Tip 1: Grandstand Barcelona-Catalunya

If you’re at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit, then you should definitely visit the beautiful grandstand. You should not go to the bottom ring, but to the top. You have several options from this place to photograph. You can focus on the pit boxes, where you can create stunning close-ups of the drivers in their cars if you have enough zoom range. The teams are practicing pit stops during the wintertests regularly, of which you can make great photos.

Speed pictures are perfectly possible as well, and a 70-200 lens is more than enough to accomplish this. Close-up pictures you can freeze easily.

The difficult part here is the sun. If you go in the early morning the sun is behind the big grandstand, and the pitboxes are dark with a ray of light in front of it. Probably the best time is right after the lunch break. The sun is shines into the boxes and a lot of teams do there first runs.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 1 Grandstand

Tip 2: Curva Elf Barcelona-Catalunya

The last stand on the straight allows you to take beautiful pictures from the back or close-ups of the cars coming out of the pit lane. It is important to stay on the top stand otherwise the fences are a problem. Also the fences can give you troubles with your auto-focus because the cars drive straight under them. At the last moment they steer into the first corner, where you make the picture of the car just from behind.

Make sure the car is not completely frozen in your picture, unless you want a close-up of drivers helmet and steering action into the corner. If you do it right, you can read the data on the steering wheel.

The cars have so much speed that you need a setting of 1/400 and still keep enough speed to take sharp pictures.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 2 Curva Elf

Tip 3: Curvone Renault Barcelona-Catalunya

The distance of this corner to the place where you can stand is quite big. The examples are made with a 70-200 lens, slightly more zoom would be better here. Also, the use of a monopod is recommended here.

You can stand in different places but you get the best shots when you walk into the Abolafio direction as far as possible.

The cars do not brake for this bend, so the speed is high. The possibility for panning the cars is available here.

Start with 1/320 but probably you notice very quickly that you can go lower. Because you have a lot of space you can practice your panning skills here as well, so try a setting of 1/30 for great photos with amazing speed.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 3 Curvone Renault

Tip 4: Curvone Renault straight Barcelona-Catalunya

The Renault bend is a very long corner, which gives you a great place to photograph if you’re going to the end. There’s a short piece of asphalt towards the Repsol corner. Use the green strip in the front to capture the reflection of the cars in the rain. But your in Barcelona so the change of rain is little.

It’s possible to see the cars coming at you from the beginning of the corner, so position yourself and keep the focus of your camera on the car if you want to pull a picture with a lot of speed.

You can also freeze the picture if you want to make a close up of the drivers helmet. You will see them from the side, with the tires a little bit in front of them. If you’re able to pull photos you start again with 1/320 and for a close-up 1/640. If you’re going higher with the settings you got all frozen tires.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 4 Curvone Renault

Tip 5: Repsol Barcelona-Catalunya

Repsol is one of the famous corners at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. In terms of photography, it’s not a fun bend. You’re standing too high if you want to shoot over the fences and you should have a good zoom range.

The only option that remains is to photograph through the fences. Walk down to the gates and find an angle where you be able to turn a little with your camera and don’t see the concrete wall on the left in your photos.

After the little straight the cars have a lot of speed. You can’t see them, so you have to focus and wait for the right moment when they appear after the small hill. You can play with the brick wall in the background. Due to the limited opportunities I would not go much lower than 1/400 here.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 5 Repsol

Tip 6: Bridge to curva Seat (outside) Barcelona-Catalunya

If you want to come to the infield you can use the bridge here. Obviously, it’s not possible to photograph here because this is hermetically sealed. You can however take pictures at the start of the bridge.

The cars are driving slowly here as they come from the Seat corner and accelerate on their way to turn 7.

The background that you get here is not very inspiring, you only see a lot of gravel. For the variation of your series it’s useful, then quickly run to the other side of the bridge.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 6 Bridge Outside

Tip 7: Bridge to curva Seat (inside) Barcelona-Catalunya

If you’re over the bridge you have many more opportunities to make a decent picture. You have the kerbs in front of the car, grass in the background and you have more space to photograph at this point.

There is a short distance between you and the cars, as they drive below you. You dont need a lot of zoom here.

A picnic table was also present below the bridge, but in recent years this was not always present. Use this by stepping on. Now it’s possible to take pictures over the fences and you can focus on the car from the moment they plunge into Seat corner.

You have all the possibilities to make panning pictures here, but this point is also perfect for a close-up. Appropriate setting is 1/320 or 1/250 to start with.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 7 Bridge Inside

Tip 8: Curva Seat Barcelona-Catalunya

This is a beautiful spot on the circuit to make some photos. You see the cars coming from the Repsol corner and slowing down for the Seat corner. However, this is also a very difficult spot in case of high fences. If you’re very tall (like myself) you can try to stand on your toes. If you do this, go to the gate in front of the big grandstand behind you at the end of the tarmac. If you’re big enough you can take photos of the cars steering left.

There are also 1 or 2 containers. You can climb on them, but be careful, these are very unstable!!! The advantage is you can see more of the corner and you can increase some speed in your photos.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 8 Curva Seat

Tip 9: Curva Elf / Abolafio Barcelona-Catalunya

The first corner at the Spanish track is immediately followed by the second, called Abolafio. The left turn also rises slightly, so you can play with this beautiful in terms of photography. From this point it’s great to photograph this corner.

Walk towards the stands build at the top of the hill until you see the fences on your left next to the path. From this point you’ll take the photos, and you can see all the cars arrive on the straight.

The distance seems closer than it is in reality. So do not start right away with low shutter speed, but start with 1/640 and work towards faster shutter speed of 1/320.

After you done this you can walk to the grass with the wooden beams. The fences are below you and the cars come straight to you. Try the settings as above.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 9 Abolafio

Tip 10: Curva Abolafio Barcelona-Catalunya

This piece between the 1st and 2nd bend is ideal to create a lot of speed in your photos. You can stand on the large wooden beams that serve as natural stand. Do not go too low, or you will see a fence in the bottom of all your pictures.

In case of panning photos this is not the best place on the circuit, but you can use it to create variation.

The cars braking pretty hard before the first corner, so they don’t drive that fast. However, never underestimate the acceleration of a Formula 1 car or MotoGP bike, so start with a setting of 1/320 and work with good results at 1/150 or even lower.

The background is very boring, you only see kerbstones and artificial turf. Last years there are also big yellow and black thresholds.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 10 Abolafio

Tip 11: Pit exit / breaking turn 1 Barcelona-Catalunya

During the winter test Formula 1 it happens frequently that just a few cars are on the track. This point is particularly suitable, since you can shoot two points in the same round.

The cars arrive with high speed on the straight, and brake a little later for the first bend called Elf. So you have the chance of getting a glowing disc or blocking wheels with smoke in the picture. You’re practically on the track so close, and have enough space to follow the cars and create a lot of speed in your photos.

You can go for close-ups, speed, and wide-angle shots with the stand in the background. So plenty of opportunities.

If the car is gone you have just enough time to walk to the other side, because the car passes again at that point on it’s way to turn 7. Here you have the possibility to photograph the car from the rear.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 11 Curva Elf

Tip 12: Straight to turn 7 Barcelona-Catalunya

From the footpath you can walk down until you reach the fence. This is just one feet high, so you can just shoot your photos here. You can take pictures here of the cars as they arrive, or diagonally from behind as they steer into turn 7. The distance to the track is easy to do with a 70-200 lens. If you have fewer millimeters I would skip this place.

But this is just if you want to take photos of the straight between the Seat bend and turn 7, there is a better part.

You can see the main straight from here as well, with the typical stands of the Barcelona circuit. If you take photos it’s also important to show where you are. Use this stands with the car in front and create a lot of speed in your photos.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 12 Turn7

Tip 13: Turn 8 (Placo-Saint Gobain) Barcelona-Catalunya

Beautiful but difficult to photograph is turn 8 (Placo-Saint Gobain). The small nod ensures that almost all cars riding over the wide kerbstones and artificial grass.

These examples are made with a 100-400 lens. In the past I took photos with a 70-200, wich is also possible but very hard to get sharp photos of the cars. In short, take care of a large zoom range and you shoot brilliant pictures here.

Do you have less range, then keep in mind you get grainy photos and much gravel on your pictures. When the cars leaving the bend it’s easier to photograph them, but you won’t see the characteristic of this kink and the gravel will be present in the background.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 13 Saint Gobain

Tip 14: Campsa Barcelona-Catalunya

From this point it’s possible to take pictures of the famous corner Campsa, where you can capture the cars from the back as they steering into the corner.

You are standing on a grass hill and have to take pictures over a big fence, so you have a limited workspace. Great shots for the variety of your set, and you can’t leave the circuit without a photo of Campsa.

Because of the small angle to photograph I would personally not go lower than 1/400. It’s no problem to follow the cars because you can see them arrive from turn 7, but they drive in front of the fences the whole time and you only have a little time to autofocus.

In the past you could also visit the grandstand here. Wide angle shots of the cars on the straight to La Caixa with the beautiful surroundings of Montmeló in the background you could make here.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 14 Campsa

Tip 15: Curva Campsa Barcelona-Catalunya

The stand at Campsa is usually not accessible during the test days, so use the grass next to it. Walk as far down as possible, bringing you closer to the runway. Please keep in mind that going to low means you see the fence in your photos.

You can shoot the cars as they go through the Campsa corner, and you can freeze your pictures as the nose of the car comes right to you and you see little of the speed in the tires.

You can also choose to wait until the cars are on their way to La Caixa, which you can use for a lot of speed in your photos. If you are not zooming to many, you get the characteristic landscape of Montmelo in the background of your photos. You can even wait a little bit longer so the grandstand is visible. In short, lots of options and an absolute must to take pictures.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 15 Campsa

Tip 16: Curva Banc Sabadell Barcelona-Catalunya

To create stunning photos of this bend you go to the stand which is built around this bend. This stand is free accessible during the winter test Formula 1.

Stand on the chairs of row 3 or 4 (depending on your length) to photograph above the fences. You can also stand on the grass hill at the end of the bend if your tall enough. If you have 300mm or more you have the ability to capture the cars as they drive along the recognizable logo of circuit de Catalunya. The huge red-painted asphalt with white logo gives a fantastic atmosphere in your picture and clearly shows where you are.

Do you have less range I would not focus on this, and concentrate on the bend Banc Sabadell itself. There are several lines driven here. Some stay inside, which is better for the photo. If the car stays on the outside for a long time, wait as long as possible until the car goes in, otherwise you just see asphalt in the picture with a gravel background. A starting setting of 1/320 is good to do.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 16 Sabadell

Tip 17: Curva Europcar Barcelona-Catalunya

Walk to the end of the stand to photograph the cars from the back. You have to deal with the fence where the cars drive behind so you have limited space to create a free shot. If you walk halfway the stairs and stay here you’ll easily shoot above the fence and you can make just a few pictures as the cars steering into the corner and driving towards the RACC chicane.

You can already see the cars drive up from La Caixa so enough time to follow it through your viewfinder. Because they are behind the fence for a long time it can be difficult to get good focus on the cars. Focus on the kerbs and follow the car from there back to the kerbs. Then press the shutter button on your camera.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 17 Europcar

Tip 18: Chicane RACC Barcelona-Catalunya

For spectators it’s not easier the last years to take photos in this chicane, which previously was absolutely the most beautiful place of the track.

In the past you could walk over the hill of grass and shoot over the fences, or even better, standing down against the fences and shooting through it with a nice low position. You stood just a few meters from the runway. Nowadays they have placed fences at the pedestrian walkway with canvases, so you can see nothing.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 18 Racc Chicane

In order to take pictures, you can turn one of the many waste containers against the fences. Climb it and you’ll have plenty of space to take a great picture. However, there will be a change that you be sent off.

You can also sit at the end of the stand between Europcar and RACC, but then you have the cars only from the side and they are not pretty straight at you.

NOTE: In 2017 during the test they removed the fences and you could walk down.

Curva New Holland Barcelona Sebastian Vettel

Tip 19: Curva New Holland Barcelona-Catalunya

New Holland is the last bend before the cars return to the main straight of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Also here is the entrance to the pit lane, so you have a lot of red and white kerbstones. This stand is free accessible during the winter test Formula 1.

You have a couple of options here to take photos. The first one is a wide angle shot with the car on the main straight. You’ll see the typical pillar with time observation, the main tribune and the pit building.

The second option is with the car in front of you on the kerbs, leaving the Racc chicane. This looks easy, but is a difficult photo to create.

The third and last option is to try panning the cars. There is a white wall to seperate the track and pit lane so the background is not that beautiful.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 19 New Holland

Tip 20: Curva New Holland / straight Barcelona-Catalunya

There is a small hill at the end of the grand stand. If you stand on this hill you are above the fence next to the main straight (if you’re a bit tall at least). Now it should be easy for some panning of the cars leaving New Holland. But unfortunately this is not the case! The cars are accelerating here for the main straight, and the difference of speed makes this a difficult point to take photos.

You could also walk into the New Holland direction, and put your camera against the fence and try to capture the moment from that angle. However, this is also very difficult in case of increasing speed of the cars. If you succeed you have some great shots.

Map Circuit Barcelona Photo Location 20 New Holland

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