Let me preface this blog post by saying: I realize that I typically shoot photos of everyone at the track, and thats what I've done for a long, long time. This time however, I did not do that. I used this weekend as an opportunity to learn the track, find the good angles, and just to simply have a good time. Being on the track for every moto, and trying to get a quality photo of every single rider is a difficult task, and rather than use up loads of memory shooting some mediocre images, I would experiment with new techniques and take the day to learn.
My Wife and I left Chehalis around 2:00, en route to Richland. It was a beautiful drive that I could get used to taking several times a year.
My original plan was to get to the track and have enough daylight to pull a few riders and their bikes aside and take some portraits, but thanks to several stops during the drive, that plan didn't work out. Instead, we found our camp spot, and setup our tent. With a little bit of light left after the sun went down, we walked the track to get a feel for what I needed to look forward to. I snapped a few shots of the tractors doing maintenance , then made our way back to the tent to turn down for the night.
Saturday morning, 6:00am. Rise and shine, Jesse. It was cold, and difficult to sleep in, so fuck it, it's time to get ready for the day. I started by taking some photos of the CATS doing more track work, then wandered back to the pits to catch some early morning prep by riders and their mechanics. Stopped by the Motosport Inc tent, to find Brett Cue and Rory Sullivan setting up shop.
Practice comes around, and like any practice, it's chaos. All I can really do is identify the riders I know and start paying attention to who's doing the cool stuff (whips, scrubs, going fast in general). Right off the bat, guys are throwing whips, and hauling ass in the pro/intermidiate class. I locate Barn Pros rider, Chris Howell, the number 91 is scooting along at a fast pace, and looking smooth. I also notice the 910 machine of Carson Brown, that kid has some style! He will be one that I will keep my eye on for the rest of the day.
Some of you may have noticed my Wife and I out on the track with a big flash, and wondered, "what the hell is that"? In the spirit of trying something new, I stepped out of my comfort zone and added a different style to my photos, one that I've never done, at a track. Ever pay attention to the factory riders? Specifically the photos of them on the posters that they sign at Supercross and the Nationals. They all have a polished look to them. The colors are crisp, there's no glare on the plastic, shadows seem to be non existent. Thats because they are lit with high powered strobes, much like you would find in a studio. Turns out, they do a great job at overpowering the sun, and make for a VERY unique look.
Needless to say, the day was amazing. I had fun, I learned some stuff, met some fellow motocross photographers, and discovered that I love the facility there in Richland. I look forward to hitting up the final two rounds of the NW National series when it comes to Burnt Ridge, and seeing many of you again. Enjoy the rest of my favorites from Saturday.
Sunday the 15th was the 3rd round of racing at Straddleline for the Mudslingers winter series. The weather was nothing short of a god-send, no rain in the forecast means 2 things: First, I will be able to decipher who is who, due to cleaner number plates. Second, I won't come home, trailing mud through the house when I get home, and my wife appreciates that, so it's a win-win.
But in all seriousness, the rain and mud was getting to me. It was such a bummer to come home and sort through a crap-load of gray and brown photos. Mud monsters, rather than motocross racers. Nobody doing anything really cool, rolling almost all of the jumps, and just an all around lack of intensity from a majority of the riders.
The track was great, the dirt was tacky, it rutted up nice, and the riders were sending it! I've never seen a bigger turnout in the 50cc class, than I did on Sunday. The nice weather seem'd to bring out all of the little guys and gals. The action was fast, and the lighting, especially in the afternoon, was awesome. Here are some of my favorite shots from the day.