Montoya, Stallone, and Thoughts of Homestead 2000

Gil de Ferran pit stop

The year was 2000 and I got a call offering me a rare, at that time, opportunity to shoot the exotic open-wheel, open-cockpit Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) indy-style cars during their annual visit to South Florida's Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Given my inability then, as now, to say "no" to virtually any photo assignment, I loaded up and headed south, excited about the chance to document the racers zinging around the 1.5 mile oval at way over 200 miles an hour. Although I've often wondered and lamented the aforementioned inability to decline any photo assignment, I have to admit that that same inability has helped to make me the photographer (good or bad!) and my photographic are what we are today!

Juan Montoya, circa 2000

Anyway, as I sit at my computer and digitize my 35mm film production from "back-in-the-day" the images remind me of a few things that stand out now and stood out then from this particular assignment.

First I remember the young Colombian driver and the buzz surrounding him and everything he did in the days leading up to the event. Although I did not know much about the young
Juan Pablo Montoya, it was very obvious that many for the fans and drivers held him in very high esteem. The press followed him around the paddock and recorded every move he made, and the editor who I was working for made it my job to do the same. Sure enough he qualified second fastest and started on the font row and many of South Florida's Hispanic population came out in force on race day to watch him work his craft.

Montoya eyes reflection

I recall to this day the many Colombian flags flying over the front stretch grandstands and the loud roars filling the air even above the whine of the race cars as Montoya did not disappoint and charged to the front leading 21 of the race's first 23 laps.

I also vividly remember how abruptly the energy drained from the arena as an electrical probable sent Montoya to the sidelines and out of the race after 23 laps. It was amazing to see so many fans stream from the grandstands and head for home once Montoya had retired rom the event.

Another strong memory I have is walking the pits a day or tow before the race and noticing a couple of men standing and talking by the pit wall. I walked down to where the two men were standing a recognized Alex Zanardi who was at the time right between the Formula One and CART Indy Car portions of his illustrious career. I raised my camera and started to photograph Zanardi. Almost as an after thought I looked to see who he was talking to and immediately recognized the famous actor
Sylvester Stallone! I was rewarded with a few great shots of the two men conversing. I found out later that Stallone was working on his film "Driven" which was set in the world of Indy Car racing.

Stallone and Zanardi

Finally, I was exposed to the contagious enthusiasm and positivity of the young Italian driver "Mad" Max Papis, who ended up winning the race that weekend. From the great race he drove, to his nearly climbing out of the car on pit road while it was still rolling after winning the race to his rating of runner-up Roberto Moreno on his shoulders in victory lane, it was obvious that "Mad Max" had what it took to be a winner on the race track and in life and that his attitude wold do nothing but elevate whatever form of motorsports he chose to participate in as his career moved forward.

"Mad" Max Papis

So, as is usually the case, a last minute photo assignment, accepted on impulse, turned out to produce memories and photographs that stick with me to this day.

To view my entire 2000 Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami photo gallery, please
click here.

About Privacy Policy 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.


Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami

CART Indy Car race
Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL
March 26, 2000
150 laps on 1.502 mile paved oval; 225.3 miles

Fin St Driver # Owner Car Laps Money Status Laps Led
1 13 Max Papis 7 Bobby Rahal Reynard 2Ki/Ford Cosworth 150 100,000 running 10
2 7 Roberto Moreno 20 Pat Patrick Reynard 2Ki/Ford Cosworth 150 60,000 running 0
3 17 Paul Tracy 26 Barry Green Reynard 2Ki/Honda 150 51,000 running 32
4 10 Jimmy Vasser 12 Chip Ganassi Lola B2K/00/Toyota 150 35,000 running 0
5 12 Patrick Carpentier 32 Gerry Forsythe Reynard 2Ki/Ford Cosworth 150 30,000 running 0
6 1 Gil de Ferran 2 Roger Penske Reynard 2Ki/Honda 150 25,000 running 41
7 9 Christian Fittipaldi 11 Newman Haas Racing Lola B2K/00/Ford Cosworth 150 22,500 running 0
8 15 Shinji Nakano 5 Derrick Walker Reynard 2Ki 029/Honda 150 20,000 running 0
9 4 Alex Tagliani 33 Gerry Forsythe Reynard 2Ki/Ford Cosworth 150 17,500 running 8
10 14 Tony Kanaan 55 Morris Nunn Reynard 2Ki/Mercedes 149 16,500 running 4
11 22 Dario Franchitti 27 Barry Green Reynard 2Ki 027/Honda 149 15,250 running 0
12 23 Cristiano da Matta 97 Cal Wells Reynard 2Ki/Toyota 149 14,250 running 0
13 16 Mark Blundell 18 PacWest Racing Reynard 2Ki/Mercedes 148 13,250 running 2
14 21 Michel Jourdain Jr. 16 Keith Wiggins Lola B2K/00/Mercedes 147 12,500 running 0
15 19 Norberto Fontana 10 John Della Penna Reynard 2Ki/Toyota 147 12,000 running 0
16 18 Mauricio Gugelmin 17 PacWest Racing Reynard 2Ki/Mercedes 146 11,750 running 0
17 25 Luis Garcia Jr. 25 Frank Arciero Reynard 99i/Mercedes 132 11,500 accident 0
18 5 Kenny Br�ck 8 Bobby Rahal Reynard 2Ki/Ford Cosworth 78 11,250 oil leak 6
19 20 Oriol Servi 96 Cal Wells Reynard 2Ki/Toyota 65 11,000 transmission 0
20 11 Gualter Salles 34 Dale Coyne Lola B2K/00/Ford Cosworth 51 10,750 transmission 0
21 3 Adri�n Fern�ndez 40 Pat Patrick Reynard 2Ki/Ford Cosworth 49 0 oil leak 26
22 6 Michael Andretti 6 Newman Haas Racing Lola B2K/00/Ford Cosworth 37 0 oil pressure 0
23 2 Juan Montoya 1 Chip Ganassi Lola B2K/00/Toyota 23 0 engine 21
24 24 Takuya Kurosawa 19 Dale Coyne Lola B2K/00/Ford Cosworth 11 0 electrical 0
25 8 H�lio Castroneves 3 Roger Penske Reynard 2Ki/Honda 9 0 electrical 0

Time of race: 01:22:01
Average Speed: 164.788 MPH
Pole Speed: 25.942 seconds
2 cautions for 17 laps
Race Purse: $ 500,000

Gettysburg, a Black and White film visit, September 2018

This week's film shoot was a visit to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for dual trip back in time: In one sense I was traveling back to more than 150 years to the iconic Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg, and, in another sense it was a much shorter hop back in time to the early 1990's when Canon's EOS Elan 7NE was the camera of choice for many 35mm film shooters.

I acquired the camera recently in excellent condition and at a very reasonable price and have been carrying it on my assignments with a couple of rolls of expired
Kodak T-Max Film. Enroute by car from recently from New York to Florida, I passed signs telling me I would be passing near the famous Gettysburg Civil War Battleground.

Although I was on a tight schedule and still had many hours of driving ahead of me that day, it was early, the site was not very crowded, and I decided this would be a promising place to put the old Canon SLR to the test.

Pulling into a parking lot, I loaded an old roll of T-Max 400 into the camera and set off down the walkway. Although I had a case full of lenses with me, I mounted my
Tamron 150-600 G2 zoom on the body and decided to look for pictures that would work with that lens. This a a technique I often use , especially when I have limited time and do not want to carry and juggle multiple lenses to fit a subject. With his method I am forced to make the lens fit the situation I am faced with.

While on the surface, the old battlefield is not much more than acres of slightly rolling Pennsylvania farmland, the knowledge that thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers had spent their final moments on this Earth here, fighting for their respective beliefs, the dozens of markers and monuments dedicated to those who had fought and fallen here, the civil war weaponry and artifacts on display, and the knowledge that the land and area remains much the same as it had been on those 3 bloody days of the Civil War back in 1863 lent an emotional and heavy air to the atmosphere.

While walking through the site, I stopped to read many plaques along the way. I photographed the views and sights that caught my fancy, keeping in mind that the scenes would be recorded in black and white and that when the second roll of film was finished, so was my photography for the day! That was a fact of life for photographers before the beginning of the digital age.

I was struck by the similarities between the Film SLR, a camera introduced by Canon in 2004, and today's Canon Digital SLR's. I shares the Manual, TV, AV, and Program modes with its digital cousins and had both the shutter speed finger dial and the camera back aperture dial that today's digital shooters will find familiar.

The Eye-focus feature that professed to control the camera's focus point by movement of the photographer's eye, had always intrigued me back in the day, but for now I remain ignorant of exactly how this feature functions, and will have to wait for some future date to try it out.

After quickly burning through my roll of T-Max 400, I loaded an expired roll of T-Max 3200 into the camera. I still have a couple of brick of this film, which went out of date back int he '90's, and have had reasonably good luck rating it at ISO400 and pull-processing it.

On my return home, I was anxious to get to my lab and soup the film. I ran it though
Ilfosol one-shot liquid developer diluted at 1:14 and before long had a couple of rolls of good-looking black and white negatives ready for scanning.

A review under my loupe told me that both the auto-focus and exposure functions on my old SLR were functioning properly. Once again, my years-old fascination with film photography provided me with a couple of pages of negatives for my files and the satisfaction of producing a selection of images which seem to reflect the spirit of the subject in a way that, while similar to post-processed digital files, have their very own finite properties that only film can provide.

To view my full EOS Elan 7NE 35mm film gallery, please click here

About Privacy Policy 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.

Shooting With Canon's First Autofocus SLR: The EOS 650

Oak Tree, Koreshan Unity Settlement, Estero, FL, T-Max 3200

I recently won can online auction of a collection of various old photographic equipment for next to nothing. Included in my winnings was an old Canon 650 35mm film SLR camera. This acquisition brought back a lot of memories for me!

Way back in the early 1990's, when my motorsports photography career was still pretty young, I returned home to my apartment one day to find that a window had been jimmied open and all my photographic gear had been stolen! At the time I was shooting with Canon FD manual focus gear, having had very little experience with the new autofocus bodies, I was not really sold on the new technology and did not really trust the autofocus equipment. ( In fact it was several years before I started using and trusting autofocus, and even after I'd acquired autofocus gear, I continued to manually focus on all my assignments!)

Arlo the Dog, T-Max 400

With Daytona's Speedwells rapidly approaching and with very little hope of getting my camera gear back, at least before the races arrived (I never did get any of the gear back), I decided to order a couple of the new autofocus bodies and a few lenses. The bodies I ordered were a Canon EOS 650, which had been Canon's first autofocus body in 1987 and a Canon EOS 620. Along with the bodies, I ordered a wide zoom and a Canon EF 75-300 zoom. I remember missing my Canon T-90's, A-1's and F-1, but with no choice, I soldiered on with the EOS gear and it was not long before I had graduated on to the EOS-1's and started to actually use the autofocus technology with good results and life went on from there.

Mt. Hope Cemetery, Rochester, NY, T-Max 3200

So my recent auction acquisition brough back a lot of memories and, with my recent re-involvement in 35mm film shooting and processing, I was anxious to attach some of my current lenses to the EOS 650 body and run a roll or two through it.

I'm a back-button autofocus shooter, and I'm not even sure if that was an option on the 650, but I could not figure out how to do it, so I accepted the fact that I would be shooting shutter-button auto-focus, which I really do not like. With no camera manual, it took me awhile to figure out how to work the aperture in the manual shooting mode. The camera also has Time Value, Aperture Value, Program and Depth of Field shooting modes.

Alligator Warning Sign, Estero River, Estero, FL, T-MAx 3200

It was not long before I was happily snapping away, starting at the back of the camera blankly after each shot, waiting for an image to pop up on the non-existent LCD screen, as is the habit of most digital shooters who pick up an old film camera out of curiosity.

35mm Film

I've always been a fan of the feel and sound of a film shutter and film motor drive, so these sounds and sensation all came back to me. The feel of the camera in my hands was quite familiar and the ergonomics of Canon cameras have changed surprisingly little over the past 30 years, although this was before the days of the rear control wheel which is so familiar to Canon camera shooters.

Every 36 pictures, of course, you are jarred back to reality as the whirring of the film rewind motor tells you it's time to load another roll of film, quite a change from the virtually unlimited shooting capacity of today's digital cameras.

Mt. Hope Cemetery, Rochester, NY, T-Max 3200

Because am not yet familiar with today's active photo labs and because of the poor result sI've had dealing with local photo labs, I am so far shooting only black and white film since I still have my old film processing gear and, with chemicals ordered from Amazon, I am developing my own film for now,

I as I gradually reimburse myself in film photography, many of the old ritual sand feeling come flooding back. Just like riding a bicycle, I guess you never really forget how to load film on processing reels once you know how. For me, the inability to let the film fully dry before I am searching for a loupe and holding the dripping film up to a light source so I can see my photos is still a fact of my photographic life.

Having never been a big fan of darkroom printmaking, and only having endured it for years out of necessity, I really have no desire to load my negatives into an enlarger and splash paper in chemicals to produce prints. I am more than happy to scan my negs and do my editing on a computer! Still, film photography is a very different experience than digital photography, and one that I am happily rediscovering in the later stages of my photographic career.

I've always liked the idea of salvaging something off the scrap heap and putting it productive use, and find it exciting to purchase the cameras that I either used or longed after earlier in my career for virtually pennies and loading them with film to go out and make pictures.

To view my full EOS 650 35mm film gallery, please click here

About Privacy Policy 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.

Thrift Store Camera: Argus 100 35mm film camera

Front Straightaway pit structures, Sebring Raceway, Sebring , Florida
I've recently been drawn back to my photographic roots, which involves film photography. Not just loading a roll of film into a camera and going out and shooting pictures, but also bringing the film home, loading it into a tank, pouring in chemicals and processing the film myself.

Kodak D-76 Black & White Film Developer Powder to Make 1 Liter.

I'm not sure what satisfaction this brings me, but I do find it satisfying for sure. Reliving the early days of my career in photography involves the careful planning of each and every shot, know that you have a very limited number of shots available. There is no 64GB memory cards or delete buttons, only a finite number of exposures on a roll of film before you have to stop and reload, assuming you have more film with you.

Before you load each roll, you make several conscious decisions: color or black and white? 100 asa or 800 asa? Once the film is in the camera, there's no turning back, so to speak. These are the things that many photographer today don't really think about as they go about creating their photography.

Beyond this, in the last few weeks, I've decided to start shooting photos on old, cheap film cameras that I've discovered and purchased in thrift shops.

With that in mind, a few thoughts and photos on this week's Bargain Store acquisition: An old Argus 100 35mm film camera.

Argus 100 35mm film camera

This camera is basically a reloadable version of the throwaway, one-time use, cameras that were popular in the 1990's. Fixed focus, a high-low sliding aperture switch of bright light and low light, manual film cranking knurled knob, etc. I like the fact that this camera has a 38mm lens, which is slightly wider that a "normal" lens for 35mm film. While this was most likely intended to expand the focal depth go field, it also gives the photos a slightly wider look, drawing the viewer more into the photos. There is a hot shoe to attach a flash if you want to and, of course, a film rewind button and crank for when the roll is finished.

White Chapel, Granada River, Ormond Beach, Florida

Because there are no exposure controls, other than the sliding high light, low light switch, there is very little the photographer has to think about beyond composing the picture. One thing to keep in mind when shooting with these types of cameras, is that there are designed to give general exposure that will work with about ASA 100 to ASA 400 film, with the ASA 100 negatives being a little thin, of underexposed, and the 400 negatives being a little dense, or over-exposed.

The shutter speeds in these cameras are generally on the low side, so when using a camera like this you should make every effort to hold the camera very still while depressing the shutter button to avoid camera shake and motion blur.

Ormond Beach Yacht Club building, built in 1910

So I think what it comes down to is the satisfaction that can be derived from trying to use a tool pulled basically off of the junk pile, using old techniques and technology to create somewhat interesting images from today's world. Photographing things you see in the world today using a an old camera and film is a way of in and of itself to document those items in a way they've never been documented before.

Rural roadside mailboxes, Sebring , Florida

If you enjoy making digital photographs today, and have a desire to experience and appreciate the history of your craft, I'd definitely recommend dropping into your local Goodwill Store and picking up an old film camera, funning a few rolls of film through it, process the film yourself or send it to the lab and enjoy the results!

To view my full Argus 100 35mm film gallery, please click here

About Privacy Policy 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.