My first Derby was 2006, when Barbaro won. I had followed a horse named Brother Derek since he had started his career as a 2 year old. Spent countless mornings at the barn with him and the connections. I'll never forget walking through the paddock with them as "My Old Kentucky Home Played."I got a little choked up. It was a dream to just be there. Now the dream is to make beautiful images, and to try new things. This year I had to improvise as I did not get my usual spot for remotes. Why have the same shot as 15 guys, when you can have the only shot? I tried something a little different, and put a 17-35mm at 17, on the first turn looking back up at the grandstands, filled with 160,000 people.
To start the trip I met the two coolest guys on the flight out to Louisville. It really started the trip off on a great note, and just built from there. I finally got to meet two awesome photographers, Jamey Price (www.jameypricephoto.com) and Ryan Lasek (www.ryanlasek.com). When the infield got ...
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Not quiet my Almost Famous moment, but I'll take it. I love getting gigs where I have free reign to do whatever I want. I recently had to photograph a room that was set up for a sponsorship event for the Northern Trust Open. Aside from getting shots of the corporate logos in the room, I was instructed to, "just make it look cool." I guess in the digital world everyone is a photographer, everything can be "photoshopped" In the end i think I made it "look cool." Hell it was fun not shooting Horses or Hardware.
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I havent really had much time to edit or update recently. After crazily shooting on night shift for 25 days straight sprinkling in freelance work, I got mono and was condemned to rest for 3 weeks. I had no energy anyway, luckily the weather wasn't too good. I wouldn't to get tired of staring at the ocean daily off my balcony( maybe ill include some shots of that.) Either way, mono sucks. NO partying, NO Hockey, NO photography, NO FUN. Im feeling way better and recharged ready to get back to work and start shooting more, and posting more too.
This time of year is the craziest, yet most fun for horse racing. Every major 3yo race brings hopes for rose on " The First Saturday in May" The photos have greater interest as people want to get a glimpse at what a future derby winner will look like. Our two main contenders, Creative Cause and I'll Have Another battled to wire in the Santa Anita Derby and have to be considered serious contenders for the Derby.
In addition to Derby stuff I also ...
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I never intended to be a photographer. I started taking pictures at the track as a way to get in for free and not waste money on admission. One thing lead to another and I met some tremendous photographers, which made me realize that photography is something I wanted to do every day for the rest of my life. Up until the age 21, the only camera I had touched was my grandfathers Rolleiflex that I used to run around with as a kid cause the viewfinder was inverted. But as a child I was always gravitated to images of racing. I have old black and white photo books from the 80s, and countless vintage Racing Forms. Today when I was getting my wide angle lens fixed I saw an identical old Rolleiflex camera. Seeing that old camera inspired me to start a collection of black and white images from Santa Anita. Its my tribute to all the faces and personalities that go beyond just that of the athletes performing on the track.
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