Car Life>> How I Learned To Eat Light

I’ll admit: I never aspired to be who I am today. I never planned on it, nor did I even fathom that I would ever become a photographer when I was younger. It just happened.

My childhood was filled with things that were just like any other boy; days filled with Lego, playing in the streets, video games, Robotech, the Disney Afternoon, orange creamsicles, purple drink, dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, and of course, knee scrapes aplenty. But interspersed between normal kid-dom was a creative flair that never faded away. I drew–a lot. I took so many sheets of paper from my father’s printer that my buttocks already knew the sting of his bamboo stick before it was even unleashed. My dear mother never seemed to be able to supply me with enough coloring books as each new black and white book would instantly be introduced to the world of color. Teachers would always send me home with notes saying that I doodled when I wasn’t supposed to, on things like essay margins, standardized tests, math homework, my desk, and fellow classmates’ bare arms all fell victim to my creative fervor.

As I slipped out of kid-hood and into my teenage years, I realized that this addiction to constantly create was more “me” than my addiction to Star Wars (don’t get me wrong though, the Millennium Falcon is still one of the coolest space faring vessels in any science fiction universe). During the four years of high school, I took six art classes–SIX! In the first of those four years, I knew deep down that I wanted to have a career as some sort of creative professional. My burning desire at the time was to make video games. I locked myself in my room for hours on end creating custom 3D models for the first person shooter, Counter-Strike. But most importantly, I learned how to use photoshop.

By the time my second year of college rolled around, I somehow managed to take all four of the art history classes that were available. I breathed in each and every one of those classes like fresh air. I relished the stories about the masters; how they grew up, their creative process, and their social impact.

I fell deeply in love with modern art. Artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Barnett Newman, Frank Stella, Georgia O’Keefe and Richard Diebenkorn would later creep in like a ninja to influence my photography.

Eventually, I dropped out of college to support myself. I felt as though I received what pieces of knowledge I needed from school. Plus, living alone while working and taking classes was one tough cookie, I tell ya! I started working for a small graphic design studio. I worked on brochures, presentations, illustrated children’s books, designed products and product boxes.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with my photography, and my answer to you is this: everything. But we’ll get more into that in just a bit….

I was eventually let go from that studio. They were kind enough to leave me a bit of severance pay. In my grief over losing a job, I decided to use that extra bit of money to treat myself with something–something that I’ve always wanted to get but never took the plunge: a camera.

I bought myself a refurbished Nikon D40 with 18-55mm (non VR) for $450 in the fall of 2007. I did zero research about cameras before I hit the “buy” button; I knew absolutely nothing about them. But when Mr. Brown finally delivered the box to my front door, I couldn’t help but to tear it open. In the aftermath, a small black camera sat quietly on my bed.

Like a virgin on prom night, I had no idea what do with it.

You’re probably wondering when cars will enter this story because you’re reading SpeedHunters, not ArtHunters orLifeHunters, right?

Growing up, I was never into cars as much as I am now. Don’t get me wrong though–I had a poster of a Lamborghini Countach on my wall like ever other pre-pubescent boy. My education about the world of cars during those hey-I’m-getting-taller years was through video games. At that time, I thought I was the coolest kid on the block when I was blasting through the streets of Tokyo in my 450 horse power Toyota Camry with the gaudiest of body kits and the grossest of wheels while destroying my opponents with my rice.

When I was working at that graphic design firm, I bought myself a 1992 classic red Mazda Miata. I’d been hearing through the deep caverns of the internet that these little roadsters were the best fun that you can have for less than $2000, and the internet was right.

Through the power of the internet, I met a few other individuals that shared the same addiction toward those cute convertibles. There was a whole lot of hard parking (parking and hanging out in parking lots) during that time. It was at one of these many meets that I met two individuals that would forever change my life.

The first was Peter Li; he was a fellow roadster owner that had another addiction: photography. His progressive compositions and use of color were like none I’ve ever seen before on the automotive internet.

The second person was Jesse Lee. He also was into photography and shared the same burning passion for those happy and quirky cars. He introduced me to the technical side of being a light-capturist, which, I have to admit, turned on my inner-tech-nerd side.

After I purchase my camera, Peter and Jesse both taught this would-be light eater everything he needed to know about cameras. Now armed with some knowledge about my light capture device in my brain, I proceeded photograph anything and everything. Nothing was safe from my shutter–blades of grass, random neighborhood dogs, sunrises, sunsets, and of course, friends and family that were completely uncomfortable with having a camera shoved in their faces at all times.

That little Nikon never left my side for a whole year.

My love for photography grew hand-in-hand with my love for automobiles. It was only natural to start shooting my own car as well as my fellow Miata enthusiasts’ cars. I became completely engrossed in photography. Every waking moment of my life was filled with thoughts of how to capture light. There were countless late nights spent staring at the computer screen trying to absorb as much photography knowledge as possible. During that time of information osmosis, there were a few notable automotive photographers that would inspire, influence and motivate me to become better with my new artistic medium: Easton Chang, Winn Ruji, Scott Dukes, Mike Burroughs, Costas Stegriou, Sean Klingelhoefer, anyone that shot on the original JTuned, and this new automotive website that I had a growing addiction for: Speedhunters.

Automotive photographers weren’t my only source of inspiration, however. I frequented wedding photography blogs and subscribed to Vogue, Bazaar and Southern Weddings magazines. I followed the likes of Fred Egan, Nick Onken, Sean Flanigan, Jory Cordy, Tony Yang, Chase Jarvis and their photographic journeys through their blogs.

Everything I consumed eventually found its way into my photography.

In January 2009, I got a particular email from a chap named Rod Chong–yes, Mr. Red Pants himself from Speedhunters. It was Mazda month and he was wondering if I’d like to blog about the Southern California KINOD roadster community that I was a part of. It took me no more than 2.9 milliseconds to prompt a response. This was the result of that. And the rest is well… history.

The dear little Nikon was on its last legs as I started to contribute to this site. The only lenses I carried to shoots was a 50mm F1.8 and a 18-70mm F3.5-4.5 with a broken auto focus motor. That was my primary setup for more than a year. But as the little black light capture device started to cough and wheeze to and from shoots, I knew I had to retire the poor thing. Short on cash for a new camera, I did something that pained me dearly: I sold my Mazda Miata. What replaced the tired old Nikon and that peppy little roadster was a Canon 5D Mark 2.

We’ve been inseparable since.

What did all of that nonsense have to do with my photography? Like I said earlier, everything. Every single experience that has happened to me in the past has had some sort of influence on my creative work. Every person I’ve met, every scraped knee and every dinosaur shaped chicken nugget consumed are all elements that have made me who I am today. As a creative professional, I have the liberty to shape my own reality. My photos are not just photos of Chris Forsberg, some super slammed late-model import, GT race cars, or just clouds; rather, they are a glimpse into my reality the instant that shutter closes.


Speedhunters Photography Month Features



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Amazing Article!

Photography capturing moments all day, everyday, every second x]

Keep doing your thing! good luck


Linhbergh, I'm honoured to be working alongside you and the rest of the team. Keep up the work, it's always inspiring !


Lihnbergh, i first saw your work on KINOD, long before you joined the Speedhunters, and afterwards i was so happy, because now we could all enjoy those glimpses of that reality of yours! I will be following your art for years to come! I am waiting to get the opportunity to meet you at least to say hi! Stay hungry for that light, keep giving us food for our dreams!


DUDE this rocks so hard, KEEP. IT. UP.

This makes me want to get out and start doing things.


You never seem to disappoint article and old shots from the past to the present.


Linhbergh I just love your pics! You're definetly a light eater !

Is it possible to follow your work on flickr ? If yes, where (link) ?



Amazing Article. Love the photography month and love these blogs from all the different photographers.

PS...Love me some 5dmk2


More Artpants posts!!


Wow, such a brilliantly written article! It was an awesome read, thank you!


DAMN !!!

I want the great Darth Vader / Ariel Atom pic as my Wallpaper so badly...

Its so fucking awesome



i ALREADY have that darth vader as my wallpaper for months :p just get through linhbergh's blog to get it


still cant believe that was woolery under the suit.


Rad. I'm feelin it.


Well said... very well said Linhbergh!


Linhbergh, It sounds cliched to say it, but truely inspirational words. Thanks for taking the time to write it all down for us to pour over and absorb.


darth mask in an all black atom, comedy genius.




Cute Story. You should do some kind of Cute Post oh wai...


De Nikon a Canon, buenísimo, yo también aspiro algún día, sacar fotos como las de ustedes, y me emociona leer los comentarios de el mes de la fotografia, un grande !

Translate this!

I Cite this

"Is it possible to follow your work on flickr?" where?



I just stood up and applauded. Certainly an interesting journey for one of my favorite photographers. Do yourself and all of us a favor, keep on eating light till you can't eat anymore.


yah good post! buy another miata already linh! do it!


Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!

Looking forward to some other car life posts....John Brooks, Rod, Andy B?

23 inspire me. we are soooo much alike it alomst scares me. I WILL meet you before I die.


Beautiful story.



OMG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

incredible large foot steps you've been giving, in your life, you sure are an "N/A" Artist.

Love the Pictures and the perfect catches you've been doing all this time..

Impressive and Talented work, i can imagine your portfolio it must be something =D

The Best Wishes and Best Regards From Portugal

Loved the Article, Truly Inspirational, since Im willing to buy a Nikon D3000.


Amazing article with amazing shots!


Hello !!!

Super work and very beautiful record.

Sorry for my English is very bad.



Amazing, this is awesome. You should be a journalist. .. ,oh wait...


Great write up Linhbergh. Your images have definitely influence the way I look at things behind the viewfinder. I'm always looking through your site and artpants for inspiration. Keep it up.


I somehow never realized you sold your Roadster to buy the camera. Damn.

Feel free to visit NM and drive mine whenever you like.


I agree with all the is an absolutely brilliant article!

Your photos represent the hallmark of a great photographer and personality ,too!

That fact makes you to be my top favorite of the Speedhunters Crew!

BTW the red miata with the work eurolines is yours?...i guess it is!

I wish you to have the same passion and enthusiasm in order to keep impressing all of us again and again!!!


Amazing! just pure awesomeness!


you're the man


felt it all...

where's that Nikon D40 now?


Photos are great

But text is like:"how i spent my summer"

More photos less letters


Linhbergh, if you're ever looking for an apprentice or an assistant, I'll be the first one to sign up. You're one of my most influential automotive photographers, your Flickr is like my bible. I'm not too sure about your flowery prose, but your photography and post-processing are top notch, sir.


What sort of car is the one in photo five? I was thinking Fiat, but I can't be sure.



Terrific write up, thanks for sharing!


You really do have a natural talent, and an amazing eye on top of that. I aspire and inspire from this article.


Yea I remember NIKOD, I was just getting into Mazda Miatas.Then I moved back up to Washington were for some stupid reason,their crazy expensive!some day.

Glad your part of the team.always admired your photography skills.


Thank you for that article. Thats a lot of insight.


This is one of the most inspiring stories I ever read. Beautiful.


great article, really motivational !!!!!!!


i enjoyed the way you show's just amazing !

i'm already searching the darth atom wallpaper somewhere : it might end on a shirt :p !!


@ MadMax: The car in that photo (the one you're thinking Fiat) is a Miata with a Pitcrew kit.


Best article I have read on this site yet.




you are the legend...


I had no idea you were a fellow Art hoon. This was very inspiring. I love your work.


Damn, I LOVE the Darth/Atom pic!!!! I gotta print that out for my office wall, or buy a print if you have it for sale.... that just sums up the feeling of a modern car nut like myself, not to mention it's an AWESOME shot, fantastic how you captured just the right amount of highlights from the car and the helmet to match..... wow, that makes me wish I could rig my autocross helmet into a Vader, lol! I have a shot of my RX8 next to a drawbridge in Racine Wisconsin, the two towers on the drawbridge look so much like Jabba's palace. Truly inspiring work, keep it up! Where do we find your blog at?


Linhbergh, very interesting read and really inspirational.


And here I just assumed you have been shooting for years and years or you went to school for photography. Seeing where you started and what you have accomplished in just the past few years is truly inspiring.


Respect. Avant garde.


What an amazing article!!!

Your photography and story are both very inspirational!

As a recent college grad with a few art classes under my belt and a Nikon 40x, I'm hoping the same story can come true for myself!


Wow. Terrific explanation. Its like you and I lived parallel lives up until the working at the graphic design studio part. I would have so many sketches growing of cars growing up, my mom thought I was going to be some type of automotive engineer/designer. I have a D3000 that I saved up for and it's my first DSLR. My family is as equally uncomfortable/annoyed with me and my camera in their faces, haha. Good luck in the future man. Light, it's what's for dinner!


dude, you just gave me the goosebumps.. keep on rockin' dude. you're truly inspiring..


You inpire me. Thank you :)

(sorry, my first language is French so I can't write much)


Inspiring. Awesome stuff man.


Light eater? Expains a lot about Bonneville :-))


Simply inspirational. Keep it up Linhbergh!






You took that pic of Vader in the Atom? No shit! Loved the story--I too was a counter-strike addict and am a Star Wars fiend! Great read and I waited until the end to see who wrote it haha