I always find it a bit strange to do these Photos of the Year posts. The reality of taking these shots has faded away, leaving just a bitmap; a collection of RGB values which form some kind of automotive related image. And as I look through these photographs I find it perhaps a bit hard to believe that I actually shot these images myself! Did that really happen?
Yes I was there. I was the one that selected the camera settings, chose the lens and created the framing. But somehow it seems like a dream looking at these images!
Above: GT1 World Championship, Paul Ricard Circuit, France
Team NFS Test Day, Willow Springs Raceway, California, USA. This was the first time I had a chance to shoot Mad Mike's RX8 and it was also the first time I used my new 400mm lens. I'm happy with the results tbh…. it's an opposite technique to the more commonly used wide lens style for car portrait shots but gives a very formal sense of framing which is 100% my style.
Nugget Car Show, Wendover, Nevada, USA. Some rat style for you.
Dubai 24 Hours, Dubai Autodrome, UAE. If I recall correctly, this is one of the IMSA Racing GT2 Porsches leaving the pitlane in the wee hours of the morning. With around 10 hours of the Dubai 24H yet to go, another day of racing lies ahead… and for me a full day of non stop shooting is also yet to come.
Fatlace One of One, Las Vegas Speedway, Nevada, USA. You can see my penchant for shooting cars with telephotos lenses here huh? This slammed 280Z really captured my attention at FD Las Vegas
JDM Allstars, Wembley Stadium, London, UK. I don't know how things work for other Speedhunters but sometimes I will see a car and just HAVE to shoot it. There is simply no other option. I had this urge when I spotted this JZX amongst a line of spectator cars at JDM Allstars Wembley this summer.
Bonneville Speed Week, Wendover, Utah, USA. Same deal when I saw the KDF Mangler for the first time ever. I shot it literally 15 minutes after arriving on the Bonneville Salt Flats and it proved to be my most important car discovery of the year.
Team NFS Test Day, Willow Springs Raceway, California, USA. More telephoto action of Mad Mike's rotary beast, a couple days before Formula D Long Beach. We were quite excited to have brought Mad Mike to the US for his first full season of Formula D.
World Time Attack Challenge, Eastern Creek Raceway, Sydney, Australia. Mmmm… one of my more dramatic still life shots of the year. Normally when one shoots a car feature you should perhaps light the subject, but I was preferring to go in the other direction here. All the lighting for the shot is coming from the car itself.
GT1 World Championship, Silverstone, UK. Sometimes going the extra mile yields great results! Faced with a wet early morning race warm-up, Will Roegge and I battled the British rain, mud and cold to get some cool moody shots. Our soaked feet were well worth the effort.
Formula D, Infineon Raceway, California, USA. I wonder how many of our Speedhunters audience still think of this track as being called Sears Point and not Infineon hahaha. Here Matt Powers burns up a set of Nittos.
GT3 European Championship, Autodromo Algarve, Portugal. At the three GT3 events I attended this year, I would often spend a few sessions in the pit lane, capturing shots of our racing team. This shot of the Team NFS BMW GT3 pulling into its pit box has a great sense of depth, something that I'm always trying to achieve with my photos.
GT3 European Championship, Paul Ricard Circuit, France. Team NFS driver and Need for Speed head honcho, Patrick Soderlund is looking a bit pensive in this shot. That's because he was watching his co-driver Edward Sandstrom battling hammer and tongs with team mate Claudia Hurtgen. The pair were close to taking each other out.
Formula D, Long Beach, California, USA. I like to consider myself an auxiliary member of Team Vaughn Gittin JR and quite enjoyed documenting his championship winning season. This shot from the Long Beach podium celebration is one of my best photos… ever.
Formula D, Long Beach, California, USA. Here's another shot of JR from Long Beach. For some reason his car is lit up compared to the darkened vehicles surrounding… which really makes the photo work.
Formula D, Las Vegas Speedway, Nevada, USA. Sometimes everything comes together right in front of you. The sun was just setting, lighting up JR's reflective stickers and bathing his Mustang in golden light. And to top off the moment, JR tagged the wall just milliseconds before I snapped the camera's shutter. I couldn't have asked for more!
Formula D, Infineon Raceway, California, USA. One more JR shot: I captured his celebration in winning Formula D Sonoma. I gave him a hug too which surprised him greatly!
Formula D SEMA Press Conference, Las Vegas Convention Center, Nevada, USA. I love taking photos of industry personalities! Here I caught the Editor-In-Chiefs of Super Street and Modifed magazines, Jonathan Wong and Peter Tarach as they tried on some 3D glasses for size.
Westin Hotel, Long Beach, California, USA. DJ Miki Taka and the Need for Speed Girls have given out a whole boat load of Speedhunters stickers at various Formula D events this year. We shot this photo with her to announce the first set of giveaways.
Team NFS Test Day, Willow Springs Raceway, California, USA. And then we have the one and only Matt Powers. Someone I consider to be not only an upcoming drifting icon, but a real artist too. This is my fav shot of him from the season.
GT3 European Championship, Autodromo Algarve, Portugal. Let's keep going with the portrait shots. I captured this photo of Team NFS driver Edward Sandstrom as he waited for the start of hostilities at the FIA GT3 European Championship event, Portugal. Not sure what's with his hands!
Bonneville Speed Week, Wendover, Utah, USA. The new Editor-In-Chief of Speedhunters, Charles Kha thinks this is one of my best photos from Bonneville Speedweek: this portrait of Japanese tuner Dandy Tanaka. We all know what happened to his RX7 a few days later….
Formula D, Long Beach, California, USA. Let's finish up with three shots of Need For Speed Girl, Vanessa Graw. This was the first time I ever photographed her with my then new 400mm lens… pretty good result!
Shift 2 Unleashed photo session, Vancouver, Canada. A few months later we brought her to Vancouver for a photo and video shoot for the Shift2 Unleashed Announce Trailer. She didn't end up in the trailer, but we have used a shot from this session in the game itself.
RTR-X Unvealing, Las Vegas Convention Center, Nevada, USA. We've always maintained that the Need for Speed Girls are the opposite of typical umbrella girls and have often encouraged them to create mayhem at Formula D events and event refuse to pose with cars. Their punky styling is a reflection of this feeling…
Somewhere in the LA Freeway system, Los Angeles, California, USA. Don't press the Red Button!
I hope you enjoyed the photos!