I am farther up the M1 now than hitherto, so the journey to Chichester for the Good Festival of Speed this year means a very early start if I am to arrive early enough to take a wander amongst some of the Super Cars before climbing the hill to reach the Forest Section and to watch the cars navigate the Rally circuit, so I had set the alarm for four-thirty before heading for bed on Friday night. I had also showered and shaved beforehand so that I could allow just half-an-hour to be ready from bed to car fully-packed. Unlike many of these trips I knew I faced inclement weather, so packing was more comprehensive with a complete change of clothing and a towel in case I was so soaked as to need a complete change before getting back in the car for the journey back.
I had company for my day this year, my son-in-law Tim who lives near Aylesbury, so my trip to him was familiar but from Westcott to the M25 was not. I made good time to reach him, but Lizzy and Tim had not had the best of nights with their two children and they had been up since five, so he had had a short night and was still in the shower upon my arrival, so I settled down with my second cup of tea of the day to wait patiently. It was not long before we were on our way and having company means the journey never seems so long. We made good time till we reached Midhurst, but as we neared Goodwood the journey slowed to a crawl, which we eventually learned was due to an accident, which also meant we had to be diverted through one car park to reach our designated one, so the day’s programme was well under way by the time we arrived near the House where we met further congestion due to Guests trying to get Courtesy vehicles along some of the pedestrian routes.
Our plans changed from a visit to the Super Car Paddock to heading straight to the Forest section, as we wanted to get up the hill as soon as possible, it proved to be a good move as we got to see some rally action before the rain slowed that up, and it also meant the trees saved us from at least some of the rain! Our journey down had been without rain, but our day would be a mixture of sunshine and showers, and the climb up the hill was sticky due to the heat and humidity. The track has changed over time and so we found we needed the programme’s map, but the print was very fine so we explored rather than navigated!
Most of the visitors to this area now seem to be those with cameras, so first choice was always a compromise as we waited for the earlier arrivals to get their fill of actions before we could use the best standpoints, then we would move on, and so the routine would continue as each group moved on to the next area. Naturally, the moving slowed when one arrived at the jump, however the rain did limit the level of action, because it became difficult to navigate some of the corners at all due to the treacherous conditions once the rain set in.
I had made a conscious decision to attempt the photography almost exclusively with primes rather than zooms, so had researched past metadata in Lightroom from previous visits to Goodwood. I took note of what distance I had focussed upon when using my 70-200mm on my 7D MkII and whether or not I had cropped the images. I concluded that I could operate very satisfactorily using my 5D MkIII with my 85mm f/1.4 when shooting in the Forest Rally section. I knew from past experience I would need a very wide lens for the installation at the front of Goodwood House, but had not reckoned on just how wide and high this year’s feature would turn out to be! Even my 12-24 was too long!
However my 85mm and 100mm Macro proved to be absolutely correct for the areas where I had expected to use them, so being able to access the metadata from my use of zooms in the past was excellent to decide which primes would be ideal, and now I can further hone this knowledge when I look at what cropping was necessary when my choice was too short. Certainly the margin of quality meant on this occasion I didn’t really suffer due to my choice of specific primes. It also meant Tim had a choice too, so I hope he got shots he was pleased with the lenses I brought along. Neither of my two long lenses ever came out of the car – as the Red Arrows flew over and then presumably went on to their next venue as our cloud cover was both almost complete and had a very low ceiling!
Tim and I really enjoyed the day, and I really enjoyed having company on the journey down and back, it makes such a difference. Our journey back was uneventful and remarkably clear, traffic-wise.