A photo in Sports Illustrated. Two magazine covers. Five published with Autosport. Regular assignments with two local magazines. Five weddings. One Indycar race. One NASCAR race. Three American Le Mans series races. The Breeders Cup……I could go on and on.
But really, it was a year of building. The publications are important, but the people I met really made this year special. I can’t begin to list all of them, but I have many to thank for the successes I had in 2011.
The photos below are some of my personal favorites from the last year. Though far from representing everything I’ve seen and done, these are the ones that to me, highlight what 2011 has brought me.
Happy New Year! See you in 2012!
Bow ties are the attire of choice for young men at the Carolina Cup. An annual spring ritual celebrated by a day of horse racing in Camden, SC. This was a photo essay I did that has almost 50 unique photos in it of all types and varieties of bow ties. I foresee big things for these photos (hint hint hint **publication** hint hint hint)
Speaking of Carolina Cup, though some may never know it...there is some fantastic horse racing. Sunshine Numbers romped away with the feature race of the day, the G1 Carolina Cup. Sadly, this was the last time any horses would run over the big natural brush fences that are so iconic to American steeplechasing.
May brought the world's best swimmers to Charlotte for the Charlotte Ultraswim Grand Prix. Michael Phelps had an unusually poor weekend. But hell, it's still Michael Phelps. 16 (and counting) Olympic gold medals is nothing to turn your head away from.
May also brought me my first taste of NASCAR as a working photographer. I was contracted by an English based wire service to cover Kimi Raikkonen's (2007 F1 World Champion) stock car debut. But this isn't Kimi. This is Kasey Kahne during sprint cup practice for the All-Star race.
The 24 hours of Booty is a charity cycling race I've been involved with for several years. This was a nifty shot I took close to midnight during the event. A little strobe to the left and a very slow shutter speed did the trick.
A stunning afternoon at Mid Ohio quickly turned wet in a hurry. Here, a BMW GT car struggles in the downpour. Let's just say I had no rain gear for me or my cameras. But the MacGyver in me found a trash bag and in using my belt, I made myself a ghetto rain cover for the rented 400mm 2.8 lens. And yes, it worked quite well thank you very much.
My dream has always been to be a professional Formula One photographer. And while Indycar isn't F1 in any way shape or form, it's a good start. The Baltimore Grand Prix gave me a chance to have a little fun and network with some amazing photographers.
Tired of car racing yet? Me neither. The #16 Dyson Racing machine made for a nice subject during the waning minutes of the inaugural American Le Mans series Baltimore Grand Prix. Holy unbelievable light!!!
This photo was taken right before the pitlane walkabout at Petit Le Mans. The national anthem was being played and you don't often get a clean photo of the Audi factory team next to their car. It was a stunning cloudless day and the blue sky really makes the uniforms and the car stand out.
I once again chased the American Le Mans series around the country to their final stop of the season outside of Atlanta, GA for the 14th running of Petit Le Mans. It was a grueling 10 hour day but I made some images I'm very proud of. Did I mention I'm a massive Ferrari fan?
The light got really good as the sun set behind the trees at Road Atlanta during Petit Le Mans. The colorful Aston Martin really popped. I think the sun set about 30 seconds after I took this photo.
This one was pretty special to me. I shot this on a Wednesday morning before the Breeders' Cup in Louisville KY. Friend and editor Scott Serio (Eclipse Sportswire) submitted it to Sports Illustrated, and they took it. It ran the next day in their "snap shot" web gallery. Lot's of leading lines going on in this photo. I count 7 of them. It's nearly leading line perfection.....
I think I'll end with this one from the Breeders' Cup races. I wasn't shooting for a publication so I could play a little bit. This is a technique that yields a low catch rate, but sometimes you hit the lottery. I like it.