During this years NASCAR race weekend activities I vowed to produce images that were somewhat different from what I had typically produced in the past, which was clean shots of cars on track. Having said that, most of my time was spent hanging out in the garage area and looking for interesting photographs of the drivers or crew’s preparing the cars for qualifying and racing action.
02 March 2012: Matt Kenseth (17) waits in his car before a practice session for the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series Race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale Arizona.
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This post is from the March 2, 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series practice session at Phoenix International Raceway, and when I say “trying something completely different” I mean slow, sloooooooow shutter speeds. For me it was about trying to get something that looked a bit different from what you see from these sessions and I’m not talking slow shutter speed panning shots where the car is in focus but the background is blurred, but super slow speed shutter speed panning shots where almost the entire image is a mass of blur and color.
02 March 2012: Denny Hamlin (18) takes hot laps during a practice session for the running of the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 Nationwide Series Race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale Arizona.
Most of these shots are taken at shutter speeds between 1/8th of a second and 1/12 of a second, some are blurred more than others and some work better than others. I found that shooting at f22 or f32 on a bright sunny day showed every dust speck you could possibility imagine on my sensor so there was a fair bit of Photoshop dust clean up that had to be done.
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When we last left our hero’s they were hurtling at break-neck speeds towards their doom . . . Oh wait, that’s not right. Both Tony and Carl were fighting tooth and nail for every inch of track position they could get. That sounds more like where we left our story.
At this point it was anybody’s guess who would win, Tony is a proven champion, but Carl has won here in Phoenix in both his Nationwide car and in his Sprint Cup car, and all on the same weekend.
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I know this post is a bit late, but as they say better late than never. After having wrapped up another NASCAR race weekend here I thought I would go ahead and post my images from the November 2011 Sprint Cup race, you see the first part of 2012 has been a bit crazy for me and I just haven’t had the time to post all the events ‘as they come’ so I’m getting around to it now.
The big theme for me this race weekend was ‘cars on track’ so my goal was to get good clean shots of as many cars on track as possible. Let’s see how I did.
12 November 2011: Jamie McMurray (1) takes hot laps during a qualifying session for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 Race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale Arizona.
I started with qualifying and found some success shooting into the sun, not always the best option for good shots but it was giving me an interesting effect and I managed to get some great shots of a limited number of the cars/drivers in their qualifying runs.
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The boys, and girls of NASCAR stop by Phoenix International Raceway twice a year and the November race looked to be an exciting weekend of racing because Phoenix had been called “the wildcard” by most of the media due to the new track surface and “configuration.” From my perspective there didn’t seem to be much of a change to the shape or distance of the track however, they did raise the back part of the track several feet allowing fans to see the cars on the back straight from the grandstands along the front straight but, the shape and distance didn’t change.
10 November 2011: Sam Hornish Jr. (12) takes hot laps during a practice session for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Race, WYPALL* 200 powered by Kimberly-Clark Professional at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale Arizona.
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Phoenix International Raceway had a massive re-paving project where the entire surface was replaced, as well as some other changes to increase safety and make the fans experience much better.
I expected the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars to be primer grey and with very few markings so I anticipated mostly working the garage for good shots of the drivers, well that wasn’t exactly how everything turned out.
I saw some photos from the construction phase and was interested in how covering the upcoming race in November would be effected.
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These images aren’t particularly difficult to capture or photographed amazing well on my part, just good clean stock shots of trucks on track. The images are useful to illustrate stories on either the drivers or the Camping World Truck Series teams so from that standpoint they have value and interest.
I liked the look of the lighting on former AMA Supercross Champion, Ricky Carmichael’s number 4 Monster Energy Drink truck and having the trucks in the background helped give some perspective to the image.
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Everyone is deep into basketball and baseball this time of year so I thought I would post some Motorsports images for my viewers. I’m sure putting “for your pleasure” in the title will get me a few views, but maybe people who use the search phrase “for your pleasure” aren’t exactly my target demographic.
I enjoy shooting Motorsports and would like to shoot more. I enjoy a number of different types of Motorsports events and I am constantly trying to improve my shooting skills so here are a few shots for you to check out and comment on.
Here is a nice shot from 2010 of Brian Vickers siting in his car during practice for the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 600 Sprint Cup Series Race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale Arizona.
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Some of the other photographer’s blogs that I follow post favorite images of the year or favorite sports images, so I thought I would go through some of my NASCAR images and pull out a few favorites. I don’t have a lot of experience shooting NASCAR, and I’ve only been able to shoot NASCAR at Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona, which means in some cases all my shots are going to be the same from year-to-year. After all, how many times can you walk around that same track and look for different images?
I have good days and bad days when shooting, on good days I manage to make some good images and on bad days I just get the same old shots or boring shots no matter how hard I try. I wish I could say that I always come back with the winners, but that just isn’t true. At any rate, here are some of my favorites from the year.
I’ll start this show with a little Kurt Busch sitting in his car waiting to take practice laps.
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Wow, long headline. At least my long headline will help readers find my blog and images.
I didn’t get many views or comments on my truck race coverage, granted it was somewhat un-inspiring image-wise and the fans don’t seem to be very interested in the Camping World Truck series anyway, so I guess I shouldn’t expect too much.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series is a little bit more popular than the trucks even though a lot of the drivers are the same.
I still struggled a bit with my creativity on this set, in some cases resorting to just getting cars-on-track shots, but at least I tried to use shots with nice afternoon sunlight or flames coming from the exhaust. So, on with the show.
Some would say this was the Carl Edwards show, and rightly so as he was fast all day and took home the big prize.
Carl Edwards jumps out of his Copart car in victory lane.
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