[day 3 of] ten days of posting motorsports shenanigans goes to the Behind the Scenes.
it’s pretty safe to say that 99% of the people out there see the net result of what i do…and very seldom to they ever see HOW i do what i do to get those results that make me the big bucks (*giggles* i WISH). most of the time, i’m solo out wherever, so there’s very little evidence of all my cockamamy antics to begin with.
what i do isn’t as easy-peezee as most people seem to think it is… “yeah, just click a button, sure!” realistically, it’s actually hard work. i mean, i’m not carrying around a jackhammer or digging trenches or anything, but i am hiking 6-10 miles a day in all the weathers, with almost never shelter or reprieve from whatever mother nature decides to throw at me on any given day.
my camera+lens weighs about 13lbs and i hand-hold everything. i never use monopods or tripods or anything of the sort. my shoulder and elbow and hand will typically hurt by the end of the day, sometimes sooner if there’s a lot of bikes on track and i’m always in a shooters pose. mostly it’s tennis-elbow with a touch of “aw, fuck, my shoulder fucking hurts.”
sometimes the terrain is volatile; uneven, sharp, soft, slick, etc, and i can’t even begin to count the number of times i’ve twisted an ankle out there while walking to my next shot…even worse is at thunderhill with the big cracks in the ground when i’m not paying enough attention to the ground in front of me and i step in a crack and hyper extend a knee… that hurts…and i’ve done it LOTS.
so far, i’ve only crashed pitbikes a few times while out shooting… my biggest one to date was about 13 years ago: a highside on Scooter Doom (my old 50cc scooter that i put over 3000 miles on at various tracks while shooting) at reno fernley on an access road. i cartwheeled that mother fucker while managing to land on my feet and run out of it. pat saw it… to this day, he still gives me flak for it, and i don’t blame him. musta been funny as hell to see. luckily, i was never as dumb as max and use the front straight to give myself a mustache trim. you’ll have to ask him about that one. first and only time i’ve ever seen a photog need to catch the amber-lance, fully leakin. hehe. ;)
in all my days of shooting, i’ve truly only had 2 “close calls” with bikes on track. once was at the BMW GS Trophy, i dunno, like a dozen years ago… the last obstacle was a small drop into about a 10ft wide and 25ft long pond about 18 inches deep where these GS adv-heros would go full send into it, immediately cascade water over their heads and lose control and end up wherever they ended up. this one dude zigged, so i zagged. then he zagged suddenly, so i zigged…but then he zigged again followed by a zag and a zig that i could no longer tell which way he was gonna come out, so i just stopped moving entirely and awaited his arrival. he spat out directly at me and i had to high jump over his bike at about 15-20mph. luckily, this white boy CAN jump.
the other close call i never saw coming. supermoto races circa 2006, and i was shooting back shots in a 180 degree right hand hairpin. my right side is my blind side, even though i shoot with both eyes open, as i’m using my right eye to look through the lens. suddenly, a yz450f came flipping through my lens from my right, about 3-4 feet in front of me. i never even had a chance. it was that day that i learned to use my ears for shooting and not just my eyes. i think that’s what made me so good at catching crashes on camera, as i’d listen for changes in bike attitude, rather than waiting to see it.
being on the road so much means i get to do and see quite a bit of shit that most people never would or maybe never even knew existed. it also means spending a small fortune on funding all the things: oil changes, tires, fuel, getting bailed out of jail, feeding tomas, the brothels…. oh so many brothels… ;)
i often think to myself “i wish someone could document this for me.” i’m not a lively persona on camera… i don’t know how to act. i rarely know what to say… but, if someone could just be there catching these fleeting moments of the situations i put myself in sometimes, it’d be pretty cool, i think.
back in 2016, i started doing a video project, shooting 1 minute BTS clips and just stringing them all together raw showing random shit from my life…be it at the track or riding or whatever…didn’t seem to get much traction… then again, i’m watching it back right now, and 1 minute clips are definitely too long. maybe i’ll try again with 10 second clips? what do you think?
if you’re bored and wanna watch it, it’s here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD4q8wfZzbo i promise, there’s at least 3 minutes in the 39 minute video that is redeeming…but most of it is pretty slow and boring. haha.
anyhow, moral of this post: i do shit to make shit. i love what i do. i’m poor and out of work every winter, but i wouldn’t change anything. look at the pics. or don’t. *shrug*