Goodwood Breakfast Club Classic Car Sunday 2019
Before I rebuilt (and pared back) my website, there were a number of blog posts describing the many and varied Goodwood Breakfast Club events. In fact a decade ago I rarely missed my early Sunday mornings at the motor circuit on the South Downs near Chichester. It was a chance to relax, meet friends, and display my car. As the years have rolled on free time seemed to evaporate and I realised I hadn’t been to the Breakfast Club for over three years. I didn’t take my car this time, she’s remained unused in the garage for the last six or seven years. I keep promising to drive her but somehow I also keep forgetting. No matter how large the object, if you don’t actually see it then it can be very easy to forget it even exists.
We enjoyed glorious summer weather for Goodwood Breakfast Club Classic Car Sunday. This is always a popular event, although without the heaving crowds we would normally see on Supercar Sunday. I love seeing the classics, I find them so much more interesting than their modern iterations. There were classic cars from every marque, from the unbelievably expensive to the more affordable. And all are loved and cherished by their owners. Despite the grandeur on display, my undisputed favourite with a little grey convertible Austin with a red interior - it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. My second favourite was a black Ferrari Dino (no change there, it’s the one I hanker after).
As you might expect virtually everybody had a camera of some sort with them. You don’t need costly or high-tech equipment for an event like this. Photographs in these situations are about composition, and timing. Despite the fact I’m a portrait photographer by trade, I would soon go round the bend if I only ever photographed people. I need variety in my life. By always having a camera in my pocket or in my handbag I never miss opportunities which might unfold. That can be the chance to practice something useful such as composition or storytelling. Or it may be an opportunity to capture a pleasing landscape or coastal scene. In fact this is the way I’ve gained many of my competition winners over the last decade. Assuming you’re not faced with fast action or low light levels then basic equipment is absolutely fine.
tip of the day:
Think about your viewpoint - this means considering our height in relation to the height of our primary subjects. Some cars are quite low-slung and if we photograph them from a full standing position the result can be unflattering
Our subjects are the cars but we also have secondary subjects in the form of a great many human beings. These are in turn layered onto an interesting landscape. In other words, we have quite a lot to work with. But we do have constraints, in that people will be cutting back and forth across our field of view. This is where timing is important - we can’t get rid of the people, nor should we want to. But we can wait until the contents of our photograph are balanced. People visit these shows to admire the cars - so it makes sense that we would take pictures of them doing just that. This is one place where you’ll see the unspoken code of conduct which exists between car owners and observers - no touching. The crowds at Goodwood are car enthusiasts rather than simply passing members of the public.
On a personal outing like this I never want to feel that I’m working, so I just use a little pocket sized compact camera. In this case it’s my Panasonic LX100ii. I love this little camera, despite its size the Leica lens is impressive and the functionality is superb. Whenever I go somewhere interesting I find myself reaching for this over and above my much more expensive pieces of equipment. I owned its predecessor but I’m appreciating the small improvements offered by the Mkii.