Top Shots 2013: Powerboat Racing

Powerboat racing for me was one of those passions it took me too long to get around to shooting. My original focus on airshows left little time for other types of events. I finally came to the realization that I would have to cut back on airshows to make time for other ventures. 2013 was the first year I was able to shoot more than one powerboat race. Different venues and, types of racing made it a good year for me.

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Jimmy Merleau  – In Low Light.

I have shot the Kankakee Regatta since 2009, and in that time have captured some amazing images, and met some very talented people. Some years (mostly due to weather) have been better than others, but 2013 may have yielded some of my best photos yet. I guess the past years have helped me to know what I am trying to achieve, and how to go about it. I think this years shots show some of that. Also two of the images here I feel are among the best I have ever captured at this event. I’ll let you guess which ones.

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Rob Rinker – Whrilpool.

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Chris Fairchild – Bad Fast.

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Wade Tuchscherer – Best Graphics of 2013.

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Tammy Wolf – Full Throttle.

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13 Stihl – 38′ Skater : Robert Noble, Driver – Grant Bruggemann, Throttles

Held at the southern most tip of Lake Michigan, the Michigan City Grand Prix brings the ultra powerful offshore racing boats to the Great Lakes. Twice I have scheduled this event, and twice I had to cancel due to scheduling conflicts. When this happens the event becomes a priority event for that third year. This means only a very special, or one of a kind event could bump it from my schedule. That did not happen, so I along with my friend Rob Edgcumbe got to witness some incredible racing.

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45 JD Byrider – 38′ Skater: Tony Marcantonio, Driver – Mark Kowalski, Throttles

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5 WHM Motorsports – 40′ Skater: William Mauff, Driver – Jay Muller, Throttles

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13 Stihl – 38′ Skater : Robert Noble, Driver – Grant Bruggemann , Throttles

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77 Lucas Oil MAVTV – 44′ SilverHook®: Michael Silfverberg, Driver – Nigel Hook, Throttles

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14 Snowy Mountain Brewery – 29′ Outerlimits: Brain Forehand, Driver – Maddie Janssen, Throttles

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P3-8 Team Kilt – 34′ Fountain: Richard Davis, Driver – Tony Canale, Throttles

As you will notice in some of these shots, these boats quite literally fly. Designed for rough water they seem to handle it extremely well.

Top Shots 2013: Sports

I guess the easiest category for me to choose my top shots for is sports. The reason being I didn’t have much opportunity to shoot sports last year. The extent of my sports sooting in 2013 was horse racing. I managed to make it to two of Chicago’s tracks, and tried to make the most of each visit.

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The first race I shot was the Illinois Derby. One of the oldest and largest stakes races at Hawthorn Park race track. With a cool yet bright sunny April day to work with, I was able to capture what I believe to be one of my best overall images of the year (above). The start of the race right as the horses left the gate. I was also in the unique position of being the only photographer at that particular spot. The day also yielded a few other outstanding shots.

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Hawthorn Park.

Hawthorn Park.

The larger Arlington Park race coarse provides an ideal back drop for shooting horse racing. Lush greens and trees, a fountains and pond lends itself well to just this kind of shooting. You have races on both the main track now made of composite material, and the inner turf (grass) track. Being able to shoot on the turf track for the first time this year, was something I have always wanted to do. Discovering a drainage ditch which allowed me to shoot from turf level made it even better.

Turf eye view of a race start.

Turf eye view of a race start.

Arlington Park.

Arlington Park.

Weather on the main track or turf, it’s hard not to come away with some great shots.

Arlingtom Park Front Strait.

Arlingtom Park Front Strait.

Arlington Park.

Arlington Park.

 

Top Shots 2013: Intro

We come to that time of year when everybody looks back at what transpired during the previous eleven and a half months. Some make list of the most important, or their favorite moments of the year. Photographers are no different. I started about a month ago trying to figure out how I would do this, and immediately ran into a problem. The first thing that comes to mind is a best of list. Therein lies the problem. What determines a best shot, technical excellence, subject matter, or overall appeal. A technically excellent shot may not be an exciting shot, while an exciting shot may be a bit flawed technically. What may qualify as a best shot to the photographer may not be to the general public, and vice versa.

Jason Farrell through turn five during AMA Superbike qualifying.

Jason Farrell through turn five during AMA Superbike qualifying.

I decided to take a different approach to the subject by using a bit of reasoning from both sides. So what I will be presenting over the next few weeks are what I consider my Top Shots from the 2013 season.  Here are some samples of what’s to come from the different type of speed events I shoot. The shots here are good ones, but not quite up to what I consider a top shot. They were judged on the criteria mentioned above, and came very close. However when you have several hundred to choose from, some really good ones just miss making it. with that said I hope you enjoy these, and the ones to come.

Hawthorn Park

Hawthorn Park

Jeff Kaney at Thunder on the Lakeshore.

Jeff Kaney at Thunder on the Lakeshore.

SCCA Blackhawk Valley Regional.

SCCA Blackhawk Valley Regional.

Michigan City Grand Prix.

Michigan City Grand Prix.