The year was 1984 and I was in awe

Click on image to view GalleryThe 12 Hours of Sebring was the first motor sports race I ever saw in person.  The year was 1984 and I was in awe of the speed, the crowd, the entire Sebring experience.

26 years later very little at Sebring has changed.   The speed of the cars and the talent of the drivers is truly amazing.  The loyalty and size of the crowd is inspiring.  And the fact that so little has changed in the past quarter century, other than a new pit lane structure, is in some ways endearing, but in far more ways staggering.  That is a a topic for a blog which I will address in the very near future.

Sebring offers unique challenges for photographers.  Portable toilets, telephone poles, nasty fencing, and lack of elevation force photogs to think, to move, to adjust.  Finding locations that haven’t been shot before or flooded by the masses of button pushers is difficult as well.  But the good ones always find a way.  Bob Chapmen has located a new sunset shot location.  I found a new through-the-tress panning shot.  I was also fortunate enough to shoot out of a helicopter this year, offering unique images that show the scale of Sebring.  It is nice to have clients that appreciate photography and are willing to spend the bucks to make things happen. Luckily the ALMS is becoming more and more populated with these type of clients and Chapman, Lefebure, Tilghman, Graves, Thawley,  and myself all have clients that “get it.”    And in these economic times, spending the bucks to create and showcase strong images benefit the teams, the drivers, and the sponsors.  Perhaps one day the folks that control the purse strings at the ALMS will understand this as well. There are plenty of folks within the series that do get it, and went to bat for the photographers at this year’s race.  A special thanks to Bob Dickinson, Ken Breslauer,  and John Evenson for all their assistance. 

So despite the hoops and hurdles, Sebring remains a magical place for all that attend.  Drivers, team owners and car companies all want their piece of history.  Fans want to witness it and photographers want to capture it.  Enjoy the pics and make your plans now to attend next year’s race.

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