International acclaim and only 25 years old, Jamey Price started his rise to fame as an automotive photographer in May 2011: «It was a NASCAR truck race where I was being paid to cover Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 F1 World Champion, who was running in his first stock car race,» he says. «I’m very early in my career in the grand scheme of things. I grew up just loving car racing — I’m a very passionate fan. If I’m not at a race, I’m certainly watching one on TV.»
Getting the WOW!
Jamey’s WOW! image was taken during Formula One’s pre-season testing in March of this year in Barcelona, and proved not to be such an easy ride. «It wasn’t an easy shot to do because there is a wire that stretches out over the pits, so I had to wrap my camera around my wrist many times so that I didn’t drop a 12lb piece of metal on someone’s head, or even worse, the car. Once I had it secured, I waited until the car came in and just held the camera as steady as I could and fired a series of photos at a slow shutter speed. This was one of several that came out sharp, but I love that the car is still moving and it shows a small piece of how hectic a pit stop can be,» says Jamey.
Shutters, Speed and Settings
When it comes to shutter speeds Jamey mixes it up depending on the job: «For client needs, I have to get the standard ‘boring’ stuff that has sponsor logos tack-sharp at 1/2000sec. But once that is done — and especially with longer races where you have time to be creative — I’ve done everything from 1/100sec to 1/4sec pans,» he says. But despite the varying shutter speeds
Jamey says that he always sticks to Manual mode without fail: «It is a rare occasion that I shoot using a Priority mode. You really need control of your camera. Cameras are great, but they aren’t as smart as the human brain, I want to be the one telling it what to do. And there are often times when it might not agree with what I want in a Priority mode.»
Getting it right in camera is also what leads to Jamey’s pictures looking so punchy in their colouring, and explains that he tends to avoid using much post-production work: «I’m not the most skilled Photoshop technician, and with editorial especially, time is of the essence. So getting it right when you take the frame is important.»
When Health and Safety Takes the Wheel
Health and safety is the pooper of all parties and an obvious spoiler in the race world, as Jamey explains: «It has become too health and safety conscious. That’s not to say I want to die doing this, but I am also okay with it being dangerous. The safety measures that tracks have put in place now are often (but not always) over the top, and it has made it much more challenging to get those WOW! images because they simply aren’t possible with how far away from the cars we are as photographers and how much catch fencing we have to work around.» But when you love cars as much as Jamey the risks are all worth it, and in his case, pay off with fantastic images.»