Fall Foliage and Fast Cars


2010 VIR Grand-Am October testing - Images by Brian Cleary

I’ve been carrying cameras to the racetrack for more than 30 years and will be the first to tell you that yes, there are worse ways to make a living. But after all these years I’ll also be the first to admit that sometimes the cars and tracks and photos all start to look the same. That’s why an occasional assignment like my recent trip to Virginia International Raceway to photograph the Grand-Am Rolex Series test session makes fro a pleasant diversion from the usual grind.

That’s because a trip to VIR in the fall means colorful backgrounds in the form of fall foliage as the local leaves change color. It’s a rare opportunity to incorporate beautiful scenery into the photos of fast cars that I taking.

Time break out the slightly shorter lenses and back off the action a little to include the multi-colored trees lining the straightaway, shoot the cars as they pass by the bright red barnyard-style building in the background and be sure to get shots of the cars racing under the old Oak Tree where it hangs out over the racetrack. I got an extra bonus at this test, we also had a mix of fog and rain at various times over the two days we were there, which allowed for an even greater variety of photos.

So remember on your next trip to the track to avoid the tunnel vision syndrome which encourages you zoom in tight on the cars and take a step back. Look carefully at your backgrounds and surroundings and work them into the photos when the opportunity presents itself.



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Cale, Baby!



Pretty much all the interests in my life were handed down to me from my father, including my loves of auto racing and photography, both of which play a big role in my ability to make a living. When we relocated from Massachusetts to Daytona Beach , Florida in 1964, my dad immediately started taking me to all the races at the speedway. Over the next few years, we each developed our own favorite drivers. I became a huge Fred Lorenzen fan, the first driver to give me an autograph, while my dad evolved into a fan of the hard-charging Timmonsville, SC driver and curent NASACR Hall of Fame nominee Cale Yarborough, or “Cale Baby” as he called him. I had to admit his driver was not a bad choice.

Together we watched Cale win his first Daytona 500 in 1968 with the Wood Brothers, sandwiched between a pair of Firecracker 400 Daytona summer victories. We watched as he and Junior Johnson dominated the Winston Cup series in the 70’s and witnessed a total of 8 wins by Cale at Daytona through 1983. Yarborough, in fact, won the 1983 Daytona 500 after crashing his primary car on a 200 mph qualifying lap. It was the final Daytona 500 of my dad’s life, as he passed away in 1983. I continued to carry a soft spot in my heart for Cale over the remaining few years of his career as he kept on winning races in his hard charging style right up to his retirement. When the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2011 is announced on Wednesday, it would do itself proud to include Cale Yarborough, “Cale Baby!”

You can view a selection of Cale Yarborough photos on
www.bcpix.com at:

Cale Yarborough Photos on bcpix.com

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Motorsports Flashback: Tony Stewart Wins Disney Indy 200


Disney Indy 200, January 1998 - Images by Brian Cleary

It's January 1998 and a young Tony Stewart has just raced to victory in the Disney Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway in Florida.

Relive the day in a new photo gallery posted on bcpix.com at:

http://bit.ly/aeS29a

Whether you’re a writer, editor or publisher searching for editorial stock, a webmaster in need of visual content, a scale modeler in search of reasonilbly priced reference prints or simply a race fan browsing the web for photos of the glory days of yesteryear, check out the thousands of photos at www.bcpix.com.

bcpix.com is the online photo archive of Florida based freelance photographer Brian Cleary and features galleries of NASCAR, Indy Car and Sports car racing photos from the 1980's through today.

Thanks,

Brian Cleary/www.bcpix.com

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