Scott Jones, Ducati Corse
One of the great things about working with David at MotoMatters is that doing so gets me to some amazing places, now and then in position to grab an image that really means a lot to me. From time to time, one of those images resonates with others as well.
Last year at Catalunya I happened to get Casey Stoner dragging his elbow around Turn 5, and as soon as that shot appeared on this website it began an amazing journey. It's the only work of mine that has approached something that might be called 'viral' in how it spread around the world.
Before long I was hearing from new Twitter, Facebook and other fans, but also from Alpinestars, HRC and Repsol Honda, Bridgestone, and even from Casey himself, who asked for a copy of the image. His mechanics put the photo on their laptops as desktop wallpaper, and some of them are still using it. When I spoke to Adrianna Stoner and used the image to introduce myself at Silverstone, she said, "Oh, that's your picture. We still get it emailed to us about every five minutes."
I've been thinking a lot lately about what advice and help I can give other photographers, largely because I'm leading a photography seminar two weeks before the MotoGP round at Laguna Seca. In addition to technique, camera settings, and workflow secrets, I'll also be talking about the 'mental game' of photography, and one of the ideas of this aspect of getting interesting pictures is overcoming shyness and having the courage to take risks.
The above portrait of Romano Fenati and his father, Claudio, is one of my favorites from 2012, and I'd like to share its tale, both for those who are interested in a behind the scenes MotoGP story, and also for my fellow shooters who enjoy occasionally finding photography-related comments in this space.
Sometimes the guy in 6th place gets there with such style that his story is more compelling, more inspiring, and more enjoyable than the victor's. For me, the biggest story of Silverstone 2012 starts at least as early as Donington in 2008. James Toseland showed up to his home race in his rookie G.P. year to find the expected amount of media attention. It seemed in the days leading up the race that Toseland was on every front page in the country, and it also seemed impossible for any literate person in the U.K. not to know he was the local boy in the coming race at Donington Park. Not shy on courage, Toseland wore the English flag on his shoulders, literally, by appearing on Sunday in custom white leathers adorned with the red cross of St. George.
What unfolded as the race began was painful to watch, even as a foreigner. Toseland charged into the first turn at Redgate and crashed. He gathered himself and his bike up and continued on, far behind the race for the victory, but was cheered as he made his lonely way from grandstand to grandstand. At least local hopes for a good result had not been made to suffer for long.