Why does it take me half an hour to change a tire when these guys can change four in under five seconds?

Honestly. These guys changed all four tires in something like 4.5 seconds. 
They'd have made great photographic assistants back in the days when 
Hasselblads mostly shot twelve exposure rolls and we needed to change film
quickly. I'm going to guess the budget was a bit bigger yesterday than
my typical budget for assistants back in the 1990's. 

At the F1 track in Austin, Texas 
Race Day 2014.


  1. According to some sources, the three biggest F1 teams each have budgets in the neighborhood of $300+ million a year; there is much talk about reducing max budgets to a more real-world $200 mill/year (!!!!). Great set of shots, Kirk.

  2. Pretty cool stuff. But, 4.5 seconds would be a disaster. Red Bull and Mercedes routinely change all four in 2.6-3 seconds.

  3. Anonymous #2. Hmmm. Nice literal reply. The underlying idea is that it was quicker than I could have done it by factors of hundreds. Fun to photograph.

  4. I was wondering if you went to the race when I was watching last night. Were you an accredited photographer or fan in the stands? Maybe even paddock club based on the pics. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and look forward to your comments on the Pana 7-14 and LX100.

  5. You could do it quicker, you just need to be in 19 bodies at once.

  6. I was at the race track Saturday and Sunday. We were in the Paddock Club. I was working as a major company's "corporate historian" and had a badge to shoot anywhere but on the track or pit. My client had more of an interest in the social component and was not a car sponsor so could not use logo'ed car images in any meaningful way. I concentrated on the client's guests and on the amazing food and hospitality. The race is better on a series of big TV monitors (some 4K) with occasional forays out onto the balcony seating to experience the noise and speed on the straightaway. After a four day gig I am no closer to understanding the charm of car racing. Either Nascar or F1...

  7. Thanks for the description. I missed your earlier post that described it very well. I saw a couple of races at Hockenheim and here in Budapest. Seeing it live was unforgettable and it was possible to get very good shots from the stands especially on Friday when the place is typically empty. I still remember the goosebumps when I first heard those engines. With the turbo engines this year, there have been many complaints about the sound not being the same. As far as photography goes, I fall into the amateur with too much money category (or used to). Now I have a family and responsibility and 'only' have my D3 left with the three 2.8 zooms. Unable to decide whether mirrorless is the answer or not. I'm mainly shooting landscapes. Budapest is ful of columns you'd probably enjoy shooting. I have a niece and nephew at UT. I think one of them discovered the graffiti park. Let me say again that t's great to read your blog . . time commitment and all.

  8. Overheard in the pit: 'Why does it take me half an hour to change a lens when this guy can change four in under five seconds?'

  9. or you can look fast by outfitting your crew with stylish F1 jumpsuits with a team VSL logo

  10. I think you only need a team of 6 assistants for efficient Hassleblad film loading.

    It's all in the teamwork;

    Assistant #1 to open the back and remove the carrier
    Assistant #2 to remove old spool
    Assistant #3 to move takeup spool
    Assistant #4 to insert new spool
    Assistant #1 to turn film holder key to open clamp
    Assistant #5 to feed the backing paper
    Assistant #6 to poke edge under the film clamp
    Assistant #3 to insert leader into takeup spool
    Assistant #4 to line up the arrows
    Assistant #1 to place carrier into back & turn film holder key to lock
    Assistant #4 to spin the crank to frame 1

    In leaner times you can let assistant #6 go

  11. It's because you insist on keeping the same rims. Not to mention 20 bolts versus 4 and 1 guy instead of 10.
    You have a nice hometown race!

  12. I would willingly pay an extra ten bucks for a tyre change if they did it in under a minute while I'm in the car.

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. Please don't write in defense of car racing or the importance of one second in tire changing. It's not a topic we're going to dive into with gusto and you'll probably see your snarky comment about my attendance at the "sporting" event fly into the void...

  15. Love being able to moderate comments. Especially those of snarkoid maniacs.


Comments. If you disagree do so civilly. Be nice or see your comments fly into the void. Anonymous posters are not given special privileges or dispensation. If technology alone requires you to be anonymous your comments will likely pass through moderation if you "sign" them. A new note: Don't tell me how to write or how to blog!