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12 Hours of Sebring 2013 – Le Mans

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I’ve been putting off and putting off posting up photos from my experience at The 12 Hours of Sebring this year.
Mostly because my photos were so screwed up that I simply didn’t (and still don’t) want to edit the majority of them… I’m guessing that many of you read my blog post titled: “My New, Damaged, Canon 1D-X. And Canon USA’s refusal to help” If not, click the link and you’ll immediately see why I haven’t edited much from that trip. And you read the whole thing it will be sure to piss you off at the lack of customer service I dealt with.

However, now that we’re approaching the THIRD Le Mans race of the 2013 season, I wanted to share my images from Florida before people simply didn’t care anymore… if they don’t already. Haha!

My original plan at Sebring was to freelance and attempt to sell my services to various teams at the race that weekend. But that hope was dashed as soon as it was clear my camera was damaged and all my photos would require serious editing.

I did do a bit of work for John Edwards Racing though. So, my focus was the M-Power BMW you see up top.

Go ahead and click the break for a large assortment of shots from Sebring. The majority will be dusk and night photos since those are the images I was able to edit quickly and without much editing because the damage to the sensor was not visible as wide-open apertures.

Enjoy!

I’m currently on my way to Atlanta for Formula Drift this weekend and not Monterey for Le Mans. So, this is very likely my only American Le Mans Series post of the year unfortunately.

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Portrait shots of Vaughn Gittin Jr, Chris Forberg, Ryan Tuerck, and Bil Baldwin

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When I’m asked what I like shooting most of all my answer would be portraits. Which is saying a lot because I have the opportunity to shoot a LOT of different things from models to racing to weddings.
And while all those other things are a lot of fun, coming back around to portraits is where I always end up. It’s wonderfully simple an they’re WAY more interesting than a racecar on a track I feel like.

The Formula Drift season just kicked off for 2013 – and I’m sure many of you likely saw my blog post earlier this week about it. And during Round 1: Long Beach, I was on assignment from K&N Filters and AEM Intakes. One of the things I was required to shoot was headshots of various drivers that they sponsor. I immediately thought “Awesome! Now I HAVE to get photos with three of the busiest drivers at the track: Vaughn Gittin Jr., Ryan Tuerck, and Chris Forberg.
Now I’m not saying these guys won’t give you the time of day – that couldn’t be further from the truth. However as a photographer for one of their sponsors it’s much easier to get a few minutes of their time set aside specifically for you to photograph them.

Each of my portraits of these drivers only took me about 5 minutes to create. So long as I have nearly all my camera settings dialed than it’s just a matter of lighting being balanced, a few test shots, and a couple “real ones” where my subject can smile or do whatever they like…. then I’m done. Out of their hair AND I have both headshots for my clients along with an image and I can edit into the portraits you see above.

I also met and photographed Bil “The Bearded Man of Drift” Baldwin, who’s become a bit of a legend in the Drift world. I actually had heard of him through a friend of mine that knows of Bil from the “Beard Life” community, haha!

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Me and Bil, right after his portrait the morning of the race!

Anyway, click past the break for the portraits I created of Vaughn, Ryan, Chris and Bil – along with some Behind the Scenes that my buddy Rex shot while I was working with Vaughn!

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Some new portraits for the Winter…

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For the most part this year has been off to a quieter start than usual for me. But, I’ve stayed busy doing occasional portraits in the mean time as usual.

Several weeks back I attended a video shoot that a few of my friends were doing in Hollywood. Originally it was planned that I would be doing much more photography than what actually ended up happening. The video crew was busy pretty much the entire day with the models, and each time I was going to do some shooting with one of the girls she was quickly pulled away for video. My favorite shot from that entire day ended up being an image of John, one of the video crew members working that day. He’s in the image above on the far left.
I also did some shooting with Marcello, the male model that was there that day. Amber was also on the shoot – who I’ve shot in the past and is one of my favorite girls I’ve worked with. Sadly I didn’t have any time to shoot with her that day though, oh well.

I also created a new, and somewhat horrifying image of myself one night around 1am when I was bored and felt like shooting something. The upside of remote shooting and plenty of equipment is that I still have myself when no one is around. Haha! Check out the resulting image…

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Not bad, eh?

Anyway, click past the break for a bunch of images from the rooftop fashion shoot. And some portraits of a couple family members I’ve photographed recently, too!

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Family portraits

As my own family gets older it’s become more important to me to start gathering images and photos that I have from my childhood to now. However I also wanted to make sure that I created images of my grandparents as well.

I have mentioned before that I was doing portraits of family. And I started with this one. Meet my Grandfather. John Remus I. Those of you who know me personally, know that my name is John Remus III. And everyone has always asked “Is your Grandfather the first?” Yes. Yes he is.

So, this was the first of three portraits I needed create of my grandparents – one has already passed away, long before I picked up a real camera.

And, also my grandmother, from the Remus side of our family.

I still need to make a trip down to San Diego for other family members. And also start to photograph my aunts and uncles that are scattered around the state. I’m picky with my work, especially when it comes to my own family. But the reason I’ve waited this long into my career is that I knew I wanted them to look and be edited a certain way.

As I continue to photograph my own family, I’m not entirely sure how much of them I will share here. But, I’ve had a few people ask me openly about posting these. I’m flattered how much everyone has enjoyed my portrait series and since these shots somewhat fall into that, I felt that I should go ahead and post them.

I apologize for the lack of posts this month, but, the majority of my time has been centered on wedding edits and planning out June. I should have many more images to come in the next few weeks. I’ll also be in the Bay Area a couple times next month with various shoots/projects!

My Hollywood showcase, with RAW Artists

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Last night was my showcase in Hollywood, at Playhouse with RAW Artists. As many of you know, I was contacted by RAW Artists a little over a month ago. They had come across my photography and were interested in having me showcase with them. Well, that event was last night and the support I received from everyone was overwhelming.

I was really touched by how many people came out to support me and my work – and even the goofy shot of five of my subjects and myself above is awesome!

So often I tend to look at my work as just photos.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in my work and stand my imagery. I’m confident in my abilities, but I still will look at my images as something that my subjects allow me to very easily create with them.

What I’m trying to say, is that often I forget that the portraits I’ve created of people mean more to those individuals than I realize. ¬†And nearly every person from my collection in last nights showcase proved that by showing up excited to see their photo on the wall, give me a hug, congratulate me on my work, and thank me for allowing them to be a part of it.

I’m surprised I didn’t get more emotional, but as I go through these photos and see what a great time everyone had talking and meeting one another, it compounds the amount of love there really was last night. Again, Thank You!

A couple things that stand out, before I get to a huge assortment of photos…
My cousin drove up from San Diego to be there even though he had to work at 4a the next day, thank you Gianni!
My Mom and step-dad flew down last minute from the Bay Area.
Adam, who turned into my poster-boy for this whole event, came out on his 25th birthday to be there.
Lauren, my best girl friend here in LA, celebrated her birthday last night with me at the show AND took tons of photos for me because she knew I wouldn’t have time.

Everyone else that attended, texted, called, emailed, posted on facebook, etc. Thank you all for the support!

Please check out the rest of the images after the break, I’ll have a lot more to say about the event and people that attended.

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The Portraits continue..

This week my work has been all about portraits of people around me. And to start it off, I’m going to take my photography back two years to when I just moved to Southern California.
I met Cliff as I was wandering around the Grove, in Hollywood. I was actually there with my camera seeing who I may meet and photograph. Cliff and I started talking about camera stuff – he works in film – and at some point in the conversation I took this image of him.
But it wasn’t until this week that I finally was at a point with my technique that I was able to edit it in the way I originally wanted. That took a lot more experience and practice since that afternoon long ago. So note, don’t ever delete RAW images you may one day want to go back to and re-edit.

The thing I love about this image of Cliff, his eyes.

Here’s a tighter crop… or you can just click over to my portfolio for a higher res version.

This image of Teo I shot outside of Anthony’s shop. Teo owns and operates his own mobile car detailing company and travels around the area here between shops and dealerships for his work. He stays pretty busy and I bump into him every week and a half or so. The other day was one of those times and I wanted to get a quick image of him since I was positive it would come out great.
I’m really pleased that the pose, combined with the bright sunny day adding to the squint in his eyes, all worked exactly how I hoped.

This image of Sam I took while he was on a break at work. He wasn’t thrilled at the idea of me photographing him while he was smoking, however I wanted the shot. I was actually more interested in his pose, kneeling down, and his hood from his sweater draped over his face in the cold weather. The cigarette really just ends up adding a bit of attitude to the shot.

Last is this image of Mac. This is a photograph I took yearsss ago – I actually took it three cameras ago, haha! So it’s a sensor that’s a few generations old, and it’s a third the resolution of what I shoot with now!
However this has been my most favorite photos of Mac that I’ve ever shot. The little smirk is totally his personality coming through in the image.

So, I have a question for you guys…

If I start doing portraits, say three a week, is that something everyone would have interest in seeing?
It’s a project I thought of doing when I moved to LA and then stopped as I got busy and didn’t have the time to go out and meet people.

Oh, and here’s a preview shot from last week’s shoot with Bambi in Long Beach.
I’ll have a couple more images of her to share at the beginning of next week. Later this afternoon I’m leaving for San Francisco and will be back Monday.

Bambi is a burlesque dancer in Sweden. She was in LA for a couple weeks shooting and contacted me to do some colorful fun photos. I’ll have those up later, but this was a quick image I wanted to do with her after we finished the other shots.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone! See you in a few days!

BMX rider portraits, Buena Park

When I wanted to do portraits with some interesting people my first idea was to get ahold of Sean Logan – a BMX rider.
I knew that I could create an image of him and maybe a few friends he rides with that would be awesome and telling at the same time. Ironically, none of the images above have much to do with what I set out to create – those come later.

I met up with Sean and a few other riders at Adam’s house to shoot. Adam, along with many other riders, have built some massive jumps in the backyard for them to ride.

When I say backyard… I mean they seriously converted their backyard into their own private course. ¬†Check out Adam in the white hat for a bit of size comparison to the jumps.

But lets start out with the images that I set out to create…

I wanted something a bit gritty looking. Dirty in the sense of “dirt” for a BMX feel.

I created a similar shot with Adam. I kept the bikes in there as a token “yes I ride” theme. However it worked out pretty much exactly how I wanted. All the focus is still on their faces/eyes and the bike comes second. The editing fits the theme perfectly.

These shots were images we did in addition to everything else. While I wasn’t dead set on color shots because I envisioned the photos above first, they came out great and we had some fun. Here’s Sean, whose hair, by the way, still looks like this after hours or riding… it’s crazy.

And speaking of crazy… Stuntman, and friend, Crazy Mike was there to have a few images done as well. Mike and I have worked together multiple times and when he heard that I was shooting with Sean that afternoon he came down with his buddy Ninja Nick so I could do some cover shots for a TV pilot they’re working on. I’d share them here… but I can’t. Sorry guys!
Mike’s personality always comes through in ridiculous images like this one. Haha.

Adam Saunders portrait ended up coming out great. Honestly, part of the reason I love it was that he grabbed his hat and threw a bit of attitude in with his lip.

Loren’s shot I dig because of the simplicity, and his eyes. Shades in photos always add attitude. But eyes humanize any image, and this one totally pulls you in despite all the color and busy-ness of the photo as a whole.

And while we’re on the topic of eyes… Check out Dustin Nette…
No, take your time, those are his real eyes. Not enhanced. I didn’t add color either. Dustin was throwing tricks and riding with everyone that day. But when he stopped and was walkin around I noticed his eyes – seriously, you can see them from 20+ feet away. I talked to him briefly and asked if I could do a quick portrait of him. I shot this with my 85 f/1.2 because I wanted all the focus just at his eyes and everything else to fall off. Came out great.

So, time for some action shots… since I’m sure that what many of you came to see.

Sean, doin a Superman over jump two.

Adam, backflipping jump two.
Check out the barn-type structure in the back. They cut out part of the roof and made a ramp to use that to drop into the jumps.

Loren, drop three in jump two.

Loren, turn down flip in jump two

Loren, backflip in jump one.

Dustin, cheesin’ it up for the camera.

Loren threw a flip table only about three times before we got a great image.

Sorry I don’t have the names of the tricks, I’m still learning all the BMX trick names. But, I’m sure a few of the guys can help me name everything and I can update later.
Hope you guys liked the images, I was really happy with how they all came out. I’m planning to try and keep going with these portraits and see what else I can come up with.

Next up will be images from a shoot I did last week with a Swedish model and dancer named Bambi – totally colorful crazy outfits and everything. I think you all will dig it. And if all goes as planned, I’ll be shooting long time friend and nation pole dance competitor Mina Mortezaie this weekend.

Lucas Oil Off Road Racer Portrait Series


Chad Leising – Rockstar Energy, Hart & Huntington

Shortly after this shot Chad did three interviews about the race series from the Rockstar Energy pool they set up. It was hilarious.

I’ve spent many weekends this summer shooting the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series each time they’ve come through the various tracks here on the west coast. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of the drivers, teams, and team managers/owners. I’ve also met some really incredible photographers, too.
Well I decided that at the last LOORRS event I was at that I would start an ongoing photo essay. I would do very simple track-side portraits of the various drivers I knew and was meeting. I wanted to use harsh light, higher contrast, and just try and give a feel for what the series was like in the high temperature desert.
Between running from pit to pit, finding the drivers between their races, and shooting the races myself… I wasn’t able to complete nearly as many portraits as I hoped. But, there is always the opportunity at future races.

Enjoy the series. And please leave me some feedback or shoot me and email with your thoughts.


Josh Merrell – Liquid Graphics, Hart & Huntington

Josh was a really nice guy – and his wife was watching and laughing as I posed him for this shot. Although his bodyguard didn’t seem to like that I was touching him as I adjusted his shoulders… whoops… my bad.


Andrew Comrie-Picard – NOS Energy, K&N Engineering

Andrew came out to race off road trucks – he’s a rally racer… and you can sure as hell bet that not only did he take podium (3rd) but he also kicked some ass doing it by coming all the way up from the back of the pack.


Ricky James – S2, K&N Engineering

Ricky was incredible to watch race. After an injury from racing motocross left him disabled he now races off road truck. His precision driving is extremely apparent from my spot right there on the track. And taking 1st place finishes in this first races out that weekend he proved that he’s someone who will be around a while.


Rodrigo Ampudia – Papas & Beer

Rodrigo was one of the funniest guys on the track to talk with – probably because he’s a young guy out there on the track too. His team is great, and I have some awesome shots of Rodrigo pushing his truck to the limits on the track.


Corry Weller – Weller Racing

I met Corry shooting ATV/Quadcross… and then found out she races UTV and Superlite trucks at LOORRS. I’m fairly sure that I couldn’t do half the stuff she does on her ATV though out of fear I’d break my neck.


Bradley Morris – BME Motorsports, K&N Engineering

Bradley and his entire family and team are truly amazing people. I almost always hang out with these guys at the races and they always make sure I’m surviving in the heat/weather. Bradley races trophy kart right now – which has got to be the coolest thing to brag about at school, I swear.


Robby Melton – BME Motorsports

Robby is on the same team at Bradley, and a pretty good racer himself. I watched Robby snap a wheel completely off his kart and keep racing until the kart couldn’t handle the turns on three wheels and he had no choice but to stop. In my next life, sign me up to be a little badass like Robby, too.


Jimmy Stephensen

Jimmy and his team were great people, too. I didn’t get to spend much time chatting with them unfortunately.


Leroy Loerwald

I had actually met Leroy at the race prior to this particular weekend. Leroy had actually flipped his truck, multiple times, toward the beginning of the weekend. He broke his arm in the process. But, he was back and healed by this time out.


Malcolm Pointon

Malcolm actually races buggy, not the trucks that most of the other drivers I met race. I also had taken some really great shots of him a month before meeting him at a different race. If you skim through my portfolio you’ll find one of Malcolm hitting a jump in his buggy.


Todd Cuffaro – Rockstar Energy, Metal Mulisha

I had the hardest time tracking down Todd and Brian Deegan. However, right at sunset I was able to get a few minutes of Todd’s time for a quick shot. Brian, however, didn’t have time before his race unfortunately.


Carey Hart – Rockstar Energy, Hart & Huntington

The question I always get asked is if Carey is a nice guy – yes, he’s an incredibly cool guy. Carey was able to make time for me, as he said he would, in between a million other pre-race things he was running around trying to do. This shot makes him look pretty gruff, too; he’s really not this rugged looking in person… but I guess it adds to the effect.

So, that’s pretty much it. I’m hoping to continue to add to the series as time goes on. We’ll see how it all goes. I may do some more tweaking to the colors a bit before uploading to my portfolio. But for now, this is how the whole set will look.

And again, feedback is always welcome.

Lucas Oil Off Road, Day 2… Rocked

Yesterday was Day 2 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Race Series event at Lake Elsinore. This time around the racing was all at night – with made for some tricky lighting, but also some bitchin’ shots.
From my location on the track, around turn 5, I noticed pretty quickly that some of the trucks were backfiring pretty bad. And after getting a pretty cool flame shot during the Long Beach Grand Prix, I decided I wanted a night-backfire-shot from off road, too. It was only another two laps or so before I nailed this one; the image itself is a bit grainy… but it’s shot with only available light – I don’t have Alien Bees to set up on the track and risk them getting run over.

The racing actually started in the evening, at dusk. Here’s what shots were lookin’ like before the sun went away completely. Not terrible, but not amazing either. I think I miiiiight actually bring some of my 580EXII’s and Pocket Wizards out to the track tonight and play with some lighting at sunset… maybe… that’s a lot of gear to risk.

This shot was made during the Unlimited 4’s… Carl DESTROYED the rear end on his truck coming off a jump. I was fairly sure he was going over the way that he landed (right in front of where I was shooting from). He held it together just fine, but the truck was done – and he was out of that race.

Flames were pretty common in the Unlimited 2’s and Superlite classes. There were mainly three trucks or so that kept backfiring when they landed. KMC Wheels was one of those trucks. I was able to get a few pretty good shots of it. This image looks really soft as I read this post – I need to double check if my images are being resized on upload… grrr.

Last but not least… another preview of the portraits I was shooting yesterday. These are quite simple, rough, harsh portraits of the various drivers. I shot these with hard, direct light for the really dramatic and powerful effect. What these guys do for a living is pretty hardcore, I wanted some cool images to show that attitude. The above driver, Leroy, is the driver who flipped his truck last month (see earlier posts for photos). Really great guy and his race team has treated me great this weekend.

So, now it’s about time to start packing up my gear and get ready to ready to head out. I have one more day/night of race coverage for this event. We’ll see if I feel like setting up my Speedlites today – I’d love to play with some light and color, but am also half certain that my gear will get run over out there. hahaha.

Check back late tonight or tomorrow morning for an update of the results of the entire weekend!