When a new camera is announced I tend to get very excited and jump around making grunting noises and pointing wildly. Once that settles down a bit I pour over the demo shots put out by the manufacturer, particularly those shot at high ISO for a taste of what it is in store. The demo shots invariably always look very pretty and clean and often not all that applicable to the real world.
Stardate 11109.10. I have beamed down to a strange yet familiar planet that appears to be inhabited and led by an odd race of creatures that thrive on speed and dirt. It is similar to Planet SF.250, the inhabitants consume massive amounts of silt, tacos, beer and whoops but there are far fewer people and it is much warmer here on San Felipe Challenge of Champions, or SF.COC as its listed on the starcharts. 77 of the planets regional leaders have gathered to compete in a new contest to determine who will govern the various regions like Trophy Truck, Class 1, Scorelite and more.
A little clip of me working courtesy of Bryan Collins from the Laughlin Desert Challenge. All that dirt gave my new 200-400 (its first race) a good break in. Shooting off road racing is not for the faint of heart. If you do it right your gear will get thrashed, you will be filthy and dead tired when done. I can’t get enough of it.
After a short break from off road racing the 2010 season opened with the BITD Parker 425 on February 4 in Parker, AZ. Technically the season starts with Laughlin but dwindling entries and a weak course means I don’t really count it. I often have close calls with race cars, in fact if I don’t have at least one I am kind of disappointed since that means I was not trying hard enough to get cool shots. During qualifying for Parker I had not one but the two closest calls of my career and had to bail out fast or be a wet spot on a race car bumper. It was awesome!
Before you click the read more thingy be aware that this post contains adult content and is not suitable for minors. There is no nudity but there are a lot of other adult items like rubber dicks and scantily clad womenfolk.
For the second year in a row I got the stupid idea to pull a double header on New Year’s Eve. In 2008 it was the MDR Bud Light Dash and Rhys Millen’s truck backflip attempt at Red Bull New Year No Limits. 2009 would be very similar. I started the day shooting the MDR Bud Light Dash again in Plaster City, CA and finished the day 200 miles away in Long Beach, CA for Travis Pastrana’s rally car jump into Rainbow Harbor at Red Bull New Year’s No Limits.
The day before the events I drove out to Plaster City and jumped on course to do some prerunning and scout my photo locations for the race the next day. Shooting at Plaster City is a double edged sword. There are many great photo locations and you can simply make a beeline across the desert to get between spots. It’s also an open course for spectators and that means wherever you are that a spectator will either park or stand in your shot. While frustrating its also part of the job that you have to deal with.
Over the years I have often wondered what my reaction would be if I ever found myself in the situation to be looking down the muzzle of a loaded gun followed the eruption of noise and flame exiting the muzzle in my direction. Would I spring into action and fight the good fight? Would I shit my pants and scream like a little girl? Would I be looking around a naked chick on top of me wondering how her husband got into my hotel room? Recently I got the chance to find out and the results were quite unexpected.
About this same time each year I go through all my images from the past year. Below you will find a collection of my favorite racing shots from the past year. Some were planned, others were big mistake that worked out well ala Bob Ross and his Happy Accidents. Each shot will have a small description of how I did it and perhaps other nonsensical information that is somehow related. Enjoy. Over the year I shot around 100,000 photos, drove 20,000 miles and drank untold beers after the races.
Being from California I always got strange looks when I told someone I was a hockey player. Despite the strange locale I started playing the game as a yute. Uh… did you say ‘yutes’? Oh, excuse me, your honor…youth. I continued to play through college for the Pacific Tigers, so its fair to say the game was a big part of my life over the years. Since college I lost touch with the game but recently I returned to my roots and have been shooting some NHL hockey with the Phoenix Coyotes.