Posts Tagged ‘NASCAR

21
Jun
13

Looking back at recent NASCAR work

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I feel like these blog posts are getting too few and too far between. Like I’m failing at promoting myself or something.  All I can say is that I’ve been very busy shooting for Getty, XPB and the Associated Press as well as my ‘day’ job as photo editor for Motorsport.com…and I have a three-year-old. That should cover it for any excuses I could get away with.

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May started off busy with Darlington NASCAR and continued with two straight weekends of Charlotte NASCAR (All-Star race and Coca Cola 600). Then it was on to Montréal for F1 (that will be a separate blog post) then on to Michigan for more NASCAR.

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There is a certain familiarity now with NASCAR, which is both good and bad. You can easily fall victim to the same ole’ thing and being safe, but you can also use that familiarity to challenge yourself and do something different. I’m probably guilty of doing both.

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Working with the Getty crew(s) who show up every weekend is pretty fantastic. It’s an opportunity to learn (you never stop the learning process, or the inspiration process for that matter). It’s also an opportunity to look at everyone’s take that day and say, well, once again we kicked ass. The standards are high and we strive to meet them.

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I enjoy finding moments during a race. Because, admittedly it can get a little boring at times. Coach Joe Gibbs was inadvertently working it during the Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington (in deep south S.C.).

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Then there are the super rare moments when you can isolate a driver for a clean image.

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And scene-setters.

ImageAnd working the garage…to me a great and fun challenge to make something totally different.

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Now I’m off to Pikes Peak on Monday for the hill climbing race. This will be my second time, and I’ll know what to expect, which should help. I’m both dreading and excited about the 3am call times (they practice every day from sun up to about 10am, because it’s a public road). The light is stunning at that time, and there’s something about being at that altitude (14,000 ft.) that changes things. Really looking forward to it.

Oh, and for the record the Coca Cola 600 is about 100 miles too long. Someone should look into that.

-RAE

http://www.rainier-ehrhardt.com

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03
May
10

Talladega debrief

While sitting in the AP darkroom for 18 hours waiting for tornados to maybe or maybe not hit Talladega Superspeedway, I calculated how many race weekends I’ve spent at the place.  This was my 19th race weekend, so if you average out three races in the spring and two in the fall, that’s 95 actual races I’ve shot since 2001.  That’s just enough to be kind of impressive, but not enough to be any sort of record, or cool for that matter.  I’m in Dega experience no man’s land.

All that said, there’s always the small possibility of getting an interesting shot, made smaller by the fact I’m usually placed in the pits, where you see the least amount of the track.  My day consists of trying to wrestle my way between an angry tire changer from the team in front of me and an angry fuel man from the team behind me to get a picture of Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson in a 14 second pitstop.  And between pitstops, I pan with the cars as they pass in front of me in case this happens:

Carl Edwards (60) goes airborne as he crashes with Mike Wallce (01) James Buescher (1) and Jason Leffier (38) during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron's 312 auto race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., Sunday, April 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

That’s twice in one year he’s performed so ‘well.’  Got some air but no flips.  This is becoming a pattern. Catch you next time Carl!

-RAE

www.rainier-ehrhardt.com

24
Apr
10

Me and 200,000 of my closest redneck friends

It’s that time of year again.  I get a farmer’s tan, smell like a bonfire for three days and jostle for position with four tv camera men and 12 photographers just to take a lame picture of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s pitstop.  Yeah.  Why do I still come here.

Carl Edwards flips into the catch fence on the last lap of the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, Sunday, April 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Well, every once in a while you get a “big one.” I’ve been coming to Talladega since 2001, and it only took 8 years and 15 races (they run two a year here) to get a decent wreck picture.   Like it or not, it’s what people expect to see when they see NASCAR photos.  It’s a luck of the draw kind of thing, and since I’ve always been the pit guy shooting for the Associated Press, I rarely saw any death and mayhem, so to speak (because lets face it, 100% of the fans are there to see carnage.)

Without getting into too much specifics, let’s just say it was the last lap, last corner, one guy moved down on the other to cut him off and they touched.  Then one went careening upside-down into the catch fence.  That’s classified as a big one in my book.

I’ll likely never top this photo.  So again, why do I still come here?

CUZ I’M A REDNECK AT HEART! YEEHAW!

-RAE

www.rainier-ehrhardt.com




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