One Moment, One Chance, Catharsis: The Art of Motorsport Photography

In the pulsating world of motorsport, every second counts, every turn holds a story, and every frame captures the essence of speed, skill, and spectacle. As motorsport photographers, we are tasked with freezing these moments in time, immortalizing the adrenaline-fueled excitement and the raw emotions that define this exhilarating discipline.
What characterizes our field? Essentially, the fact that it encompasses everything! As motorsport photographers, we specialize in sports, automotive, landscape, product, portrait, and reportage photography—a full spectrum of expertise.

The Challenge of Man and Equipment

I don’t hide that this is a challenge for both man and equipment. The latter must perform exceptionally in all areas. Essentially, I’ve always been with Sony, even before it was Sony. My serious adventure with photography began with Minolta, of which Sony is the heir. I resonate with the philosophy of this Japanese manufacturer. Amazing technology, unlimited configurability, make Sony the provider of the flexibility level I value. The truth is, I experimented with other gear; some manufacturers even approached me directly regarding collaboration. I got to know micro 4/3, APS-C sensors, and various other approaches to equipment. Yes! Each manufacturer offers something where their cameras excel, but… Well, I come back to the fact that motorsport is everything, that a camera cannot be excellent only in one area. It must excel in every aspect.

Imagine a situation where a car is traveling at 300 km/h, it’s covering over 80 meters in 1 second! How much time do you have to react? How much time to prepare? How much time to contemplate? How much time to control the camera? This is my own catharsis. It’s the moment when I disconnect from the world, the mind is clear, everything happens automatically. I just feel the composition, the moment. The camera cannot fail me because there won’t be a second chance. It’s not a studio. The Sony a1 and its amazing autofocus just work. No guessing.

I feel a big difference in the body-lens cooperation. Currently, I only use Sony lenses. What made me make this decision? It’s not just about image quality, there are other manufacturers whose glass produces brilliant images,but their autofocus isn’t as precise, and I noticed that the sensor stabilization doesn’t perform as well.

My daily lenses are practically only GM. The holy trinity: 16-35GM2, 24-70GM2, 70-200GM2, primes: 50 1.2GM, 85 1.4GM. The only exception is the 200-600 5.6-6.5G, which is not part of the GM series, but it should be. It’s brilliant glass! Sharp, precise, solidly built, and lightweight. Sometimes there’s a lack of light, but you can manage it.

The Importance of Gear

Surely, one could approach photography in motorsport with compromise, but there is a certain level that cannot be exceeded. Every factor matters. The human is the most important component, but not the only one. Without tools, it won’t work. A photographer must have the best bodies, lenses, heck! Even a computer or a phone, which often serves me for editing and sending photos directly from the track. It may sound controversial because the saying “gear doesn’t matter” has become accepted, but it’s not like that. “Gear matters.” Yes, you can take exceptional photos with practically anything, but it won’t be repeatable, it won’t help you take and deliver photos from the race, the award ceremony, the paddock. It won’t make the task easier in pouring rain or harsh sunlight. When you start combining the passion of photography with a source of income, start getting used to the idea that you need a partner who will give you technology. Technology that will merge your approach to art with freedom and flexibility. And for years, that’s exactly what Sony has given me.

The Moment of Catharsis

In the chaos and excitement of the race, there exists a moment of clarity—a moment of catharsis. It’s the moment when the world fades away, and all that matters is the composition, the moment. With the Sony a1 and its remarkable autofocus, I can trust that my camera will capture every split-second of the action with precision and clarity. It’s a feeling like no other—a rush of adrenaline and creativity that fuels my passion for motorsport photography. During the shot, nothing else matters, my instincts take over, and it all works together automatically. 


In the world of motorsport photography, every moment is an opportunity, every shot a chance to tell a story. It’s a journey of passion, creativity, and relentless pursuit of perfection—a journey that I am grateful to undertake with Sony by my side. With the right equipment, the right mindset, and a whole lot of determination, there’s no limit to what we can achieve behind the lens. And when I look at the photos I’ve taken, I feel a sense of pride and joy, knowing that I’ve captured moments that will last a lifetime.

Mika Pietrus, Sony Professional Photographer and the creative mind behind Era Media, Era Motorsport team photographer. With a niche in motorsport photography, Mika’s expertise shines in the fast-paced world of racing. From the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona to various global events, Mika’s lens tells the captivating story of motorsport with finesse and precision.

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