Formula Drift Finals 2012

Last weekend was the Formula Drift Finals in Irwindale, Calif.
I was invited to attend by Falken Tire – one of my clients who I’ve done a lot of race work for this year. I actually hadn’t shot Drift in a couple years; not since my days handling K&N Filters photography when I was on staff with them. So I jumped at the opportunity to go out and shoot a bunch of new images as well as hang out with my friends on the Falken staff.

It’s funny that after living right next to Irwindale for two years and never doing any shooting there that I would have the chance to do so right after moving to San Diego for the remainder of the year.
I was able to stay with friends in OC, so it was just a brief trip right up 605 to get to the races.

I didn’t shoot this event the same way that I cover Le Mans. So unfortunately I do not have a bunch of behind the scenes photos and stories for everyone like I usually would. Since I was a guest of Falken rather than there working I did my best to stay out of the way as much as possible.
So, scroll down after the break and check out shots mostly from the track of the various teams ripping through the turns and destroying their tires for sport.

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Drag racing, XDL Freestyle Sportbike, and photoshoots…

Yep, that’s my boss.
No, really… it is.

Last Friday I went to Fontana to photograph some drag race practice for the day. The frustrating thing about shooting drag racing, other then them just going in a straight line, is that it’s not really a good sport to shoot during the day. Night time, dusk, lower light conditions are what help make for some really nice drag images..
But, I did the best that I could and came home with some halfway decent stuff. This particular shot is actually cropped in quite a bit from 200mm and has lost a lot of detail in the process. The day was also a practice day for select individuals to come out and test new setups – so, needless to say, it was slow moving.

This rider had a few shaky starts to his runs. I was actually fairly certain he was going to lose it at a couple points. But, he held it together and didn’t bail (thankfully).

Saturday I spent the majority of the day at the XDL Sportbike Freestyle championship in Irwindale. (I make my rounds to all the tracks in Socal, haha)
Honestly, for me, watching these guys break out some of these tricks makes me want to pick up a bike and start learning. I would never be an idiot out on the freeway doing this crap… but it’d be fun to just know how to control a bike like that.
I came home that night with a few hundred images from the competition. I still haven’t had time to sort them since I’m so busy with my other projects. However you can bet that I’ll be adding these to my portfolio soon. I’d also really love to do a dusk shoot with some color and lights with some of these guys… that’d rock.

I’ve also been catching up on TONS of other work from July – and even a bit from June. I’m incredibly swamped with work right now and have had trouble keeping up on my editing for my site. My work, and work for clients I’m on top of, however the stuff I do for myself I’m wayyyy behind on.

That being said, check out this wonderfully attractive image of yours truly:

This was during the Lucas Oil Off Road Race Series, in Lake Elsinore, Calif. in the middle of June. It was over 105 degrees out on the track all three days. Yes, I’m wearing long sleeves and a scarf – my hat was on the table. I stay completely covered for outdoor race events. You stay cooler sweatin in a long-sleeve than you do in a t-shirt with the sun beating down on you.
Try it. Seriously.

Speaking of editing and catching up on some other work. This is an engagement shot I did in Michigan. I’ll be photographing Mike and Christina’s wedding next summer – can’t wait, we’re gonna rock it out with photos.
Sure, this shot isĀ  a bit cheesy, but you know what… you need at least one cheesy, cutesy, pleasemomanddad photo during your engagement shoot.

And lastly tonight, a bit of insight on how I shoot.. I roll deep at weddings, night time location shoot, two assistants… ballllllin’

This is an image of the location shoot I did for Todd and Jessica during their wedding in Northern Michigan in July. This was during setup for our night shoot during the reception. We disappeared for nearly an hour, people started to wonder what happened, haha.
This is my Speedlite and Pocket Wizard setup. So easy to use, and very flexible for many locations and scenarios.

So, that will wrap up this update.
Tomorrow I leave to go back up to the Bay Area and see some friends and family. It’s another whirlwind weekend in the middle of my extremely busy schedule. I’m booked up the next two months solid – and once I return to LA on Sunday I’ll need to get back to editing again.

Hopefully I’ll have portfolio updates soon everyone!
Just keep coming back to see me


Gene Romero’s Flat Track Series

Tonight I shot the Gene Romero West Coast Flat Track Series race at Perris Speedway.

I’ve never shot flat track, and honestly, had never heard of it until a few months ago. But, racing is racing for the most part. And as I’ve told a lot of my friends or photographers I’ve met starting out… you need to be confident enough to walk into a place knowing that you’ll make great images.
Now, I’ve never shot this sport… but I knew I’d be able to come back with something decent.

These are just a few quick examples of what I shot tonight. Very lightly edited before sharing them with you guys online. I’ve been experimenting a lot with what shutter speeds I can hand-hold and track at, at various ISO’s and f/stops. Tonight was expecially interesting because it was, well, night.

Overall I’m happy with my images. I have a lot of great motion blur and some really interesting shots overall.

I would have liked to use my strobe a bit more, however I didn’t feel it was appropriate to blind the riders while they race… and honestly, I’m not sure what the rules stated about using strobes on the track… Maybe next time.

Anyway, check back later this weekend as I’ll be updating my portfolio with some of my new race stuff.

Good night everyone!

Lucas Oil Off Road Races, Primm, Nevada

I spent Friday and Saturday in Nevada covering two different racing events. The first one, not shown, was the NHRA Drag Races at the Las Vegas Speedway. The whole day ended up being a huge pain because the weather kept the races from staying on schedule – and eventually shut things down completely.

The next day I spent in Primm at the Lucas Oil Off Road races, shown above. Check the image of Dempsey racing the number 5 car in the Super Lites class… this was shot at 1/100 of a second, hand held… so it produced some really gorgeous motion blur. And you have to admit that pretty damn good for hand held panning, right?

I had an incredible time, and met some other really nice photographers. One thing about standing out in the middle of the track… you get a front row seat to everything – and I mean everything…

It’s one thing to be standing front row for these trucks spinning out and nearly hitting everything nearby on the track…

And it’s something else when the drivers decide to drive right through the photographer/media area on the track. Haha… Man, you just gotta stay on your toes, and have eyes in the back of your head.

Wearing my jacket all day in the desert sun was honestly the best idea I had all day. No joke. I’m going to go buy a scarf for this weekend when I’m in Long Beach shooting Formula Drift. However it looks like it may be raining at that event.

I also have Drag Racing photos to possibly upload… and I never did upload images from King of the Hammers to my portfolio either… yikes.
I’ve been way too busy recently.

Oh well, busy is a good thing. Just means less time for updates.

Good night everyone, check back later this week for more images.