When you SHOULDN'T take a picture of a car

In this age of Instagram and YouTube, keeping some moments for yourself is more vital than ever

2y ago

When was the last time you did something that was genuinely for yourself? Something that had no thought to what other people might think, something that was purely for your own enjoyment.

I was lucky enough to go to the Le Mans Classic last summer, my first time ever at the sacred Circuit de la Sarthe. Driving there in a Morgan, it would be a rare opportunity to fulfil my Group C car obsession and passion for everything late-80s.

As paddocks go, this was a good one

As paddocks go, this was a good one

Taking a look at the cars on the start list, I knew it was going to be a once in a lifetime event. Peugeot 905s, Porsche 962s, TWR Jags and even a Lola T92 would be taking to the track in a dream mix of the golden age of endurance racing.

Standing at Tertre Rouge, I could hear the cars thundering flat under the Dunlop Bridge, approaching the final corner before the iconic Mulsanne Straight. And knowing the visual and audible barrage that was about to wash over me, I was absolutely astonished at the amount of people that – through pure instinct – raised their phones in front of their faces and pressed record, rather than watching it for themselves.

Apart from some old timers, everyone standing on the same bank as me was experiencing this unbelievable, one-time-only motorsport spectacle through their phones, barely ever looking up to see the metal with their own eyes. They were filming it to show their friends and family once back home rather than being there, in the moment.

This collection of machinery may never be as illustrious ever again

This collection of machinery may never be as illustrious ever again

Watching the Group C cars hammer around Tertre Rouge was the most magical thing that happened to me in 2018, but the way I am, I at least waited until the first fly past had occurred before thinking about grabbing some snippets of content for myself and you guys on DriveTribe.

Letting my ears and eyes be engulfed by V12, V10 and V8 machinery, I waited for the second lap (once all the cars were stretched out and driving a little less aggressively) to get my phone out and capture some of the beautiful sights and sounds of Le Mans.

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Basically, I've recently become a bit obsessed with keeping the best experiences in my life to myself. And it all stems from a school trip I had to Vietnam and Cambodia.

It was a history trip – one that I would now be insanely hyped to go on. But back when I was 16, I took it for granted and spent virtually the entire time busying myself with the girls on the trip. Ho Chi Minh, the Cu Chi tunnels, the Mekong Delta, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, elephant rides, crocodile farms; all of them were firmly in second place to a girl called Josie.

A lesser-spotted Mike can be seen in a red polo shirt to the right, this being a day spent at a Vietnamese orphanage

A lesser-spotted Mike can be seen in a red polo shirt to the right, this being a day spent at a Vietnamese orphanage

I've never really forgiven myself for how much of a waste that was, so much so that when I am presented with a cool opportunity nowadays, I make sure that I properly take a second to experience it just for myself, really soaking in the experience, using every sense.

Of course I still take pictures and video to capture content for you guys and for myself to look back on, but I believe you should always prioritise your own life experience. We're all far too obsessed with likes, views, comments, bumps, all to the genuine detriment of actual memories.

Next time you are at a car event or come across something truly special then, don't let your first reaction be to grab your phone and press record. Just hold yourself back for at least a fleeting moment, keep that initial surprise and joy just for yourself. You'll thank yourself for it later.

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Comments (26)

  • I must admit I'm guilty too about giving priority to my camera, especially when the field is bunched up for the first lap and restarts. I do that, in part, so that I can relive special moments over and over again, and share them with others.

    I wish I'd been at your race. Those are among my all-time favorite race cars.


      2 years ago
  • You are 100% right, but I am afraid it’ll fall on deaf ears. Most millennials and post-millennials can’t even operate without at least one device in their hand. And they all have to be in the frame, blocking the object they should be looking at... Shit I’m getting old 😂

      2 years ago
  • Couldn't agree more with this - too easy to instinctively take pics/record, especially when at a racetrack. Aiming for less pics, more memories in 2019. And certainly no talking to girls called Josie 😂

      2 years ago
  • Couldn’t agree more enjoy the moment for real then if time permits snap or film away!

      2 years ago
  • Taking a moment for myself to soak it all in and try to realise what's happening is why people have to wait for me on trips all the time. I love taking pictures and I love not to. Very time consuming. But better than missing out.

      2 years ago