I'm going to continue my "Photos of the Year" contribution with some favorites of my own photos I shot this year. As I expected, it was pretty tough to limit my selections to just a handful, and I'm sure there are stories that I'm forgetting completely. Being based in Japan, I've had the opportunity to shoot some pretty remarkable things over the past months and I'm really happy with the way we have showcased the "diversity" of Japanese car culture here on Speedhunters.
The opening photo was taken in June at the D1 Tokyo Drift Exhibition event in Odaiba, Tokyo. I really like doing static shots with my wide angle lens, but for action shots it's hard to get satisfying results unless you're able to get REALLY close to the action. In this case, the APP S15 was literally just a few feet in front of me. The Fuji TV building in the background really adds to the atmosphere of drifting in Odaiba.
Rauh Welt, Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture. Getting the chance to shoot Nakai's 930 is something I'll never forget. I could have used any photos from this shoot, but I really liked how this particular one came out. I wasn't using any special lighting here, but the sun reflecting off the side of the building behind me made for a pretty nice shot.
Fuji Speedway, Shizuoka Prefecture. The Nismo Festival is really one of those "must see" events in Japan, even if you aren't a hardcore Nissan fan. Where else you can see Nissan LeMans racers taking the track alongside Super GT cars, or three Group A R32's racing each other in a scene straight out of the the early '90s.
MSC Challenge at Nikko Circuit, Tochigi Prefecture. MSC, Nikko Circuit, and a bitchin' 180SX putting two wheels into the air. This is grassroots Japanese drifting at its very best and one of my favorite captures of the year.
Revspeed Tsukuba Super Battle, Tsukuba Circuit. My own "Photos of the Year" post wouldn't be complete with out a scene from a time attack event at Tsukuba Circuit. All it takes is one look at a car like the Pan Speed FD to see how big the sport is in Japan. I liked this shot with the car propped up on its air jacks in the paddock.
Trust Zeroyon Festival, Ryugasaki Airfield. Airfields have been a popular spot for drag racers dating back to the early days of hot rodding in the US. One of my favorite events of the year was the Trust Zeroyon Festival where I got to see the Japanese take on this age-old automotive tradition. All you have to do is replace the '32 Fords and '55 Chevys with 180SX's and Skyline GT-R's.
Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod and Custom Car Show, Pacifico Yokohama. Over the year I had a few chances to check out the hot rodding and custom car scene in Japan, and the Mooneyes show in Yokohama was one of my favorites. Events like this have been happening in Japan for years, but there hasn't been much exposure outside of the country until recently. There's so much more to Japanese car life besides "JDM", if you know what I mean…
Interclub Historic Car Race, Tsukuba Circuit. Frequent rain is something you just have to deal with in Japan, especially during the summer months. It is an utter pain in the *** to shoot photos in the rain, but cool shots can result. I liked this photo of two vintage Alfas kicking up rooster tails as they run down the front straight at Tsukuba Circuit at the Interclub event in June.
MSC Honjo Circuit, Saitama Prefecture. When it comes to cars I saw this year, I don't think any left a bigger impression on me than the C33 Laurel that I spotted at a few different drift events this year. The first time was saw it was here at the MSC Honjo Circuit event in August.
Idlers Games Tsukuba Circuit. And lastly, a shot from what might be the coolest grassroots racing series in the world. I liked this slow shutter shot of the field rounding Tsukuba's first corner during the opening moments of the race.
I suppose I should get to work on some "Commemorative Limited Edition New Year's Desktops" for you guys…