On Sunday, I was given complete access to a NASCAR race in Fontana, California. It was probably one of the loudest things I’ve ever been to (even with ear plugs). It was also one of the hardest things to shoot because the entire event is a circus. With all the special passes sold to race fans and VIPs, it’s hard to really capture the behind-the-scenes aspect of the sport. When you have a fan with all his NASCAR paraphernalia, pit passes hanging around his neck and eating a hot dog next to mechanics furiously preparing a race car, it kind of kills the shot. I’m sure if the NASCAR liability lawyers would allow it, NASCAR would sell special pit passes that would let people change a tire during a pit stop. Anyway, I had a good ol’ time and managed to get a few decent shots.
The Governor of Hawaii declared February 13 (I know I’m a day late) “Andy Irons Day”. I didn’t know Andy or even surf enough to be considered a surfer. But last month I was in Kauai on the north shore which is where Andy made his home. One of the things that I noticed was all the makeshift memorials in his honor—I saw dozens but I suppose if you really look hard there are probably five times that amount. Most of them were surfboards tied to trees or rocks where the people said their last goodbye to their brother (brah as the locals say).
It’s been a crazy and fun 2011 so far. This is the first week I’ve been able to settle down and catch up in my office. Since Christmas, we’ve gone to Palm Springs, New York City, Salt Lake City, Park City, San Francisco, San Rafael, Bodega Bay and Kauai. We’ve logged thousands of miles by air, auto and train (NYC subway). You would think we were either sponsored by Chevy or the CIA as our convoy of Suburbans made it’s way around each city shuttling about 20 crew and clients—my producer probably has enough Hertz rewards points to rent any car for free for about a month. Here’s a shot I took near the end of our travels just before reentering reality.