Circuit Zandvoort - 25 photo locations and tips

If you visit the Zandvoort circuit it is useful to make a decision whether you want to take pictures on the outside (Dunes) of the circuit, or you go for the inside (Paddock). If you choose the paddock you'll also have the opportunity photographing the outside.

My opinion is that for a little extra money it is better to take pictures with paddock access. You get closer to the circuit, most of the time you can do a pitwalk, all teams are on the infield, you can meet drivers and do have more locations for variety.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 1 - Tarzanbocht

If you stand high on the end of the dune you can easily shoot over the fences. You can see the side of the car a little and certainly the back. When the DTM is racing you will probably see some flames and overtaking.

You can freeze the picture here and you can see no speed at all. 1/640 is therefore not strange setting if you only want to show the back of the car. But also panning is a possibility here for a little more action in your photos. Start here with 1/320 and customize it.

If you see a lot of sparks below and behind the cars, try 1/10 and see what happens.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 2 - Tarzanbocht

A beautiful location for the start of a race is this place in the Tarzanbocht. It is often busy, so be here on time and if there is already a lot of people, and you were on time, you can always ask nicely if you may make some photos at the start.

You are here dealing with a fence, you shoot through it or you need to bring a long staircase with you. The cars coming right at you, so try as much as possible to freeze the picture.

Do not go for too much zoom, so you only have asphalt and cars, but also show some of the surroundings. Think of the pitlane and grandstand. There is also a door with a camera man most of the time in front of it. If not, you have the possibility to take pictures here as well.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 3 - Tarzanbocht

If it's up to me the most beautiful place on the outside of the track to take pictures. There is a small place after the opening where the marshals can go on the track. This place is already known by many people, so you probably need to have a little patience. You can photograph here easily over the low fence and barbed wire has been put up here so you are really free.

You can take different pictures here. With enough zoom range you can see the cars at the beginning of the bend. The best part is in the middle, where you can freeze the front shot. Or just a little part after that, where panning is a possibility for a little more action (1/320).

If you are lucky there are two cars side by side, flying a pair into the gravel. At the start of a race it's always chaos here. Because of your low position here your pictures become even more beautiful.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 4 - Gerlachbocht

You can create beautiful pictures here of the back of the car. Next to the house of the marshals is a little space on the fence. The cars come with decent speed throughout, so freezing is highly recommended. Of course you can go for a close-up here, but there's a very small chance of success due to the speed. So go for a long shot here, and pay attention too the background. You can see the typical atmosphere of Zandvoort in your background like the dunes or the hotel.

You can also go to the other side, and if you're tall enough take pictures over the fence and beside the barbed wire. You see the cars steering into the Gerlachbocht and touching the high kerbstones. A high change of sparks around here with the DTM.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 5 - Slotemaker

This place looks a bit weird, and I don't know where to stand exactly every time. If you follow the sandpath through the dunes you see the bend of the national circuit on your right side. Walk down into the grass and take a look to your left where you can see the Slotemakerbocht.

You have to shoot over a fence of middle height, and you can see the cars but can't focus on them because of another high fence. You have to wait till they passed this, and then you have very space and time to create your photo. Probably not the best place on the circuit to take photos, but nice in case of variation.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 6 - Slotemakerbocht

A good point to show that you are on the circuit of Zandvoort is this point. The cars come from the Hunserug and accelerate towards the Slotemakerbocht. So look in depth to see if there are more cars driving together. You can play here with the focus / depth by the slope of the track. The cars come close to you and at a decent speed, so make sure you are fast, because a second later and they have disappeared into the Scheivlak.

Tens of meters further than spot 06 the cars going into the Scheivlak. Panning is easy because the fence is low, and if there's some barbed wire it's easy to photograph between it. It is still difficult to photograph the cars with their high speed, despite they brake for the bend. I recommend starting here with 1/250 and if that is easy, drop to 1/125. You can also create great speed in your photos because the bend is going down a little and there is a dune in the background with a guardrail.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 7 - Scheivlak

This looks so easy, but still I find it hard to take a good picture here. First I tried it with my 70-200, but I was short of zoom range and the cars looks terrible at my screen. A year later I tried it with my 100-400 and still it's not the sharp picture I want.

You see the cars on top of the Slotemakerbocht coming straight at you diving into the Scheivlak. From the top they steering into the bend and it's going down. In my opinion the best shot is at the top, because you have the grand stand in the background and you want to show where you are.

You can use the small fence as a tripod, and you can freeze the photos here. But keep in mind, it's no so easy as it looks like.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 8 - Scheivlak straight

Take your walking shoes because this is the highest point of the circuit. The view is beautiful from here, and you can see the cars steering into the Scheivlak and accelerate to the Mastersbocht. Also you can see a part of the circuit between turn 9 and turn 10 and the straight to the Hans Ernst bocht.

There is a small part of the fence where the wire is constructed. Go to this part because you can do two things now. The first is to take photos of the cars on the kerbstones in the Scheivlak bend. If you do this, don't freeze the picture.

The second is panning the cars on the kerbstones below you. If the sun is right, you can see the drivers perfectly and the red/white kerbstones underneath the car looks great.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 9 - Mastersbocht

If you take a look at the map, you see the small sandpath isn't close to the circuit at this point. But there is a second path, wich isn't on the map. If you take the lowest path there is a small place where you can see the cars coming straight at you. The picture is not super spectacular, but you can give it a try.

I do like the photos from the part I selected as point 9 at the map. There are some huge kerbstones on the inside of the mastersbocht, and almost every car is going over them. This looks amazing, and if you have enough zoom range you can take pictures here. I think you need at least 400mm at this point, but I succeed many times with 200mm.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 10 - Bocht 9

Turn 9 (bocht 9 in Dutch) is formerly known as the Renaultbocht. At this point you go to the entrance gate for the rescue car. It's impossible to see the cars, because of the dune at your right side, but you can hear them comming. Put your focus points as low as possible, so you can show the surroundings of Zandvoort with the dunes. Sit down as low as possible and put your camera through the gate.

Try to wait for a group of cars, and focus on the last one. You see the other cars disapear in the background for turn 10 and you have a beautiful shot. And maybe you are lucky and have a huge crash in front of you.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 11 - Bocht 9

As with all bends, turn 9 should have an ideal line as well. However you see every driver during the race taking another line here. It happens quite often that a car is braking too late, resulting in considerable smoke and blocking tires. The part behind the fences here is easily accessible, and you can shoot over the gates as you can stand on the dunes as high as you want.

Low and just over the fence produces the best results. If you go a little bit further on the dune you can also panning the little straight for action / speed photos.

The only thing you have to keep in mind (like every corner) is the sun. But here the sun is crucial almost every time of day.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 12 - Vodafone bocht

Walk from spot 11 along the fence to come to spot 12 on the map. The fence here is very low, and there is even a very large hole at the end. You can easily shoot through here, and if you're tall it's easy to shoot over the fence.

The background here is different for each event in terms of advertising, so your pictures will often look different. The cars come (depending on the race class) with a decent speed out of the corner. Because of a dune you see them very late.

It's easy panning here, and a setting of 1/320 will be found soon as too slow.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 13 - Hans Ernst bocht

Although this bend is better to photograph from the inside of the track, you can make nice pictures from the outside as well.

There is a long straight after turn 10, and most cars are at full speed before they brake here. The best line for this bend is below you, but there's also a large fence. So you have to wait until they are in the Hans Ernst bocht and you can freeze your pictures and shoot the cars from the back.

After the Tarzanbocht you can find most of the overtake actions here. Chance of catching pictures, action photos, blocking wheels, collisions and into the gravel is always a possibility here.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 14 - Hans Ernst bocht

Do not walk into the dunes, but keep walking down along the fence until you almost at the track. The fence is low, and you can easily go with your lens between the barbed wire. The best spot is probably at the gate for the marshalls, but you have to keep this free. So just next to it, and use a dirt container where you can climb on.

The cars come from the Hans Ernst bocht (formerly Audi S), and are not at full speed. You can easily try panning (1/320) and you get them diagonally from the front in your photos. For the larger events, there is a stand on the inside of the circuit. This stand with people gives a nice atmosphere to your pictures!

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 15 - Kumhobocht

It is very difficult at this point to make beautiful pictures. The only thing you can do here is shooting the cars from the rear when they fully drive over the kerbstones. The colors of the kerbs make sure that your photos are still worth watching. If you turn the picture a bit it seems like you are being drawn into the picture.

Do not freeze your photos, but still use a setting like 1/320 or something like that. It's not only the back of the car, but also a part of the side that you will see. And it looks weird if the tires are frozen.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 16 - Kumhobocht

This is a perfect overview shot, with the grand stand and the control tower in the background. Put your focus points as low as possible. You see the cars leaving the Hans Ernst bocht and accelerate on the straight to the Kumhobocht. In the first rounds when the field is together you have a lot of cars.

You have to wait until the first car is almost at the Kumhobocht. Freeze the picture because it's hard to see the tires. If you do it right, this picture really shows your at the circuit of Zandvoort.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 17 - Arie Luyendijk bocht

If you gonna stand between the Kumhobocht and Arie Luyendijk bocht the fence is only one meter tall. You can use this as a tripod to shoot pretty sharp pictures. The cars arrive at high speed out of the Kumhobocht and drive on the kerbstones and go to the other side of the track to use the kerbstones there. It happens frequently that the cars going into the gravel here. Use the speed of the cars in your photos. You can choose to shoot some zoom pictures, but also an overview of this section of the track is excellent here.

There isn't a best spot along the fence here, but the place I use most is as close as possible to the small house with the marshalls.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 18 - Arie Luyendijk bocht

The last point on the outside of Circuit Zandvoort is the end of the Arie Luyendijk bocht where the cars drive on to the straight. It is not always easy to make nice sharp pictures here so take your time. It also helps to have at least 200mm zoom here.

You can shoot through the gate that is used for the cars to go to the track. Lie down on the asphalt, and use the bottom edge of the gate as a tripod. You now have a pretty low point, and you just need to decide what you want to see in your picture.

It is best to freeze the photos as you can not see any tires. You can get the heat behind the cars in the picture which is looking great.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 19 - Hunserug

Making a beautiful atmospheric photo full of speed you do in this place. You see the cars very late, so some experience with panning is certainly useful. Take the car in your viewfinder with the grand stand in the background and you have a very nice picture. A few meters later you have high advertising signs in the background. Some people find this annoying, I however, think they have something (if not blue taped) special. These billboards give color to your photo, and can help you create speed in your photos. It should certainly be possible to use 1/60 as a setting.

Walk a few steps to the other side of spot 19, and you have the straight before braking of the Hans Ernst bocht. From the inside you have absolutely no problems with the low fence, and you have all the space panning your shots. During the DTM you see large flames behind and beside the car when they are downshifting, which is always good to have on the picture.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 20 - Hans Ernst bocht

In most cases, the advertising signs are not present on the inside of the Hans Ernst bocht. The only thing you encounter is a fence with some big holes that easily fit through a lens. The cars are really a few meters along and through the low position it seems like you're very close to them.

Also there's always something going on in the Hans Ernst bocht. Tires coming of the ground by violently driving over the kerbstones or someone disappears in the gravel. Do not freeze your photos, start with 1/400 here and if you succeed try lower shutter speed.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 21 - Hans Ernst bocht

This is one of my favorite places on the circuit of Zandvoort. Especially with an event like the DTM. The cars accelerate to the Kumhobocht, and driving wide on to the kerbstones. The big red white areas with a car on it and some dust on the side makes this a spectacular place.

There must be something wrong with this place. Actually no, it is rare that I do not make nice pictures here. The only problem can be marshalls waving flags and stand in front of you.

I always take two different shots here, the first is a zoom shot of the cars on the kerbstones, the second is an overview shot with the Kumhobocht in the background.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 22 - Kumhobocht

You have to walk al little bit coming here, since there is only one entrance to the area of the Kumhobocht and the Arie Luyendijk bocht. Once in the area at the Kumhobocht you have to walk down along the fence. This is only one meter high so it should be no problem.

Panning the cars here is beautiful when they enter the bend at full speed. You can do this at the start of the curve with the pond in the background, or halfway through the curve with the gravel in the background. Good results with 1/250 are easy to accomplish. Start with this and if you succeed lower your shutter speed.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 23 - Arie Luyendijk bocht

Just as spot 22 you have to walk a little for this place. You've got quite bothered by the fences, and photograph through it is not really an option. The only way to get good pictures is stand as high as possible and try to photograph over the fences. Even this is hard, so if you're not that tall or have a small staircase with you, skip this place.

If you succeed be shooting over the fence then you should keep in mind that there are chances that a piece of guardrail will be into your picture, often a lot in front of the car. Some people like this kind of photos. I personally would spend my time somewhere else.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 24 - Hugenholtz / straight

This narrow portion of the circuit is the connection between the boxes and the infield. There is a chance that you will be expelled. However, experience shows that you if you just ask nicely if you may take some photos and where you should stand, there is no problem. If you do, you can take beautiful pictures from the back of the cars as they rise Hunserug, and on the other side, if they drive into the pitlane. Got a little more freedom? You can even panning some nice photos on the straight with the glass wall in the background.

A super cool point on the circuit to make photos is where the cars coming at you from the Gerlachbocht. However, the organization knows this too, and covered everything with green cloth so that people can't see anything. You see a cameraman filming here through a big hole, and doing not much more than hold his camera straight to the Gerlachbocht. To his right is enough space from the walkway to take pictures (you can not stand next to him) through the hole as the cars coming towards you.

 Circuit Zandvoort tip 25 - Tarzanbocht

Here you can enjoy panning the cars, but you probably suffer from the fence. There is usually a trailer here, use this as a staircase to photograph above the fence. Start here with 1/320 and see whether you have mastered it. If this setting is not a problem, you can always lower your shutter speed.

But there can also be a problem here. With the larger events this area is also the place for a restaurant or merchandise shops. There is no trailer and it's almost impossible to take good photos here.