Back to shooting after five and half years
By Altaf Bhat
There was nervous excitement all over me when I was assigned to cover the F1 Grand Prix held at Budh International Circuit on the outskirts of the Indian capital, New Delhi, last week.
The reasons for nervousness were twofold — it was my first brush with motor sporting events and the first Formula One race in India. In addition, my last shooting assignment was five years ago. I was not sure what to shoot and shooting at such a great event like F1 was challenging and at the same time dramatic to me.
The last time I had a camera slinging on my shoulders or focusing on a subject was in late April 2006 during the general elections in Singapore.
I had no idea about shooting the Grand Prix, its track, turns, course, crashes, marshals, paddock and pit lane. I had captioned a few pictures when I was working on the Global Desk in Singapore but shooting was totally different – an adrenaline pumping feeling.
After we got our passes for the F1, I was told by one of my colleagues in our team that I cannot go near the pit lane with my camera as my credentials were as an editor.
I did a quick search and found that the pit lane makes for nice angles, but there was a bit of disappointment. My primary job was to edit, process and direct inject pictures to the wire from the media center. We were first to hit the wire for two days and it brought a feeling of elation. The most important task for our team was to be quick and accurate in getting the best pictures on to the wire.
However, at the same time I also wanted to shoot and I was lucky to get a couple of good images.
Being on the desk, one exercises a lot of control over the kind of pictures that go on the wire but nothing can substitute for the feeling of shooting on the ground.