Thursday, June 18, 2009

Converging Interests

I have been delinquent this week in getting some meaningful content up, so I'll post a small shot in the arm. I wrote the piece a while back when I shot a historic racing event at the local Race track. The piece itself is more about the car than photography, but reading it again made me think a bit about how photography can bring you closer to other hobbies. I know a number of friends who have toyed with the idea of getting into photography but have said "I've already got too many hobbies."

Photography can bring you closer to some of your favorite activities rather than take you away from them. For me, I'm an avid Formula One fan and my love of photography and motor sport have found a fine marriage more than once.


Whats the point here? Evaluate your interests and how they are connected or can you tie them together? Perhaps photography is a new venue into a past love? Miss those basketball games? Maybe start shooting for the local HS or College team, I guarantee you'll not get a better seat. Your daughter on the swim team? Break out your strobist kit and do the team portraits and save the team a bundle in portrait costs.

What about music? I LLLLLLOOOOOVE my music, and I take time whenever I can to shoot a local show for some of my favorite local bands.

How is photography a bridge for you?

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History came alive today in what might seem an odd place, Kent Washington, a strange place indeed for such a piece of automotive history.

The 1971 Formula 1 season was dominated by the team founded by Ken Tyrrell and their chief driver, Sir Jackie Stewart. For me, all I can do is look at old footage, pictures and listen to the stories from nearly 40 years ago. Today however, I could feel the history storming down the front stretch at Pacific Raceways and get close enough to touch the gravel in the big slicks of Jackie Stewart's '71 Tyrrell Ford while it was parked in the pits.


Its an understatement to say the the Tyrrell-Ford team was successful in 1971. Powered by the Cosworth DFV engine, Jackie took this car to no less than 7 wins in the short 11 round season. Not only that, but he found himself on the podium for each of the 11 rounds amassing 62 driver points and contributing heavily to 73 constructor points. It was all competitor and second place constructor BRM could do to muster 36 points that year. It was a stellar season for a stellar car in what was the only Constructors title Tyrrell would secure.

It was by chance today that I happened upon this living piece of history. Many would argue that this car should be stuffed away in a museum as its sister chassis is. It's fitting then that this one is on track at vintage racing events like the Sovren event held at Pacific Raceways in Kent Washington.


The days events were a prelude to the coming annual Sovren vintage race event held at the same location. Today was somewhat of a test and tune and as such, there wasn't much of a crowd. I arrived early in the afternoon not sure what I would find. Walking up I could hear what I later found out to be the famous Ford Cosworth DFV engine that powered many of the cars fielding the 1971 F1 season; Tyrrell, March, Lotus, Mclaren, Surtees, Brabham and a Swiss team Bellasi, all with a DFV powering their championship challenge.

Nearing the fence line I spotted the blue and white streak, with that famous pot belly. Streaming down the main straight the gear changes were spot on leading me to imagine what it might have been like to see the same car charging through Parabolica at Monza, Eau Rouge in Spa Francorchamps or through St. Devote in Monaco.

SIDEBAR - Eau Rouge

Stewart Famously won in Monaco that year and today, the same car lapped the field, albeit its closest competitor was an out matched CanAm car, in less than 20 minutes. For me it stole the show.

Its amazing and special to see pieces of history such as this flying around the track at 10/10ths on a Sunday afternoon with hardly a fan in the stands. I'd like to imagine each lap was a quali lap at Monza or Silverstone. If you squint juuuuust right you can almost imagine it.

Here's to my next run in with history -

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