Motorsports photography is one of my biggest passions. I feel happy every time I can be at the race track and I have done that quite a lot over the last couple of years. I started my photography career with drifting, which back in the day I thought was one of the coolest things. Some people ask me why I became a photographer. It’s not always glamorous, but I’ve never had as much fun as I have during all the races I followed with my camera. I would like to share my experience I had over the last year as a motorsports photographer and why I am addicted to shooting cars at a race track.
Besides racing photography I’m also doing automotive photography, but I have to say that my passion for motorsports will always pull me back to the track. It makes me proud to look at what I’ve shot during the races and especially when I can share this with others, it makes it be totally worth it.
That is also how I met the Nürburgring, the world’s most famous race track in the world and discovered my love for that very special place. Particularly the yearly 24 hour race is an event, that many enjoy in different ways, be it as spectator, corner marshal, driver or like me as a photographer. End of May of this year I went back at to the Nordschleife, shooting race cars flying by the numerous campgrounds. There is a very special atmosphere in the air that you have to experience yourself to understand the motive. The passion of the fans and everybody involved in that race is what makes it so unique, the small privateer teams and the factory teams fighting against each other side by side. You are motivated to be part of this nonstop 24 hour fight alongside with all the others. After these 24 hours the sleep you finally get seems well deserved. You feel proud and exhausted. I’ve been part of this famous race for many years now, at first as a spectator, later as a photographer. If you have never been involved in an event like this, you might think I’m crazy. But I can assure you, that if you plan on visiting one of these, you will know which motivation drives all of us involved.
But the Nürburgring Nordschleife is just one of the race tracks I’ve carried my camera around.
There is Spa Francorchamps, the famous F1 racetrack in Belgium with it’s red and yellow curbs, that makes every photograph become recognizable. The height difference of about 100 meters makes this track feel like a real rollercoaster for the drivers and a real hike for spectators and photographers. If they show up you can catch one of the media shuttles but most of the time you are motived to way by their absence.
The famous Daytona International Speedway in Florida, where the yearly NASCAR Daytona 500 takes place is one of the highlights of every race season - of course besides the 24 hour race that is held in January. Shooting this year’s race was very special to me, it was my first time shooting endurance racing in Daytona and after a sleepless night hiking up the grandstands and watching the sun peek behind the banking, you get a feeling of happiness, because you got the chance to be part of this.
Another American race track where I lost my heart at is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, located in the middle of the beautiful vine country of Monterey. The city of Monterey itself with the amazing food and vine and close to the beach is an extra you get - besides this exceptional race track. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a mecca for car enthusiasts and especially a meeting point for the large Porsche community of California. At Rennsport Reunion, an event that took place last year, you could experience the passion and love of the Porsche owners.
The Circuit des 24 Heures, Le Mans, in France is one of the biggest motorsports events in the history of auto racing. I had the chance to photograph this very special event, where prototypes race next to GT3 cars to write history. Watched by the eyes of the world this race is one of the most respected battle in racing, with hundreds of people cheering during the ceremony raising the flags of the winning manufacturer. To me as a photographer this was a very remarkable and memorable race, that I captured with my camera from start to finish.
You might think photographing motorsports is an easy task, but it does not only require pressing the button, it requires a lot more than just that. Of course the right camera is important for sure, though, it doesn’t have to be the best or fastest on the market. I love shooting with my Nikon, that served me well during all the race weekends. You have to be creative, find the right spots and angles and to be fast enough to catch the race cars with your camera.
My TRIBE is about the „Track Heroes“. Maybe you think the cars are the real heroes, or even the drivers. But if you look closer you see that there are more people involved, who make every race become a piece of history. Be it the mechanics, who fix the car after a crash or failure, the corner workers, who make sure the drivers stay safe, the sponsors or even the fans, who give their motivation to the racers - All of these peoples are considered as heroes and who knows - you might be one of them too.