A Photographer’s Tips For Shooting Art At The Races

CIS and BRC aren’t exactly two of the world’s most photogenic tracks, but don’t let that stop you from trying to capture some beautiful frames. So, when we saw Nickey’s work from the second round of the Giti-Formula V1 Challenge, we just had to ask how he went about capturing these images!


“Hi, I’m Nickey Jones Bautista, known as Nickoy, and photography is my passion. I shoot motorsports/automotive, fine art landscapes, and street photography. During the weekdays, my fiancé and I run a stainless steel business and photography studio.”

From the first corner of the track, in case you were wondering

Where did you get the practice to reach your level of skill?
“Before I started motorsports photography, I was a race car driver as well. So every time I had free time on the track, I would practice my panning since I always brought my camera with me. I stopped last 2015 before I went to New Zealand. While I was there, I was able to cover the Leadfoot Festival. It’s like the Goodwood Festival of NZ. Some of the competitors there were Mad Mike, Alister McRae, etc.

But for a non-racer who’s an aspiring motorsports photographer, I suggest that they can practice on a normal roadside with any moving vehicle or object with a different pace.”

Do you have specific shots in mind that you look for or are the photos mostly spur of the moment things?
“None, actually. Though I always anticipate the burst of mixed emotions before, during, and after the race.”

Makes you wonder what words are being exchanged!

Do you shoot a lot and discard a lot or do you believe in shooting less but more carefully?
Take a lot and discard a lot. If you may notice in my albums, I only upload a max of 30 photos or less, depending on how I would tell the story to the viewers. And when uploading, my photos are all arranged in a specific order–as if I’m telling a short story through a series of photos.

Curation is the key to make shots like these tell a story

Do you have a gear setup that you prepare for racedays?
“I use Nikon bodies and lenses–a D810 and D4 and 24-120mm, 70-200mm, and 500mm lenses. I don’t have a [specific] technical setup. I just make sure I have my wide lens and telephoto lens with me all the time.”

Best vantage points at CIS for a rookie photographer?
“For starters, I suggest shooting from the grandstand. But, for me, every place on the track is a good vantage point, it’s up to the photographer on how to make the photo look interesting.”

Always keep a lookout for interesting shots off-track too.
“We were on our way to grab lunch when this caught my eye. It’s not everyday you see a car with broken windshield, so I took time to shoot it.”

Check out Nickoy’s motorsports/automotive/street work at @nickoy.photo and his fine art landscapes at @nickoybautista

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