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Shutter Speed: 2021 Qatar Grand Prix

Formula One's first visit to Qatar under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit illuminated the Doha desert with an entertaining and atmospheric Grand Prix. This week, Shutter Speed returns to bring you a taste of that atmosphere.

Sebastian Vettel, Qatar Grand Prix

In this edition, Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team and Motorsport Images photographer, Glenn Dunbar, shares his favourite images from the Qatar Grand Prix and explains the subtle details that define each shot.

Shutter Speed: Qatar Grand Prix

Shot on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 28-70mm lens

"This shot was taken at the start of the weekend when I was trying to capture the team setting up. I noticed that the soft light in the evening made the AMR21's nose look almost soft and velvety, so I wanted to capture that.

"The nose looks majestic, and the car looks fresh and clean which, as you will see in the final shot, is almost a polar opposite to the state of the car after 57 laps of wheel-to-wheel racing."

Shutter Speed: Qatar Grand Prix

Shot on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 28-70mm lens

"Thanks to the positioning of the garages at Losail, when the sun starts to set, the evening light drops down low and floods the garage. I wanted to get a nice static image before we got into the weekend, just to set the scene.

"I wanted something moody, and I think this captures the calm before the storm, with the car in the garage waiting to go out. It has a low depth of field and the lighting in the background just sets the scene so well."

Shutter Speed: 2021 Qatar Grand Prix

Shot on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 28-70mm lens

"There is a funny story behind this image. Sometimes, as a photographer, drivers can be cheeky and ask why we take so many pictures, because to them it looks like we’re taking the same picture all the time.

"In reality, we are always trying to find something different to capture, such as an expression or a glint in the eye, and we were having a joke about that. This picture shows the connection that a driver and a photographer build up over the course of a season. It's an intimate moment."

Shutter Speed: Qatar Grand Prix

Shot on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 28-70mm lens

"This image really shows a driver's focus. The picture draws you into Lance's eyes and shows just how in the zone he is before the start of the session.

"It's that high level of focus that is needed to race a Formula One car hard and fast, and I think this picture captures it."

Shutter speed: Qatar Grand Prix

Shot on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon EF 600mm lens

"Because Qatar is a new circuit, we are always looking for new angles and new shots of the car. During FP2, I noticed that there was an area where, if you got down low, it was possible to use the night sky as a completely black background.

"The background in this shot places all of the focus on the car and, because of the night sky, it is a nice moody shot."

Shutter Speed: Qatar Grand Prix

Shot on a Canon EOS R6 with a Canon RF 100-500mm lens

"Losail is a circuit designed for motorbike racing and, because of that, you are always quite far from the run-off as a photographer. I was on the other side of the track during the previous day, and I realised that the cars were sparking at a certain point around the lap.

"By going to the opposite side of the circuit, I had an opportunity to do a long exposure of the car to create a sense of speed and purposely capture the sparks coming out of the back. Lance looks like he is driving at one million miles per hour and, after his strong weekend, this felt appropriate."

Shutter Speed: Qatar Grand Prix

Shot on a Canon EOS R5 with a Sigma 12-24mm lens

"In this shot, I wanted to create a sense of speed and show just how fast Formula One cars are. This is taken in the pitlane entry and, because the cars come close to the wall, provided a great opportunity to generate motion blur.

"When Sebastian was going by, I wanted to capture the helmet pin-sharp, and that created an explosion of colour around him, making this a dramatic shot."

Shutter Speed: Qatar Grand Prix

Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 50mm lens

"This shot was taken after the race and shows a mixture of sand, rubber and stone chips on the front wing. It's a lovely contrast to the first image, in which the nose is new, shiny and clean.

"This shows what the car goes through during a race. These cars are being raced hard, on the edge every single lap. At the start they look new, but at the end they’re battle-worn, and this is a nice illustration of that."

Thanks to Glenn Dunbar for sharing his passion and creative talents: #IAMCREATIVITY.

Discover more of Glenn’s photography on his Instagram: @glenn_dunbar.

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