Racing to shoot…

So last year I was offered an opportunity. I was offered an opportunity to shoot a Nascar event known as the Kroger 200. I only bring this up because I didn’t do it as I was already slated to shoot a wedding that weekend. The big thing with me is that I don’t like to say no to too many projects that I want, as I know that the more I say no the less people will ask. Not that I’ll take on any project that comes my way (as no photographer should), I just don’t like turning people away when it’s something that I especially want to do. Luckily though, Kroger came back to me this year and asked me to shoot their Race the night before the Brickyard 400: The Kroger 200 at O’Reilley Raceway Park.

(Nikon D3s, 1250ISO, Nikon 18-35mmF3.5-4.5@18mm. 1/250th@F3.5)

The regular star coverage can be found here. I’d never been to a NASCAR Race, much less gotten an opportunity for an ALL ACCESS PASS to shoot one. You may say that I know nothing about Shooting a race, and I’d almost agree with you. Not almost agree because I’ve shot an Indy 500, or a MotoGP. Not because of the Purdue Grand Prix either. I’d only almost agree because my assignment meant that I was only required to take one shot. That’s all. Just one. That meant that the other quite a few hours that I was out at the race? I was there getting paid, just for me.

(Nikon D3s, 1000ISO, Nikon 70-200VR2@82mm, 1/200@F2.8)

My assignment was to take a photo of the winner. Until I knew who that was, I had free reign of the entire racetrack. The guy above was one of the pitt crew for Car #98, Paul Menard. He was watching the race from on top of the travel trailer. Honestly I’d have love to have climbed up there and seen the race from there even, but honestly short of levitating I’m not sure how he got up there. Didn’t need the shot, but just like a lot of photographers; you don’t just take what you need.

(Nikon D700, 1250ISO, Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/800th@F5.6)

There are certain things you will do though while there. As an example, I am sending Kroger the photos that I did take, that I like but didn’t use. Everything above is an example of that. There are lots of uninteresting photos of random racecars, strange people with mullets, or weird fisheye angles that didn’t quite work out, but I’m only sending them as an extra for having me out. After all, they didn’t have to right? Not only that, but from what I understand they were very pleased with the shot I took of the winner. It ran full page on the back of the Racing Special Section last Monday. Full page isn’t a good enough description though I suppose. It ran larger than the front page photo by Sam Riche (an awesome photographer/good friend), which was almost full page. There were no extra ads on this photo, it was just the photo. Second largest thing I’ve ever had run in the newspaper. Just like the largest thing I’ve ever had run though, this one had no photo credit….More Soon.