Last night wrapped the final day of the Lucas Oil Off Road Race Series, Lake Elsinore, event. As many of you have already read, I spent three days out there again this month covering the races. The main difference this time around, compared to last month, was that these races were held at night. And, for only one heat… we had some incredible light!
The day, overall, was slow paced for me. I spent most of it tracking down certain drivers and trying to set up some portraits for my side project I was doing during this particular weekend. Unfortunately I was only able to shoot an additional three drivers – but, that’s better than not being able to shoot any. More on that later though…
It’s really unfortunate that more of the racing couldn’t have this kind of light! How amazing would it be to have a series of race images with this kind of color? Granted, I would have needed some Alien Bees and my Pocket Wizards to REALLY play it up and take advantage of the light… but either way, I wish sunset lasted longer than one race, haha.
And check out this shot of Robby Melton… I wish I was this much of a badass at his age. Seriously. How much fun would this have been in Elementary school? I had to settle for the little go karts at the mini golf place. I feel slightly cheated out of race-driver-in-training childhood.
Now I mentioned above that I was able to do a bit more on my portraits project that I previewed in my last post. Sunday evening I had the pleasure of meeting, and photographing, Carey Hart. Here’s a guy who was not only a really chill person, but also a man of his word – which can be very rare in this industry. Carey agreed to a shoot at dusk, which as it turned out, was perfect for my lighting. And even as busy as Carey was, he still made time to meet with me – which is hugely appreciate.
Check out this portrait below..
Let me know what you think in either a comment, or shoot me an email. I would love feedback on this series of portraits I’m working on.
Night fell pretty quick, and that’s when things started to get really serious… Trophy Kart was done, UTV was done, and Buggy had long since been over… It was time for the trucks.
Lighting, was harsh… I’m not going to lie. But, I love a challenge, and even if I don’t come back with a ton of images, I can usually create something cool.
Above is Rodrigo Ampudia driving the Papa’s & Beer truck, being chased by the KMC truck – which is quite obviously rocket-powered.
Rodrigo was one of my favorite drivers to photograph all weekend. He was realllly pushing his trucks to the limits – sometimes a bit too far actually. And again, the fun part about night shots is capturing the flames that shoot out of the exhaust. I would have loved to do some dusk drag-racing shots when I was in Nevada a few months ago, but the weather didn’t permit it.
This shot of Carl Renezeter is among my favorites from that night too. This shot is pretty much straight out of camera. Let’s hear it for the 1D Mark III, L glass and some serious hand-held panning skills huh? To be fair, panning at 1/100 of a second is not difficult at all. This was shot at 1/100, f/2.8, ISO800 at 80mm with my 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM and 1D Mark III with available light from the track floods – no additional speedlites/etc used.
Another example I wanted to share. Number 99, Robby Woods – a really cool guy who actually wrenches on his own truck. I don’t care who you are, it’s impressive to walk into a pit and see the driver hunched over his rig making repairs on his own.
The above image hasn’t been altered in any way. No color correction or toning – nothing at all.
It’s shot, completely handheld, at 1/60 of a second, f/3.5, ISO800 at 70mm with my 1D Mark III and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens.
I really wanted to share with everyone what my images look like, uncropped, straight from camera.
Here’s another quick shot of KMC’s rocket truck! Haha, seriously though… there were quite a few trucks spittin’ flames last night. KMC and Papa’s & Beer just happened to be in front of my lens most of those times.
I thought this might be a nice image to end on.
It feels a bit serene… Like it’s all quiet on the track and this lone truck is out there by himself in the moonlight. Of course that’s not actually the case, but it’s fun to make up little stories in your head, right?
Overall, I’m thrilled with the images I came back with this weekend. I shot quite a bit less than previous races – but, I was aiming for more variety and trying some new things. Some of those new things worked, and some didn’t. I have more ideas for what I’d like to try in the future and will hopefully get some opportunities to do other shoots with various drivers or teams directly in the future for other projects.
In the mean time however I have quite a few photos to edit still and some major updates to my portfolio to do at some point. But I’m also still editing previous wedding shoots from this month.
I’m still busy as hell, and will continue on like that the next six weeks.
But when you’re doing something you love, it’s hard to call it work.
I haven’t had a day off in a month – but I barely notice.
Good night everyone!