Soon after returning home to Sierra Vista, Arizona from a much needed break/change after working overseas for the past several years, my buddy Mark Rebilas gives me a call and asked Maria and I to come up and shoot with him for the Lucas Oil Off Road Series race in Surprise, Arizona. I was excited about shooting this series as it’s much different than a NASCAR event or a circle track dirt race as race vehicles flying through the air is very much intentional where crashes and wild flips are imminent. The close racing action was intense and if you have never seen the show these guys and gals put on, I highly recommend it.
When we hit the track early on Friday’s practice for the initial photographers’ orientation/safety meeting I was a bit concerned about the limited amount of places to shoot from. Mark’s priority for the first day was driver profile head shots in and out of their race vehicles; we used a “soft box” and a 1600watt Alien Bees strobe and I got to learn how to pull off the killer shots he gets.
Here is Mark and I on Friday and a good idea of the set up I mentioned.
I have been working with Mark as an intern beginning this year at the NASCAR event in Vegas and again in Sonoma, this would be the 3rd event I’ve worked with him and have learned an invaluable amount so far; he really has me thinking totally different now and has corrected a couple idiot settings I had in my camera resulting in richer colors and a crispness I wasn’t getting before working with him.
I mentioned earlier I was concerned about the limited spots to shoot from but with an off road layout, you could dramatically change your shot by simply turning around and becoming aware of different angles and light… this works no matter what you are shooting. Here are some from the same spot in turn one and working with my head and waist as a pivot.
Another example, same spot in turn two…….
Here are some random shots from the weekend starting with opening ceremony.
Now one thing that will piss off Mark to no end is a cluttered and distracting background, the scissor lifts all over the outside of the track posed a challenge for sure but this one caught my eye as it looks like a Jack in the Box with the scissor lift seemingly lifting the truck in the air or as Maria said.. a truck in the box. This one is to solely irritate Mark…..
Nobody ever sees the people behind the lens, here are couple shots of Mark and Maria hard at work…
These guys really get aggressive and as action was heating up on the final day, I was so hoping to get a crash shot and not blow it………
Then BOOM, it happened….. I saw this one coming and followed two trucks beating on each other, Pro 2 Unlimited #44 Canidae sponsored truck driven by Jeff Geiser gets turned sideways as he hit the jump launching him sideways. This never ends up good for him but gave me the shot of the weekend.
Mark has always been one to take available light and use it artistically, he finds these little light pockets on the track no matter what he is at and watching and listening I was able to pull these off. The shadows on the track surface and the light peaking over the top of the track gave me some interesting shots.
And my personal favorite…
After a long hot weekend, the drivers enjoy victory lane.
LOORS puts on one of the best shows I have seen in any series, the keep the show moving really quick with hardly any downtime in-between races and finish up the show with a kick ass pyrotechnics display that quite frankly scared the shit out of me when the explosions went off….. LOL….. kind of reminded me of the 7 years I spent in Iraq except this was much better.
Well, that puts an end to another great experience and great time with Mark, Mr. Chili’s himself. Please check out Mark’s Photoshelter to see ALL the images taken from the weekend.
SEE YOU NEXT TIME
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