Photographing AMA Pro Superbike Racers
Huntley Nash: Feature #1
To be honest, I didn’t know how to start this post, but then I just started thinking about how it all began a couple years ago….
When Jon and I first met in Seattle, he was working at Ducati Seattle and we spent many evenings talking about all the cool things each of us had accomplished in our lives. As a destination wedding photographer I had traveled all over the U.S., France, and the Dominican Republic, and then as social media director of BlackRapid continued traveling to many countries in Europe and also India. Jon had traveled extensively across our own beautiful country of American with AMA Pro Rider, Huntley Nash, of LTD Racing, and told incredible stories of winning no matter what the odds were.
Fast forward to Valentines Day this year.
Over the last few months, Jon had been working on a custom Ducati 1199 Panigale for Huntley. It’s loud. It’s fast. Her debut track date with her rider was February 14th, 2015, and we named her Roxanne after Sting & The Police (sorry, Huntley, “Forrest” ain’t gonna’ stick).
The eve of Valentine’s, Huntley arrives at our house as I’m cooking my killer vegan burritos for him to take to the track the next day. We quickly strike up a conversation as he stirred the simmering food, and I remember thinking “so this is the dude who’s bike stole my birthday weekend (Jon had worked on it all that week) AND is stealing my Valentine’s Day. He better LOVE these damn burritos.” He did. Enough that I make them for him every time I go to the track.
On Valentine’s Day proper, the guys tested the Panigale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and I spent a lovely girl-day with my future mother-in-law. To be honest, I felt a little jaded about giving up a romantic holiday day to a bike, but all was forgiven when I came home to two bouquets of roses from Jon, with Huntley chiming in: “I helped pick them out!” Hmmmm, alright then. I spent the rest of Valentine’s evening watching motocross with Jon and Huntley. Fine. Pass me another chocolate doughnut.
A month later, Huntley came back down to Miami for another track day. This time we had an extra day before hitting the track to go out fishing out on Biscayne Bay, and despite running out of lead sinker weights we all had a great time soaking in the sunshine and sharing fishing stories. Regardless of the conversation, hanging out with Huntley was, and is, just plain fun.
After a good nights rest, the guys hit the track at Homestead early the next morning. A little after noon I showed up with the vegan burritos for Huntley (which he chased down with a gallon of Gatorade) and decided to hang out the rest of the day in the garage with my camera. Let me be frank here; I don’t know anything about motorcycles except they look cool, go really fast, are scary as hell to get a ride on, and the guys who ride professionally have got to be bad-ass and a little bit balls-out crazy to do so. However, I know people, how to read their body language, that machines are beautiful pieces of art, and how to capture light to make it all look pretty cool in a still image for branding and marketing. On top of that I love learning so hanging out in the garage watching the technician-rider dance is really rewarding.
With that, I’ve decided to share a three-part series of Huntley Nash with his new Ducati 1199 Panigale. The first series is him testing at Homestead, the other two series will be of environmental and studio portraits. Without any further ado.
Quick gear note for my fellow photographers: I used my Think Tank Photo Airport AirStream™ Rolling Camera Bag to carry all my gear to the shoot, loaded my essential lenses into my Think Tank Photo Retrospective® 10 Shoulder Bag (Pinestone), which then became my main bag to move around with in the garage. Additionally, I was outfitted with a BlackRapid Kick Women’s Sling Camera Strap RS2SW1S (Grey).
My post-processing is all done in Lightroom 4 using my own custom recipes made with Totally Rad!’s Lightroom Presets, Totally Rad!’s Replichrome I: Icons, with a final polish in Photoshop CS5 using more custom special sauce with Totally Rad!’s Pro Retouch + TR Action Mix 1 + TR Action Mix 2: The Revenge.
MY CAMERA GEAR FOR THIS SHOOT:
Think Tank Photo Retrospective® 7 (Blue Slate) iPad and Shoulder Bag