Category: Travel

MOTOGP Pit photography

A bit of MOTOGP Pit photography.  I was lucky enough again this year to be a pit and paddock marshal for MOTOGP at Circuit of the Americas.  MOTOGP is the Formula1 of motorcycle racing, the fastest, most technologically advanced road bike in the world. When cornering, the motorcycles will lean over up to60 degrees from vertical.  The riders’ knees and elbows easily drag on the track!

These shots are from the Friday pit walk where the organization let workers and special guests walk along the pits after all activity had stopped for the day.

The teams had the most prominent bikes out, Valentino Rossi’s #46 Movistar Yamaha, Dani Pedrosa‘s #26 Repsol Honda and #04 Jorge Lorenzo’s Ducati The shots of the pavement and markings are not from MOTOGP, but left over form Formula1.  The shot of one of the pitman communication stand was funny because on of the monitors was on and the Detroit Tigers were on.

For the race day, I was the row position card holder for row 6.  We had to hold or cards on poles out as the riders approached their location for the start and them have our yellow flag read for the start of the race in case on of the riders in out row could not start or had a problem.  Very exciting, very intense, arguably one of the best places to see a start of a motorcycle race.



Travel photography – Post offices heading south

Every year I do a bit of travel photography as I head south in a van I drive to Florida for my step Dad.  Each year I try and choose a different route, getting off the Freeway for long stretches and go through the small towns.  I will review the upcoming towns and see if there is an interesting Post Office.  If so I find it and shoot it. I have shot interesting court houses, forestations and other odd buildings in the past.  This trip down in addition to post offices, I shot some used car dealers, fire stations, city halls and a weird pink building.

On other trips I had shot with my Nikon D7100 converted to infrared, but I did not bring it this year.  At every location I shoot a bracket of at least three exposures 2 stops bright, on and 2 stops dark.  I then combine the exposures in Lightroom using the HDR function.  What I get is a slightly enhanced color image with a lot more exposure in the shadows and highlights. I will even shoot a three stop bracket of multiple views, process the HDR for each view and then stitch them into a panorama.

I think this will be a long time continuing project for me.  I like the idea of getting off the busy highway and making a reason to see and visit small town America.  I have found that every community and even some remote outposts have a post office.  If it appears the post office is newer that 20 – 30 years I typically give it a miss.

My wanderlust was inspired by  book I read long ago. Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon.  He chronicles a cross country trip, partially following the past of Lewis and Clark.  A wonderful read if you like travel books. On the look out for the elusive 4 calendar restaurant.

Panoramic photography of cheap hotel rooms

Panoramic photography of cheap hotel rooms on my travels to Florida.  I make an annual trip to Florida to deliver a van for family.  Instead of staying in typical corporate same as all the other hotel motel chains, I choose to get into small towns and stay in an independent motel.  When I first get in the room I shoot a couple and some details to show the “uniqueness” and charm of independent motels.

The panoramas are made by shooting a series of images rotating the camera a bit every exposure.  The images are stitched together in either Lightroom or Photoshop.  Before stitching I apply developing adjustments for a particular look.