Sprint cars with "wings" and airplanes: CameraDan, yeah, that was me!12:22 PM
Along about 1978, I was working as a quasi-pit crew member for a guy who raced "super modifieds" at Madera, California's lightning quick one-third mile paved oval. One night, they asked me to being my camera and take a couple of pictures, so I did. I talked myself into the infield, and waltzed up to the edge of the track in the apex between turns one and two. I was about 10 feet from the left front tire of cars speeding by at maybe 100 mph. There, I shot several rolls of film, and the images I caught were the classic "stopped race car whizzing past the blurred background" shots. I got lucky, let's face it.
|A few of the published action images I shot from|
Hanford, CA's Kings Speedway.
I spent the next 10 years of my life as one of the West's more well-known racing photojournalists. I would shoot at night, race home to a improvised darkroom in a closet, and develop and print whole sets of the best shots from that night's crash and go. I'd then pound out a bunch of gibberish as copy, stuff it all into about 12 manilas and shoot it into the FedEx system. Back in the day, had I invested about $20,000 in a serious Nikon film system, the same long lenses the football shooters were using, and a bad-ass portable flash system, I could have become a well-known national figure in auto racing photography...I was that close to the top. But the foolish financial decisions of a twentysomething kept me in medium-quality equipment and I was never able to "break into" the big time.