Each year the North West 200 gets harder to Photograph, more and more restrictions are placed upon media Photographers in the name of safety.
With limited access and often having to compete for clear shooting space with the general public, not to mention favouritism by the promoting club shown to ‘the chosen Three‘ you really do have to choose your location carefully. This year I based myself around the Primrose Hill and York corner section of the circuit to give me a few different locations all within relatively short walking distance.
I generally look for a location that will give me a variety of shots from the one spot so that I can maximise the potential of the location rather than endlessly shooting similar looking images. For this location on the inside of Primrose Hill I was able to shoot head-ons, rear shots and climb a high Grassy bank to get an elevated shot looking down on the bikes.
Situated very close to the start / finish area this location is ideal for a first lap group shot of all the Race Bikes screaming round the left-hander.
William Dunlop in the thick of the Supersport race action at the 2010 North West 200
After a lap the slower riders from the B and C groups became a bit more strung out and I was able to turn around and shoot some rear shots with a 70-200mm lens (at 135mm) to allow me to capture more of the scene and include the Sea in the background as the spectators watch the action unfold.
William Davidson during the Supersport race at the 2010 North West 200
Climbing up to the top of a Grassy bank gained me some elevation allowing me to shoot down on the bikes, this time using the 200mm end of my Nikon 70-200mm lens I was able to isolate a single Bike for a shot with a slightly unusual perspective that you rarely see in Irish racing Photographs.
Ryan Farquhar during the Supersport race at the 2010 North West 200
But the main talking point of this years North West 200 was the performance of Alastair ‘Wee Wizard’ Seeley who won Two Races for the Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing Team and in doing so managed to become the first local winner of a Superbike Race at the North West 200 since Philip McCallen way back in 1997.
Alastair Seeley celebrates winning the main North West 200 Superbike race at the 2010 North West 200
People think that the job is finished after the chequered Flag drops on the last Race of the day, but my Monday and Tuesday evenings of this week were spent captioning and key-wording all my images, then culling out the lesser quality images, before culling them a second time so that I then had a good tight selection of publication worthy images.