Photographing Men of MotoAmerica 2015

An Introduction

 

Over the last couple of years, I have traveled to seven different race tracks across the United States to photograph pro AMA riders like Scott Russell, Jake Holden, Huntley Nash, and Stefano Mesa.

I wanted to photograph their portraits because all I saw – and continue to see – in mainstream motorcycle photography are images of the guys on the track racing, on pit lane surrounded by crew and umbrella girls, or on the podium accepting awards. Yes, the photos capture the athlete’s incredible talent, but I wanted to see something different and more personable.

You see, men on the track are different than the men we know at home. They are in their element of passion determined on perfection and success. All play is set aside and everyone is focused on one small detail, engine part, throttle movement, tire grip, or split second twitch of a muscle on exhale. It’s this extreme competitive precision, this nature of risking life to battle it out, strapping on a helmet and riding basically a rocket up and down twists and turns for status and honor, it’s these men in their brute honesty that fuels my curiosity and drives me to this portrait series.

This series is dedicated to photographing the individuals who are part of the 2015 MotoAmerica season. I started at Road Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. and have since gone to Road America in Sheboygan, WI, which images are to follow this post.

Thanks to all who have participated in this series to-date. If you are interested in your team being a part of this series, please contact me HERE.

Jon Schiereck, Huntley NashKenny Bolieiro, and Kenny Jr.

Jon Schiereck, Huntley Nash, Kenny Bolieiro. © LaRae Lobdell

Jon Schiereck, Huntley Nash, Kenny Bolieiro, Kenny Jr. at Road Atlanta, Atlanta GA. © LaRae Lobdell

 

Special note for my fellow photographers: These individuals on track do not have any time for a portrait session, nor do they like having their portrait taken in public with crew members and/or strangers watching. I literally have only a couple minutes, if not only seconds, to get their portrait.

To work quickly, I use my gear straight out of my Think Tank Photo Pro Speed Belt™ V2.0 and modular pouches OR Think Tank Photo Retrospective® 7 (Blue Slate) iPad and Shoulder Bag with BlackRapid Kick Women’s Sling Camera Strap RS2SW1S  (Grey) for this shoot.

My photography setup is a “K.I.S.S.” pop-up studio. No, not the heavy metal band, and no, not how a girl seals love notes to her crush in junior high. I’m talking about “Keep It Simple Stupid”. As photographers we get a little too caught up with gear and forget to go back to our basics to capture pure portraits with truthiness. So I used two black velvet curtains as a backdrop either gaffer taped to the side of a trailer or A-clamped to the paddock tent poles. I shoot with a Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body, and either a Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens or Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens . Natural light only. No reflectors.

All post-processing is done in Lightroom 4 using my own custom recipes made with Totally Rad!’s Lightroom PresetsTotally 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. I highly recommend them.

 

MY CAMERA GEAR FOR THIS SHOOT:

Think Tank Photo Retrospective® 7 (Blue Slate) iPad and Shoulder Bag

Think Tank Photo Airport AirStream™ Rolling Camera Bag

Think Tank Photo Pro Speed Belt™ V2.0 and modular pouches

Think Tank Photo Modular Component Set™ V2.0

BlackRapid Kick Women’s Sling Camera Strap RS2SW1S  (Grey)

Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body

Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens

Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

POST-PROCESSING SOFTWARE: