I have worked as a race photographer, a wedding photographer, landscape photographer; I photographed architecture, food, portraits and hot air balloons.
One of the most incredible things about a photography career is how it has this magical ability to open doors—how my camera has, time and again, taken me from a spectator on the sideline and put me right in the middle of the action.
In my own career, I’ve experienced this many times. Here are just three of those stories (and some shooting tips along the way).
A teenager at the race track
I was fortunate as a teenager when a race car driver threw me a rag and told me to get under his race car and clean it from the tire rubber that was stuck to the underside. I had gone to the racetrack after spending earlier years building models of these very race cars. I wanted to see the real deal.
From that relationship, I grew to become a professional photographer, since I was lucky enough to sell all of the images from my first roll of film to the drivers at that same racetrack. I always had a desire to drive one of those 200mph “funny cars.”
This wonderful eye-opening experience led me to create work for the NHRA, AP and many racing magazines creating story-telling images of these now 300mph plus vehicles across the country.
What is most important to me when capturing cars in the drag racing world is to isolate the car from the distractions near the racecar. Generally, I let the car move down the track, away from the starting line crowds, creating a soft, dimensional background in order to allow the car to stand out.
By using a telephoto lens like my EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender