I can't believe 2011 is almost upon us. Thinking back to what I was doing and what I was dreaming of just twelve months ago, this seems like some sort of alternative reality. It's just like one of those dreams you get awoken from just to bring you back to reality. Speedhunting takes on many different shapes and sizes throughout the year, from last minute simple coverage to planned-months-in-advance photoshoots. As a Speedhunter you need to be prepared for pretty much anything.
(above)Canon EOS 5D MKII, 50mm, 1/60, F6.3, -0.67EV
Aston Martin DB9, Park Lane, London, United Kingdom. The Lost in London stories came about pretty much by accident. I was on a weekend break in the city with my girlfriend when we decided to take a walk one evening after the shops had closed. Purely by accident we stumbled upon Park Lane, which happened to be where a lot of exotic marques sell their cars from. Armed with just a camera and a 50mm lens, it was great fun supercar hunting in the city.
Canon EOS 5D MKII, 28mm, 1/20, F4, ISO400
Japspeed HQ, Manchester, United Kingdom. In complete contrast to the Lost in London style, I had months previously arranged a shoot of the entire Japspeed team. Having never seen the location before it was a tough job moving the cars arounds and arranging everything to be as good as I could manage. The preparations took over an hour for this shot, whilst the photographs took around five or ten minutes. The image consists of five different shots blended together in post production.
Canon EOS 5D MKII, 50mm, 1/100, F1.8, ISO100, +2EV
Time Attack Series Final, Snetterton, Norwich, United Kingdom. Some of my favourite moments of 2010 have come from the early mornings at the Time Attack Series events. Getting an early start and getting to the track early has always paid off for these events as there is always a flurry of last minute activity as everyone makes final changes and repairs before the start of a day long assault on the track.
Canon EOS 5D MKII, 50mm, 1/40, F11, ISO50,
Time Attack Series Final, Snetterton, Norwich, United Kingdom. A low sun in the right position can really help transform a photograph. It's rare to see blue skies in the UK at any stage of the year so to have them in October was even more welcome.
Canon EOS 1D MKII N, 300mm, 1/500, F4, ISO160,
Time Attack Series Final, Snetterton, Norwich, United Kingdom. It was one of those corners that I could just see something happening on. Looking at the tire marks on the highest part of the kerbing, it was a sure thing that anyone brave enough to cut the corner would end up on two wheels. Some thirty minutes of just watching the one spot finally paid off as the Lateral Performance Impreza gave me what I hoped it would.
Canon EOS 5D MKII, 50mm, 1/40, F7.1, ISO100, +.33EV
Time Attack Series Final, Snetterton, Norwich, United Kingdom. Gareth Lloyd surely delivered the moment of the year for me by taking the 2010 Time Attack Series Pro crown on the last lap of the last session of the last event of the season. When you can visually tell someone is faster through a section than anyone else that day, you know you're looking at a winner.
Canon EOS 5D MKII, 50mm, 1/160, F2, ISO400,
Time Attack Series Final, Snetterton, Norwich, United Kingdom. It would of been ignorant however to forget the runner up in this category. Steve Guglielmi's Audi powered Lotus was within a breath of taking the 2010 Pro title and catching the car sitting idle as the sun set on Snetterton, I'll be waiting to see what Guglielmi will come back with in 2011.
Canon EOS 5D MKII, 35mm, 1/125, F5.6, ISO400,
Project ZED, Abbey Motorsport, Surrey, United Kingdom. Most static shoots always bring a set of problems that need to be overcome before you can have any success shooting them. Shooting drag racing cars of this calibre is always tricky as 9/10 they don't move very far and when you can move them, the amount of effort involved usually makes you think that you should have not bothered and just shot it in situ. However, even though it was in the corner of the workshop, somehow the shoot just worked.
Canon EOS 1D MKII N, 300mm, 1/60, F9, ISO160,
AE86 Trackday, Mondello Park, Co.Kildare, Republic of Ireland. Mondello Park is where I cut my teeth as an automotive photographer and everytime I come back, I always learn something new about the place. It's just one of those places that always has something up it's sleeve. Low setting sun, autumn colours and a sideways 20v AE86 – bliss.
Canon EOS 1D MKII N, 300mm, 1/100, F4, ISO400, -.67EV
COSM Historic Stages Rally, Carrick-on-Suir, Waterford, Republic of Ireland. The Irish complain an awful lot about everything. Even if there is nothing to complain about, we will complain about the fact we have nothing to complain about. However, it's events like this that remind me of how lucky we are. I said in a previous post that the Goodwood Revival is a must for any petrolhead. Even more so, you NEED to experience the modified classes on any Irish tarmac stage. It's as close to Group B as you'll get. Witnessing 350/400BHP RWD cars that weigh less than 1000KG with modern suspension, brakes and gearboxes is something quite beautiful to behold.
Canon EOS 5D MKII, 93mm, 1/100, F4, ISO2500, +1EV
COSM Historic Stages Rally, Carrick-on-Suir, Waterford, Republic of Ireland. Getting to watch the great Russel Brookes on my doorstep is another one of those moments I'll not forget anytime soon.
Canon EOS 5D MKII, 24mm, 1/200, F7.1, ISO100,
Wexican Motorsport SR20DET Toyota Altezza, Waterford, Republic of Ireland. 'From Hell's heart I stab at thee' Everyone has or will have one thing in life that is there to either make or break you. This car will always hold a special place in my heart for many reasons, with one of them being my favorite shoot of 2010. Photography is a learning process for which there is no end. You will never know it all and the more you learn, the more you will realise this. This shoot was an accumulation of a lifetime of learning, of putting everything I know into one shoot. It is what I will gauge every shoot I do against from here on out. I wonder now how will I look back at this in twelve months time ?
Canon EOS 5D MKII, 50mm, 1/80, F1.4, ISO1600, -.67EV
Speedhunting in Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. If I was to show just one picture from 2010 this would be it. It's a snapshot of a simple moment in time, yet it describes everything that 2010 has been for me. Fast cars, great people, exotic locations and absolute luck.
This will be my last post of 2010. Tomorrow heralds the beginning of a new day, of a new year. Here's hoping 2011 can live up to the expectations lay down by it's predecessor. As someone much greater than me once said 'tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life.'
Happy New Year everybody, have a safe and a happy one and may the high points of 2010 be your low points of 2011 !