tyre suppliers were flat out in the heat fitting tyres to wheels for the whole race.
 I don't know how much one of these tyres costs but I would hazard a guess at approaching $800 per tyre. Motor racing is an expensive business.
At the Le Mans 24 hours there is a whole huge paddock devoted to the tyre supplier's trucks and for the whole 24 hours teams are shuttling back and forth with tyres.
For 2017 Formula 1 goes back to big fat tyres. Hooray. Real racing cars should make a lot of noise and have big fat tyres. This wonderful shot below from my archive taken at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 1981 shows how it used to be.
There are a host of rule changes for F1 in 2017 designed to improve the closeness of the racing and to enhance spectator appeal. The really good news in that Liberty Media have completed the takeover of the F1 rights and the very obnoxious Bernie Ecclestone has been shown the door. The new rights holders are committed to turning the sport around but they have a big job ahead of them. After sacking Bernie - by phone apparently-I would have done it by SMS myself- they need to find a way to sack Lewis Hamilton. Then they need to get stuck into bringing about more fundamental rule changes for 2018 and in particular dumping the stupid DRS rules. But at least their first move was the right one.

19 Feb 2017

Taking the plunge


Taking the plunge at the headland Avoca Beach,Central Coast, NSW- last day of the school holidays-Summer of 17.
Leica XV photo.

17 Feb 2017

The lone surfer

 The lone surfer-first surf of the day at Terrigal just before the sun was over the horizon today.
I have an Instagram account and I am challenging myself to take one good photo a day to post on it. A few years ago there were personal websites where photographers posted their photo taken that day. The websites enjoyed a very fleeting success - the issue being that the viewers had to actually log onto the websites to see the photos. Also perhaps, even more critically, posting a photo a day was too much for most of the photographers and many of the photos were rubbish.
Anyway Instagram avoids one of these shortcomings-you can follow an account/feed and when a photo is posted on it you get to see it automatically. You can avoid most of the rubbish photos by only following feeds with good photography and there is some superb photography on Instagram and it really has made great images widely accessible. There is also a load of rubbish being posted.
Today I managed two photos for my Instagram account-@therollingroad- and the above is one of them but after consideration I decided that the surfer is just too small for Instagram where most people view the photos on their phones.




16 Feb 2017

Training


My early morning walk has been providing a steady stream of  photos over the last few months. The hot weather seems to be giving even better early morning light and many days the clouds have been interesting too. I'm trying to develop a distinct personal style with my photography whatever the subject. It's taken a long time but I think that it is beginning to evolve.
Photo above taken on the Leica Q at Terrigal Beach this morning with the surf training squad hitting the sea running.

13 Feb 2017

Respite

 Relief ! After a scorching weekend to a very hot week which was preceeded by a very hot weekend we woke up this morning to a cooler day. It's all relative but today 29ºC felt really cool. A welcome respite from the record breaking heat.
More heatwave conditions are on the way but at sunrise this morning these two guys were enjoying the cool air looking north from the headland at Terrigal Beach.
I waited around for the sun's rays to light the scene. I used my "walkabout" camera of choice - the Leica X1.

That is smoke above the horizon from big bushfires burning further up the coast. The weekend saw the worst bushfire conditions ever experienced in NSW. 

12 Feb 2017

Spectating in comfort


I saw this kit up the top of the mountain at Bathurst at the 12 hour race. For years Bathurst spectators have been making their race watching kit more and more sophisticated and this crew have taken it to new heights.
They had a large canvas gazebo,chairs and this ingenious hand truck fitted with go-kart wheels. The big box is a full size fridge. There is the large LCD TV and sound bar -still with its screen protector film- plus a Weber barbecue and gas cylinders. Is that a small microwave oven on top of the fridge? Power for all this gear was supplied by a sizeable portable generator placed some distance away. 
Most spectator encampments seemed to have bought their own generators which nowadays are almost silent - a far cry from the generators of yesteryear.
The one thing missing from their set up is a portable cooling unit. Maybe they solely relied on the contents of the fridge for cooling.
I saw many spectors watching the race on the Channel 7 free to air TV using their phones or tablets. A good idea if you have a big data allowance.
I remember years ago I was very tempted to buy a small handheld Casio TV to use at the racing. I am surprised to see that Casio still sell an updated digital model.



7 Feb 2017

Bathurst 12 hours 2017

I spent the weekend inland at Bathurst for the 12 hour GT race. Hot conditions were forecast and they were not wrong. Saturday was very hot -mid 30sC.( that's 97ºF) Race day on Sunday looked good as it was overcast initially so the temperature hovered around the low 30s until midday but then the sun broke through and the temperature went off the dial. I moved right around the track including walking over the top and down the Dipper towards Forest Elbow. I went  with two friends - we drank a lot of water and tried to stay in the shade. We did spend the last 2 hours in the very empty Nissan hospitality area on the inside of the first corner by a large electric fan watching the race both on the track and on the TV monitors. We managed to survive -just. I have never been so hot. Thank you Nissan.
It was a great weekend but there were a few times I questionned my own sanity.
It was a good thing that the pub in Orange where we stayed had such fabulous cold craft beer. A cold beer or three was never more welcome than on Sunday evening.

There was a very big entry for the race with a large number of international teams and drivers.
For the first time there was a top ten shoot out for grid positions. This was topped by the eventual winner the Ferrari 488 of Vilander, Lownes and Whincupp. Two Porsches made it into the qualifying shootout as did three of the new and very fast, but fragile,BMW M6s. It was good to see an Aston Martin Vantage in the top ten.
The race followed the pattern of recent years and was very tightly fought with multiple changes of lead and unfortunately quite a few safety car deployments. Cars were bouncing off walls all day and the drama lasted right down to the last 20 mins when last year's winner Shane Van Gisbergen in a Mercedes AMG in pursuit of the leader pushed off a Porsche right at the top of the mountain and then as the red mist, or maybe sweat, descended over his eyes he bounced the Mercedes off a wall coming down the mountain and his race was over. One of his  co-drivers, Marc Engel, did a major dummy spit on TV-eleven hours and 45 minutes racing wasted.
In the previous two years Porsches have been also rans in the race but it was very different this year. The new GT3Rs were on the pace and the Competition Motorsports car driven by Australians David Calvert-Jones and wonderboy Matty Campbell with Porsche works pro-drivers Patrick Long and Marc Lieb came second two minutes behind the winning Ferrari in the ICE Break car. A Walkinshaw GT3R came 4th and Porsches won three of the five classes with Caymans taking out the top three places in the GT4 class. The natural order has been restored.

How did the drivers keep cool? Most of the GT3 cars have airconditioning. The drivers wear cool suits/shirts where ice cold water is pumped around a tube woven into the fabric and some cars, such as the Nissan GTRs, have cooled seats. The pit crews were the ones who were really suffering. Many pits had portable cooling units but many of the overseas technicians looked really stressed late in the afternoon.

I  used Leicas for my photos as hauling a camera with a long lens in that heat was just not on. Surprisingly the best results from the weekend came from the Leica Q - a camera with a 28mm wide angle lens. Not a combination one normally associates with motor racing photography but the layout of the Mount Panorama circuit means that there are a couple of points where you can get really close to the cars if you are prepared for a steep climb. Now I leave the real close-up action shots to fitter and younger men and women who can carry that heavy gear and I just and concentrate on the atmospheric shots
I hope that you enjoy my personal take on the Bathurst 12 hours.