Posts Tagged ‘audi

21
Jun
11

Favorite Le Mans image

I began my photographic career as a motorsport photographer.  It was only a couple of years into it that I got bit by the photojournalism bug and jumped ship to tailor a portfolio suited to get a job as a newspaper shooter.

However, a few times a year I freelance for motorsport.com and Zuma Press at endurance sportscar races, most notably at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.  It’s always fun to return to my ‘roots’ so to speak and see old friends.  I’m back in my environment, I know what to do, and I’m comfortable.  Motorsports photography has everything: speed, obviously, but also people, colors, a need for a sense of timing.  At the end of the day, it’s a sporting event, and covering it does require a certain amount of photojournalism-ism.

So it’s obvious that as I’ve evolved as a pj, I’ve also evolved as a motorsports photog.  And when one of the Zuma editors asked me to shoot some behind the scenes/spectator stuff in order to give a variety other than sports photography, it added a new challenge to my coverage.

So as the race continued on and the sun started to get low on the horizon on Saturday evening, I took a few moments to leave track side and the paddock to join the spectators enjoying the fun.  It had been a long time since I’d been on the other side of the fence, looking at cars several yards away through reinforced fencing.  The view sucks, but the culture doesn’t.

I borrowed a 24mm 1.4 lens from Nikon France who were providing service for credentialed photographers on site.  This was the time to use the hell out of it.  The amazing thing about that lens, other than the insanely cool look that depth of field gives, is the incredibly rich colors and crispness it gives.  When it’s sharp it’s tack, and when the light’s flat, it’s contrasty beyond belief.  It’s the perfect photojournalism lens, period.  The lens’ biggest virtue is how it makes any boring scene look interesting because of the mood it sets.  There’s nothing like setting a mood with a photograph.

So, all that to say that my favorite image from an auto race contains no cars, no drivers, or racing personalities.  Not even an inch of track or tire barrier.  Instead, it’s a scene you could find at any county fair, or amusement park.  It’s more photojournalist than straight sports photographer.  Maybe I’ve evolved past that.  Maybe.

Or maybe it’s just the lens.

June 11, 2011 - Le Mans, France. A fan watches as a couple enjoy a carnival ride during the 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race.

 

And another just cuz.  It’s a photo blog afterall.

 

June 10, 2011 - Le Mans, France Audi Sport driver Tom Kristensen, center, of Denmark, during the 24 Hours of Le Mans drivers' parade.

-RAE

www.rainier-ehrhardt.com

 

07
Oct
10

Petit Le Mans leftovers part I

Here are a few extras from Petit Le Mans last weekend.  It’s such a hectic few days between what’s going on in the pits and on the race track, as well as editing and those pesky things called eating and sleeping, there’s barely any time to really get stuff together for a blog update.  It’s go go go, edit and send, go go go, edit and send.  I’m convinced I’d lose a bunch of weight if it weren’t for the Tostitos Eric and I continually munch on in the photo room (trailer really) as we edit.  Some photogs listen to music on their headphones, others develop a case of restless leg syndrome – all in order to focus and do it fast.  We just eat the crunchiest thing we can find.  Hey, whatever works.

Anyway, due to popular demand (ok, two people) here are more photos, with even more to come.

Oct 1, 2010 - Braselton, Georgia, U.S. - Ferrari driver GIANMARIA BRUNI, of Italy, waits for qualifying for the Petit Le Mans auto race in Braselton, Georgia.

Peugeot drivers Anthony Davidson, left, of England, and Alex Wurz, of Austria, speak during practice for the Petit Le Mans auto race, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010, in Braselton, Georgia.

#1 Patron Highcroft Racing Honda Performance Development ARX-01c: David Brabham, Simon Pagenaud, Marino Franchitti during night practice for the Petit Le Mans auto race, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010, in Braselton, Georgia.

Audi driver Benoit Treluyer, of France, during practice for the Petit Le Mans auto race, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010, in Braselton, Georgia.

Oct 1, 2010 - Braselton, Georgia, U.S. - STEPHANE SARRAZIN, of France, waits in his Peugeot 908 race car during practice for the Petit Le Mans auto race in Braselton, Georgia.

Oct 1, 2010 - Braselton, Georgia, U.S. - Audi Sport general director Dr. WOLFGANG ULLRICH, of Germany, during practice for the Petit Le Mans auto race in Braselton, Georgia.

Oct 1, 2010 - Braselton, Georgia, U.S. - Ferrari driver GIANCARLO FISICHELLA, of Italy, during practice for the Petit Le Mans auto race in Braselton, Georgia.

-RAE

www.rainier-ehrhardt.com

 

 

04
Oct
10

Dindo Capello B&W

I’m not usually one to convert my images to black and white.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t find a good B&W photograph striking in its own way.

When you get right down to it, I just don’t think about it.  I see the world in color, my camera sees the world in color, so my images are in color.  It was different when you loaded B&W film.  You were locked in with no choice.  That’s what the film saw – shades of gray.

Of course, nowadays, with the ability to go back and forth, there is a tendency to turn color images  into B&W to make up for the fact that it’s not a strong picture to begin with.  The photographer hoping the grayscale will add another dimension to an otherwise mediocre photo.  The way I see things, turning an image to B&W actually removes something from the picture.  The eye is no longer distracted by splotches of color in the background or the pink in a person’s skin tone.  In this respect, I believe a photo has to be good enough to start with in order to withstand this stripping away effect.

All that to say, there’s something special about a veteran racing driver from Italy waiting to take the wheel and the look on his face as he focuses.  I hope you agree that this deserved to be converted.

-RAE

www.rainier-ehrhardt.com