This past weekend I returned to my photographic roots and spent two days roasting in the sun capturing some awesome machinary up at Portland International Raceway. Years ago, back in England, I spent many summers out at Brands Hatch Circuit armed with a press pass cutting my teeth learning panning and action photography with the British Touring Cars. It was fantastic to return to this type of photography and while a little rusty with my panning on Saturday morning, by Sunday it was like riding a bike and all the old skills came back to me.
I love, LOVE, doing this type of photography. The sights, smells and most of all the sounds of 700+ BHP cars thundering past you as you are inches from the track is amazing. I met several great photographers while out in the sun, most like me aren’t full time motorsport shooters, with other commercial work that keeps them busy. There were a few of the ‘big boys’ in town, the photographers contracted to Pirelli and major teams that follow the circus around. Again, they were all great, fun to chat to and courtious with the photo holes around the circuit.
The racing was fast and furious with more than a few yellow flag periods, and reminded me a lot of the BTTC racing back in England – door to door action! There was a lot of tire smoking, flaming spitting, one wheel in the air fun to be had. Of course, just like capturing a wedding, Murphy’s law states that just as I put on a wide angle lens, a bash and spin would happen the opposite way I was looking and several hundred yards away! I missed a few, including the Bentley spinning out and whacking the barrier on the fastest part of the course. I did get him just as he started spinning though – I wasn’t look, but heard the first squeal as the back got away from him, spun around, fired off 2 shots, one of which shows him started opposite lock – just after that, he disappeared out of view and headed for the barrier. It’s a little blurry, but it’s better than missing it!
Even though I could barely move by Sunday night thanks to lugging around 100lbs of gear around the track for 2 days, my one thought is….MORE PLEASE!!
Any local team owners want a pro photographer attached to them for events??
Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day: