Lots of drag racing pictures coming up from Thunder Valley Raceway. Unfortunately with a huge 4×5 view camera it is not easy to move around and capture different angles. I often just put it on a tripod and try to capture the decisive moment. This is one of my favorites from the alcohol rail dragsters that were running that day. I really like the engine scoop. I snapped the shutter a but soon and trimmed off his rear wing. Oh well, practice.
Today we have another alcohol rail dragster shot with my Toyo VX-125 4×5 film camera at Thunder Valley Raceway in Noble, Oklahoma. Once again I caught a little of the tire wrinkle as the car launched from the starting line. To catch this I have learned to watch the starting tree, not car. If I watch the car launch I will be too late in the frame. These experience racers have lightning fast reflexes and learn to anticipate the light and launch quickly with sub-second reaction times.
Once again I am back on my 4x5x365 project of posting one 4×5 image per day. I haven’t been able to do post these consecutively but trying to get 365 large format images the best way I can.
Today I am posting a photo I took last fall at Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Noble during a Friday night “Test and Tune” session. Drag racers from the area bring their bikes and cars to the strip and basically just test all evening. Shooting a fast moving sport like drag racing using an old fashioned 4×5 camera is not all that easy. I basically set up my camera on a tripod and waited for the action to appear in front of my lens.
This is an alcohol rail dragster. These things run in the 6 second range and are seriously LOUD! Fun to watch and difficult to photograph with an old film camera, but lots of fun.
I shot this on my Toyo VRX-125 4×5 camera with a Rodenstock 135 F5.6 lens. I don’t remember the settings and I think I am shooting Alford HP5 film.
I was at Tulsa Raceway Park a few weeks ago shooting drag racing photos for a client and friend Tombo Racing. I was using my Nikon digital gear to capture behind the scenes pictures of Tommy Bolton working on bikes, bringing them to the line, and helping his riders with launches. Once I had completed work on his bikes, I spent some time shooting with my Pentax 6×7 and my Toyo 45A 4×5 view camera. The Pentax was loaded with Kodak TMAX-100 – my favorite black and white film – and it was easy to manual focus and grab photos of the launch area. I only had a 90 mm and 165 mm lens so nothing wide angle, just normal and short telephoto.
I really like the bright, clear, easy to focus viewfinder on the Pentax 6×7, and I like the fact that it handles like a traditional SLR. I used to own a Mamiya RZ-67 and really liked it, but it was very heavy to use handheld with the normal pentaprism, and if I stripped it down and used it with a waist level finder, it just didn’t feel natural to me. The Pentax works just like I am used to working.
The black and white pictures of drag racing I just love. They have that old time, authentic feel that I can only get from film, yet the pictures are from modern times.
Light leak. And horrible lighting for motorcycle photography. That is what this image says to me. I shot this at the Tombo Racing shop in Oklahoma City along with several other photos from that day. This is Kermit Lottie’s Pro Mod drag racing motorcycle painted up into an OKC Thunder scheme. But as you can tell, I had a light leak on the right side of the picture – probably I partially opened the dark slide. Gotta watch that. Also, the overhead fluorescent light left an ugly strip right down the center of the Tombo Racing logo. Normally in studio would make sure this didn’t happen, but when just grabbing a shot while the bike was on the stand in the race shop, I get what I can get.