MotoUSA Photo of the Week – July 29, 2011

July 29, 2011
Ken Hutchison
Ken Hutchison
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The ulcers keep piling on for the warden of the MotoUSA asylum. With the inmates running rampant around the globe, Hutch has opted to get in on the madness more these days than in years past and is back in the saddle again.

Every time I look through the forum thread I cant help but stop at BaasPros shot of the start of the 2009 Red Bull USGP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A picture should draw the viewer into it. You look at this image from BaasPro that was taken during the ’09 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis and you wish you were there.

While Justin is off shooting crazy bastards at X Games 17 the rest of us get to sift through the Photo of the Week forum and give some of the older submissions a chance at redemption. I personally prefer action shots over statics so I was really looking for bikes in motion this time around. It’s a heck of a lot easier to take a shot of stationary objects than it is to capture an object in motion: Which leads us to today’s Photo of the Week winner. Every time I look through the forum thread I can’t help but stop at BaasPro’s shot of the start of the 2009 Red Bull USGP at Indianapolis. I find myself wondering if this is really just a fan’s photo or something from the Red Bull Photo Files. Simply put, this shot is bad-ass.

Does it fit in all of the general rules and requirements that make for an epic photo? Not entirely. The bikes are not in focus, I can’t see the Red Bull logo clearly but still, you can tell what is going on and it does capture a historic moment. You can clearly see the entire field of MotoGP bikes racing into the first turn, the bright colors of the Speedway and of course the cloud-filled sky and the thousands of race fans in the grandstands. This photo would make a great wallpaper, poster or two-page spread in a photo-annual magazine. I really dig it. Could it be better though? Yep.

For example, I cannot really find the focal point of the image. Not all the objects in the photo are in focus other than the scoring tower in the center and maybe the clouds. Despite the negatives that a pure-bred photographer would be eager to point out, this is still a nice photograph. This is a big moment of a big race at one of the most famous venues in the United States. There’s action and you know without a doubt that this event is a big deal. Taking photos like this is what makes photography fun. For BaasPro to capture this shot from a penthouse suite high above the crowd is just a cool story in and of itself. As a viewer we are drawn into it, searching for a clear pic, sifting through the riders or trying to pinpoint exactly where we were at the moment this image was taken. That’s me in the grandstand on the right, third row from the top, explaining to my wife back in Oregon that the debit card bill for $1200 from Rick’s Cabaret was a side effect of my stolen wallet. She didn’t buy it…but I digress. BaaSPro is now in the running for the $500 EVS Sports Photo of the Year prize package.

Photo Tip: Shoot now or forever hold your piece. No matter where you are or what type of a camera you have, make sure to take a picture of it. It can be the person, place, thing, event or occasion you are looking at. You might never be there again so it’s better to give it a shot than to look back on a missed opportunity to document an experience in your life (As long as it’s not a bachelor party). Remember that although we are dealing with motorcycle-related images in our POTW series, bikes aren’t the only things worth shooting.

In our forum thread there are quite a few shots of people posing in front of destinations. There are destinations that are worth shooting as the subject and it’s up to you, the photographer, to recognize and be prepared to take advantage of the opportunity to capture the moment. Remember that old adage “take time to smell the roses,” well it applies to everything we do. There’s beauty and spectacular imagery everywhere and it’s tough to recognize that when you’re buzzing by at 100-mph. So, keep those cameras charged up and the SD cards clean because you never know when you’re going to have the opportunity to take an epic photo. If you happen to see a cool shot out of the corner of your eye – go back and shoot it. If you see where a cool shot might materialize then take the time to set yourself up like BP did here. And when you are planning to go somewhere like the Red Bull USGP and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, make sure to bring your camera and take some shots. You never know, maybe your picture will be our next POTW.