/Life through the lens

Life through the lens

James Harrison caught up with MotoGP photographer Cormac Ryan Meenan and put to him a number of questions of just what it takes to be a sports photographer within the pinnacle motorbike series.

JH:

First of all, very important to some, what camera do you use?

CRM:

I use a Canon EOS 1D Mark iii

JH:

Does being a photographer in this sport mean you have to get up extremely early to skip all the race track traffic?

CRM:

Not really, you’ve just got to make sure you get in on time! Usually I get up at about 7am, but yeah Sunday it’s usually half an hour earlier. That day we’ll skip breakfast and go straight to the track. It can be 6am sometimes!

JH:

When and how do you decide where you’re going to snap your photos?

CRM:

Well a lot of the time it’s 10 minutes before, honestly if you feel like going far away and motivated, that’s usually Friday! As the weekend goes on you tend to get closer and closer, and a bit lazier! As for actually photographing the race, I like to get the start. After that, I’m not too bothered.

JH:

What are your means of transport at the track? Or do you mostly walk?

CRM:

I do have the option to use a scooter, but I like to walk. If you’re on a scooter, you’ll plan in your head to go from A to B. And you’ll go from A to B,¬† but you’ll miss the space between the two. But if you walk your always at a place where you can work, see more, you can look around, instead of just going from point to point. Although it’s much more tiring!

JH:

What’s your favourite part of the day?

CRM:

Going to bed! It is! Haha, well you grow up watching the sport on TV, maybe travel to one race in a year. But now, to see it week in week out,¬† it’s really easy to get used to it. You’re not grateful¬† for what you’re looking at, where you are, or the access you have. It’s just cool to watch the best in the world racing.

JH:

What’s the worst part of your day?

CRM:

Getting up! The long days, it’s a 16 hour day, but it’s 16 full hours, you’re not just wondering around! And the thing with airports, I used to moan about them too, but it takes more effort to moan about it.

JH:

Are you doing exactly what you want right now? Or could it get even better.

CRM:

Yeah they could pay me more! Haha, but no it is pretty good because when I’m not here I’m riding bikes at home, which is pretty good! But you’re not going to get rich doing this, you’ve got to make that conscious choice wether or not you want that lifestyle involving fancy expensive stuff, if so it’s not where you want to be. However if you want a lifestyle doing what you like, love and enjoy then it’s just great. Still, they could pay me more!