Michael Rammell

The Olympus OMD EM1 at Le Mans 2015

Michael RammellComment

I promised myself I wouldn't make this post Olympus-centric. And I haven't. Despite the title this isn't another Olympus-fan advertisement for the company, but I felt it necessary to mention that all of the photographs in this series were shot using the Olympus system. After all, it's all I use now!

All photographs featured here were shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro and the Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro

So, that out of the way...onto the photographs!

About a week before this years' Le Mans I posted a preview - a small showcase of photographs from my last trip back in 2013 sharing the sort of photographs I got back then. My hope this time around was to shoot much more 'B-roll' type content: the Pit's, the cars in the garage, the sights and scenes of race-goers at the track etc. But alas the one free and open day we had to roam the pit's at our leisure was one of the wettest days I can remember for a long time! Although we (Neil Graham and I) weren't concerned about the cameras as they were more than able to take what nature could throw at them, it was us getting too wet! It made maneuvering around the Pit lane very challenging as so many spectators had their rather large umbrellas up, which stopped us from getting to good spots in the garage.

So, when life hands you lemons...you go back to the campsite and wait for the rain to stop!

When the rain decided to take a short break we darted back to the pit's to have our fill. Not many of the teams had their cars as openly presented to the race goers as they did in previous years, so we instead focussed on those cars that were outside of their respective garage. A few teams, such as Aston Martin and Ferrari were even doing practise tyre changing. I took a couple of stills with a reduced shutter to capture the motion. It also warranted a slo-mo video too:


The sun stayed out for a while and it actually started to get quite warm. We made our way to the stands that overlook the pit lane for a slightly different perspective. I  previous years at Le Mans I hadn't been up to this stand. From here we were able to get some great shots, including some of the short Aston Martin race that was taking place: 


The Running of the 83rd Le Mans 24 Hours

So by now it's race day - Saturday. We've had our practise during the Le Mans race and during a couple of other events that were put on for spectators and were ready for the main event. The race, as the name suggests lasts for 24 hours from 15:00 on the Saturday to 15:00 on the Sunday. It's a long and arduous test of endurance for everyone involved - the drivers, engineers and the spectators! Neil Graham and I stayed out all night to watch the race from 8pm to 6am. It was exhausting.

We started our evening at one end of the track and slowly walked to the other. With plenty of time to watch the cars race we had ample opportunity to try different viewpoints and perspectives to get better photographs. Suffice to say I wasn't disappointed.

Here are a few from the main race taken during the day:

So, for now that's just about it. In the next week or so I'll share some of the night shots from the Le Mans 24 Hour which took the E-M1 up to ISO 4000 -  6400 with some really horrible and uneven ambient light. Add to that I was shooting moving subjects too.

If you want to see how the Olympus OM-D E-M1 handled such an awkward and fast-paced task then be sure to check back next week. The best way to make sure you see that post though is to subscribe! You can do that right here or click the link below. It takes 30 seconds.

I hope you enjoyed these photographs as much as I did taking them. Until next time.

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