Tag: motorcycle racing

The Stewart Brothers

Here’s another of my BUB International Motorcycle Speed Trials shots taken at the 3 Mile start line. I like this image for so many reasons, the colors, the composition, the expressions of the people, the racer standing in the background and most of all the serendipitous inclusion of the man leaning into the frame. I didn’t include him but just as I released the shutter he popped his head into the picture. I thought to myself “damn that just ruined the shot” so I reframed the shot and did it again. Once I was home and had time to sort the shots from that day I found that I liked this one more than the ones that excluded this guy.

This image was processed in Aperture 3 and Topaz Adjust using the Spicify preset. When I processed this image I was just getting started with Topaz Adjust a couple of years ago. The haloing in the image didn’t bother me then but as I’ve progressed with my processing I’ve begun to try and minimize it more and more.


Toady’s image is once again from the 3 Mile International Start Line. The lady’s shirt says it all if you’re a Land Speed Racing enthusiast. The Black and White Bar is a fixture in Wendover and hosts an all you can eat spaghetti dinner one night during the BUB event.

I processed this shot in Topaz Adjust and then took it back into Aperture 3 where I adjusted the color, straightened the horizon and sharpened it. As for composition I placed her in the foreground of the right hand third of the frame while using her head angle to lead the viewer’s eye to the motorcycle racing past. The negative space on the left continues to carry your eye into infinity and reinforces the vastness of the Salt Flats.

BUB International Motorcycle Speed Trials

This week I’m going to start sharing some of the images I have taken at the BUB International Motorcycle Speed Trials. I have been attending this event since 2006; even going so far as to run my Harley Road Glide “Devilhog” in 2006 and 2007. After that experience I decided to become a volunteer course worker and help make sure that this event continues into the future. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the event, without them there couldn’t be land speed racing, and I’m proud to be part of the volunteer team. Unfortunately I won’t be able to go this year but I’ll be there in spirit. Hopefully I’ll be able to return in 2013.

For the past three years I have been privileged to be the one of the starters at the 3 Mile International Course Start Line. My task has been to organize the riders when they come to the starting gate and to brief them on the safety rules for making their Land Speed Record attempt. I am responsible for making sure that all safety equipment is present and that the rider and bike are cleared through tech inspection for racing. Every once in a while someone will show up at the start gate without proper equipment or other safety problems. I must make sure that these types of situations are corrected before I can allow the racer to enter the race course. It’s a great responsibility which I take very seriously because no one wants to see  something catastrophic happen which could lead to injury or death. Another aspect of our job is to monitor the radio channel and communicate with the timing tower which controls the race course. A rider can only be released to the start line after the timing tower has assured that the course is clear of the last racer.

Toady’s shot is of John Yeats riding out from the start gate to the starting line where the flagman will give him the green flag to go. John’s Dad, John Senior, built the bike and I chose this shot because this motorcycle epitomizes the level of craftsmanship and beauty that John, and the entire Land Speed Racing community, is known for. This engine in this motorcycle is over 3000 CCs which is nearly twice the displacement of most Harley-Davidson engines. John has been piloting Land Speed Racing bikes for many years but it still takes a lot of nerve to climb on a bike that will rocket down the course at well over 175 mph.

I took this image into Topaz Adjust 4 for initial processing and then returned it to Aperture 3 where I finished adjusting the color, vibrancy and sharpening. I especially like the negative space at the left side of the frame which for me accentuates the vastness of the Bonneville Salt Flats and the unknown.

First Racer of the Day

The early morning runs on the Salt Flats are something I will always remember. You can hear the engine screaming at redline long before you can see the motorcycle come into view. For me this image captures some of the majestic beauty of the Salt Flats and the daredevil who is willing to try to go faster than anyone in this class ever has.

Land Speed Racing is a solitary sport because once the flag is dropped it is rider and machine against the time clock. It takes a special man or woman to attempt it on two wheels. At Bonneville gender doesn’t matter, it’s all about skill and courage; there are many world land speed records that are held by women as well as men.  I don’t know who was riding this bike that morning but I do know that they were having the thrill of a lifetime as they rocketed by at well over 100 miles an hour.