Behind the lens: The unseen side of our debut season

Behind the lens: The unseen side of our debut season

November 23, 2022
International GT Open

As Theeba Motorsport’s lead Content Creator, Ed Surtees is the backbone of our creative team and in 2022, chased the International GT Open across the world.

With an eye for an image and a visionary approach to video production, Ed is behind the camera every race weekend, working hard to capture our every moment.

One month on since the conclusion of our breakout debut campaign, Ed relives the season from his perspective, and, using his favourite shots, tells our story from behind the lens.

A New Era – Circuit Paul Ricard, 19 May 2022
“This was taken on Thursday evening at our first race as a team. We arrived at the track and there was this beautiful sunset falling over Paul Ricard. It was a very poignant moment, because the sun was setting on the start of a new era for Theeba, for Reema and for myself. At the bottom of the image, you can see Laura [Marchant], our Team Manager, handing Reema some documents to sign to essentially enter us into our first race and that was a historic moment. I love the silhouettes, you can see the track in the background, you can see the document in front, and I think this image captures that moment perfectly.”
Theeba Motorsport – Circuit Paul Ricard, France, 20 May 2022
“Paul Ricard was one of my favourite places to shoot because we had such great sunlight. Getting the exposure right in this image really allowed me to capture the contrast between the shadows and the correctly exposed bright areas. This was our first practice session as a team, and I managed to capture almost every team member in the shot. With the wide framing and the negative space in the top and bottom of the frame, it creates a cinematic letterbox feel and I like that it frames everything in a central way. In the editing process, I’ve added a lot of grain in the sky which really gives it a vintage look and feel and underlines another historic moment”
Into the Abyss – Circuit Paul Ricard, France, 21 May 2022
“This is from our first race and it’s one of the first images I captured of Reema and Adam getting ready in the car. I love all of the black carbon fibre on the outside because it places the focus on the middle of the image with circular framing. This is the moment you see a driver’s office and where they do their work. Adam is sorting the seat belts, Reema has one hand on the steering wheel, and she’s surrounded by cables, radio wires and protective equipment. It’s not glamorous at all, but it shows that there’s someone at the heart of the car, behind all of the technology and machinery.”
Hope – Circuit Paul Ricard, France, 22 May 2022
“This is from our second race and Reema is watching Adam out on track. There’s something special about the framing, and the light behind her head almost gives her this square halo and it illuminates the whole photo. When I saw the lights,I knew that I had to utilise them, so I shot at a low angle, upwards. We’re about to win our first race, and you can just see Reema trying to maintain her composure. You can see her willing Adam on to bring home the win and she’s gripping her bottle slightly too hard in such a tense situation. It’s another historic moment.”
Ardennes Aesthetic – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, 16 June, 2022 
“I didn’t really get any rear-end shots of the car at Paul Ricard, so when we went to Spa, it was high up on my priorities. This was taken on Thursday afternoon, just before the start of the weekend and when the car was wheeled out of the garage, there was no one else in the pit lane. I knew that it was a fantastic opportunity for shooting and the lighting was perfect. The different shades of green really make the image pop, but the trees also contrast very nicely with the sky. Then, the double lines and specifically, the red line really draws your eye to the car. The car itself is one of the most beautiful cars to photograph. It looks fantastic from every angle, but at 45-degrees and with some leading lines, it’s so nice.”
Uncaged – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, 16 June, 2022
“This is one of artiest shots I’ve done with the car. Unlike Formula One teams, we don’t have our own garage lighting setup so we’re at the mercy of whatever the circuit provides. At Spa, we happened to have a garage where the lights perfectly aligned with the car’s box position. When I realised, I immediately sat on the floor in front of the car and got that shot. The symmetry is beautiful, and the fluorescent lights perfectly marry up with the grill. The car was slightly in the light as well and it just looks so imposing and mean, like an animal about to emerge from its cave and roar again! I knew that I was never going to get this shot again and with a vignette and edited shadows, it looks perfect.”
Focus – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, 17 June, 2022
“This is one of my favourite portrait shots that I’ve taken all season. Reema has a fantastic smile. She’s one of the most smiley people that I know in general, but out of drivers, she’s probably first! Because of that, it’s actually rare to capture a pensive shot of Reema, and this is a shot that I love. She’s standing against the garage boards looking out onto the circuit, but I love that you can see a glint in her eye. You can see the lights in the garage, you can see the track, and it captures that spark. I love capturing that emotion.”
Between Sessions – Hungaroring, Hungary, 8 July, 2022
“Adam also has a great smile and while I have so many images of him smiling, I love pensive shots. I love shots of people when they’re focussed, and I think capturing those different emotions really adds value. He’s leaning on the rear wing of the car and honestly, that’s something you don’t see often. He has a nice glint in his eye and the colours in this photo are very soft and flattering. His face contrasts nicely against the grey boards and then there’s the white and black on the overalls and wing. He looks so deep in thought.”
Alive – Hockenheimring, Germany, 5 September 2022
“This was taken at a private test at Hockenheim, and everyone was in a great mood. I was peeking out from behind the door and Reema was smiling about something on the radio. You know that someone has a big smile when their eyes bunch up, and Reema’s eyes are lit up. When I go back through photos and see smiles, it makes me emotional. For me, who you are and what you do is inextricably linked and I pour my heart and soul into my work. It’s a part of me. And I feel like it’s the same with racing drivers. They love their job so much and when I can capture that moment, I realise that I’m doing what I love, capturing someone else doing what they love. That’s an incredible moment.”
Glory – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 16 October 2022
“It’s just epic, isn’t it? Theeba has come so far this season and taking this photo made the finale so much more special. I was stood in a sea of people, close to being swept away, and I was shouting, telling Reema and Adam to come forward. Fortunately, they heard me and Reema just lifted the flag and flew it high. She looks absolutely epic, and I can’t imagine how inspiring this image is to see for other women who work in or want to work in motorsport. We fought back from so many knocks and this podium secured second in the championship for us. It’s incredible that we pulled off such an achievement and it just marks the end of an incredible year for everyone.”

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