Someone just bought four of my photographs. And he is a PR guy for a professional team AND they were motorcycle photos—not flowers or people or artwork type photos.
I’ve started taking photos at the motorcycle race events. I’m not good at the actual racing photos, but this month I managed to capture a couple of racers with the wildflowers in full bloom. And that was one of the photos purchased—for a grand price of about a quarter.
My husband is an ex-racer and likes to go to the races just to chat with everyone he knows and to take photos. He knows where to stand and what sort of photos people will like. For a long time, he had his own server that hosted hundreds of photos that people wanted immediately after the event—sometimes emailing him and asking where the photos were when he had just gotten home. Uploading all those photos takes a lot of time.
There is a lot of preparation for these races both at the track and at the home garage. Some teams are very professional; others work from the back of a pickup truck. The racers are lined up in a grid and there are several waves of starts so that the bikes are spread out on the track. The endurance races are for 6 hours or sometimes 8 hours. Red Flags stop the action but not the clock.
Teams watch the racers, the competition and their own bike, analyzing the riding style and judging the fatigue and performance of their rider and bike. Someone stands just outside the hot pit area with a lap board showing the lap times of their team bike. They also signal to the rider when they need to come into the pit for maintenance work or a switch.
The hot pit area is fascinating to watch. When a bike comes in, a swarm of people descend upon it, changing tires or refueling. Sometimes there is a rider switch. And then with the customary slap on the rear or shoulder, the rider is sent back onto the track.
Some of the teams consist of clearly reluctant wives; eager grandfathers, co-workers, sons trying hard to appear blasé unless they are a rider, or children running everywhere or perched on scooters. Girlfriends ride on the back of bikes only to be unceremoniously dumped on the ground when the guy rides down and up through a ditch with a burst of speed. Young men ride articulated skateboards, one woman roller-skated the entire weekend, people tow wagons filled with gas cans or tires while riding bicycles. Fancy grills are set up; some folks eat sandwiches made from white bread and meat prepared directly from the packaging; others bring deli trays; some go to town to eat while others sample the traditional event fare of hot dogs, hamburgers, and fries.
It’s obvious that I find the paddock, pit, and campsite the most interesting and this is where I take most of my photos. When I get home, I sort through my photos and arrange them in a photo-essay format labeling each one. This takes me a lot of time as I have easily shot four or five times the number I upload into smugmug. But it’s nice to know this effort has been rewarded with yesterday’s purchase.
I’ve tried multiple times to upload one of the photos but WordPress seems to have a snag. Here are the photos