It was nice to have a week of no shoots to get caught up. The next assignment was Nov 10,11 at Buttonwillow raceway for the Super Lap Battle for Import tuner, super Street and Honda tuning. Super Lap Battle isn’t exactly a race in the traditional sense, its not wheel to wheel racing. The point of time attack is to get the single fastest lap time in your class (the best run of several heats throughout the day is your winning time). At the Super Lap Battle runs in different classes: Street, Limited and Unlimited. The other event was the Import tuner Evo vs sti challenge, this is a time attack but just for evos and Subaru sti’s.
Driving on I-5 to Buttonwillow
Since the the 10th was an early day I drove out on the 9th to spend the next couple nights at the luxurious motel 6. This is one of the worst hotels I stay in, the beds are like sleeping on a rock, the whole area smells like cow manure and there are flys everywhere. The front desk even provides guests with fly swatters.
Group shot of Evo/Sti competitors, well at least the ones that were still running, this year over half of the cars had mechanical problems.
One of the cars for Import Tuner
The evo Sti day was a little more work what the super lap battle. After a full day of shooting, my self and other photographer Luke Munnell had to shoot 8 vehicles as well as do a 8 car group driving shot around the track and an 8 car group shot. A lot to get done in a short time, being winter and it gets dark so early and the event ended at 3pm there was a lot to shoot in just a couple hours. Luckily I have done this type of shoot several times over the years so for me its no big deal.
Nov. 12 drove to Walnut Creek, Ca to attend my Tanta Tina’s funeral…that’s all I’m going to say about that.
The week of Nov 16 I had 3 shoots. First one was the 5 Zigan for an rsx photoshoot at their warehouse, for Import tuner. A simple shoot but one that had to be done quickly. My arrival time was 10am and had to finish by 1130 because the container was arriving to take the car back to Japan, plus the car could not be driven anywhere since it was a race car and the location was not the best especially at mid day. So the boring race car in the warehouse because we did not plan better to shoot it at the race track. Oh well it came out nice though
on the 19th went to kraftwerks in Ontario, Ca for an environmental portrait of Oscar Jackson and his son for Honda tuning.
Nov 20 for Import Tuner, had to shoot Alex Pfeifers drift car at Irwindale Raceway. Shoot was scheduled at noon but when I got there he was still applying the stickers to the car which took almost 2 hours to do. No big deal but there was deadline because there was a race scheduled for 3pm. I used my Dynalites with the external battery supply which gave me 100 watt seconds of power. Considering I had only 20 minutes including setup and teardown I was pretty happy with this shoot.
My next assignments were during Thanksgiving weekend for Heavy Hitters Magazine. My editor say we had to be at the location at 9am in West Hills on Thanksgiving Day. I told him that ill be there but had to leave by 1pm so I could get to my parents house in south Orange County. If this was any other mag I probably wouldn’t have worked on that day but Heavy Hitters always provides me with great content and the shoots are always a challenge more than the typical car feature. It was a fairly simple shoot we had to do group shots of the cars then shoot each individually and then shoot the house plus any detail shots that we saw. Oh did I mention that the cars were 3 Lamborghinis and an Enzo Ferrari. So pretty nice shoot
On November 27th I had another Heavy Hitters shoot this one was going to take place over 2 days in two locations. The subject was Prince Oliver from Germany. First we shot at his warehouse in Santa Monica where the bulk of his collection is stored. Upon arriving we were greated by the armed bodyguard who was pretty cool and fit the stereotype of every German badguy from a Bruce Willis film. Anyway at the warehouse I was surprised to see so many American cars I was expecting to see a stable of exotic European Cars. That day was a 5 hour shoot, I shot interview photos, the cars in the warehouse and photos of the prince along with his bodyguard with the Rolls…
On Monday November 30, was round 2 with Prince Oliver. This time we went to his house in Beverly Hills where finished the shoot. There we photographed the house, the other cars including a perfectly restored Gullwing Mercedes and a few setup photos of the Prince and his fiance.
Before we started working, the Prince invited us to breakfast. Since he is German, I was hoping for a meat fest with piles of sausages, etc. but what we got was a healthy breakfast, after the maid (dressed in a traditional maid uniform) served the food he said that there is no fat or cholesterol in the food, oh well…It was really good, just not what I was hoping for. The shoot went very well and I was very happy with the results. As usual it was a lot of work but it was worth it especially when I saw how it was layed out.
The article as it appeared in Heavy Hitters
Shoots for the rest of the year were nothing special. Since this time of the year there are not a lot of photoshoots I take a lot of time off plus I used several of my furlough days. After this year I needed a break but it will start again in January with 3 weeks in Japan for the Tokyo Auto Salon and feature shoots. Japan will be a separate posting
The early part of October was pretty quiet, just a few local shoots and getting content to my editors. The later part of the month was another story swamped from October 16 to November 2.
October 16 and 17 was the final round of the 2009 Formula D season at Irwindale Raceway. I always look forward to this event number one its close to my house and its a track that I always get some of my best drifting images. I always like to get to the track early, its easier to park, most of the security isn’t in place yet so you don’t have a bunch of douches in yellow jackets saying where you can or cannot go. I get there at my usual time when the participant gates open around 8am to find out that the first practice isn’t until 2pm, and since it starts so late virtually no one is there. so I went to the Scion trailer where I knew Chris Harrington would be, he drives the truck and does all of Scions photography at the events. Pretty much hung out there for a couple hours till it was time to go to work For most of the day nothing too eventful just shooting the normal drifting and pit photos.
Around 5pm I got myself into a good position to shoot some late afternoon opposite lock drift pan photos. its a nice shot.
Unlike the newby wanna be photographers I rarely look at the back of my camera to see what I got, Im more concerned with what is going on at the track. After a couple frames my camera made a couple strange sounds so I checked the back and this is what I saw. I took a couple more frames and then the camera locked up. Below is when i first noticed there was a problem.
Normally not a big deal, but in two days I was going on a 14 day trip and had a lot of shoots to do. After slightly panicking I emailed two of my supervisors telling them about what happened and about the pending trip. I told them we could do 1 of 3 things 1st I cancel my trip, 2nd we rent a camera which for that length of time would be about $2k or buy a camera. Well the two later suggestions were out of the question as they would not approve that kind of expense. On Sunday when I finally reached my other boss he told me that there was a spare camera from the recent layoffs and he would get it for me that afternoon…that made my day alth0ugh I missed the final round of the Formula D event. But at least I was ready for my next 14 days on the road. First stop Texas