Was that a finger I saw?

I've often found in photography career that, just like in sports, it's sometimes better to be lucky than good. This was the case for me at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as I covered the Brickyard 400 in August of 2003.

I had worked my way to the outside of the enormous speedway and was shooting from a small photo hole midway between turns 3 and 4. It was a tough shot because the hole in the fence was very small, and the cars were moving very fast and passing very close to the wall. I countered by falling back on my old strategy: SHOOT HEAVILY (you're bound to get one or two in focus).

So as I stood there pounding away on my shutter button and peering at the speed-blurred race cars through my viewfinder, something caught my eye. What was that protruding from the window of the black car that had just sped through my viewfinder? I guessed that the driver my have been waving out the window, thanking a fellow driver for letting him pass, and made a mental note to check when I returned to the media center.

Once I got back to my computer, I sat down and proceeded to flip through my race photos. When I got to the turn shots in question, I looked sadly as I rifled through one out-focus-picture after another, when suddenly, the above photo appeared on my laptop screen. Sharp as a tack and funny as hell. The black car with something hanging out the window had been Jamie McMurray, who was having a great day, playfully flipping off his team mate Sterling Marlin as he put a lap on him! One picture speaks a thousand words


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www.bcpix.com is the online home for the photographic archive of Florida-based photographer Brian Cleary. At this portal not only can you search and browse an ever-growing collection of photography covering more than 30 years, but many of the images are available for online purchase as editorial images, commercial images and/or personal use prints.