I love shooting sunset drag racing photographs at Thunder Valley Raceway. In the summer the sun goes down right at the end of the track. Racing normally goes late into the night, so if you time it right you can get some incredible shots. Since the people at the track know me well I have easy access just about anywhere on the track as long as I don’t get in the way of the racing action. For these hots I usually clip a speedlight to the armco barrier next to the racer and trigger it with a pocket wizard. The light gives just a bit of fill and helps add a crisp, saturated look to the photographs. I use a wide angle lens and get very, very close behind the racers when they launch. Earplugs are a must, since the noise is deafening. I think this look just says it all about drag racing – the track in the distance, the power of the bike as it launches, the concentration of the racers. I have learned to position my camera and watch the lights, not the action. I trigger my camera a split second after the lights flash. This way I get the tire just wrinkling as the bike launches. If I watched the bike and not the lights, it would be too late to get a picture!
Wouldn’t the top picture make a great double page spread, while the bottom picture would work fantastic on the cover of a magazine.