Scott Jones, Ducati Corse
You don't get many chances to get an image like this, with the entire grid together on track. Some circuits don't have a good first couple of turns, or it's hard to get there from the grid in time for the shot, or a good plan to get there is ruined by some unforeseen problem like a broken down shuttle, V.I.P. traffic on the access road, etc.
The San Francisco Dainese D-Store welcomed me and Jensen Beeler last week to share some of our thoughts and experiences in MotoGP. For my part of the presentation, I showed some photographs on a projector and told the stories that went along with them. A few folks asked if I could video the show, but that turned out to be a non-starter for various reasons. So instead I thought I'd write up the stories to share here for anyone who is interested. So here is the story behind...
The annual launch of Ducati and Ferrari's season got underway today at the Italian ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio. The Wrooom event was opened with the official presentation of Ducati MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, alongside Ferrari's Formula 1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, followed by an official dinner.
Though Rossi and Hayden are present, the expected star of the show will be absent: Ducati will not be presenting the 2012 Desmosedici GP12 at Wrooom, and the bike will make its first public appearance at the Sepang test on January 31st. Ducati Corse project leader Filippo Preziosi told French journalist Michel Turco of Moto Revue that Ducati had planned to do this since November. The bike will be taken to Jerez for a shakedown test; however, it is as yet unclear whether the bike will be tested by Carlos Checa in Spain, or if only test rider Franco Battaini will take the new bike out on the track.
Much will be cleared up about the new bike on Wednesday, when Preziosi will face an extended grilling by the assembled motorcycle media. On Tuesday, it is the turn of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden to face the press.
We at MotoMatters.com are very privileged to be working with a man of such prolific talent as Scott Jones. His blog posts and photo stories are always some of the most popular items on the website, and his sharp eye and uncanny knack of capturing the perfect motorcycle racing image have seen his star rise rapidly among the ranks of professional motorcycle racing photographers.
Now, Scott has finally got round to organizing a website showcasing his own portfolio of work, to be found at PHOTO.GP. On that site, you can browse through a selection of Scott's work, organized by race series, year, rider and photo type. The site gives an outstanding overview of Scott's work over the years.
If you'd like to learn more about Scott personally, you should also check out the blog on his own website at www.scottjones.net. You can also sign up for his newsletter there.
I'm going to be appearing at the San Francisco Dainese store again in February and I anticipate still more questions about photography in addition to those about what it's like to work in the MotoGP paddock, so I thought I'd post something photography-related here for those of you who enjoy taking pictures at the races.
The above image of Marco Simoncelli at Indy is one of my personal favorites from 2011, and I thought it would be useful when talking about what a photographer can do in the darkroom, whether that's one that smells of chemicals or the digital version. While some photographers still lament the loss of film as a medium for various and often quite legitimate reasons, I am grateful for the opportunities to start with one image and end up with another via digital tools more powerful than those in the wet darkroom. This image is a good example of how digital tools turned one image into something much different, and ultimately a photograph that I place among my best of the season.
I spent more time on the grid in 2011 than ever before and one of the interesting benefits of this was the level of details I started noticing in some of the helmets. On TV, or even at trackside, it's difficult to see exactly what the helmet designers have done to make each rider's crash hat unique.
So I started grabbing a few close up shots of helmets as they popped out of the hustle and bustle that makes up a G.P. grid. This collection is arbitrary in that I made no effort to look at each helmet to find the best ones. There simply isn't time to do that, nor is it possible to look in a systematic way since the bikes arrive in an unpredictable order, and the grid itself is a fairly hectic space until right before the start when they kick us off.
In August of last year I posted a desktop wallpaper on my website of the above image with a bit of information about the championship trophy's creator, GARCIAROJALS Studio in Barcelona. I'd seen the trophy up close for the first time while it was on display in the lobby of the mobile Dorna HQ building that travels to the European rounds. I was very impressed by the workmanship and design. It's quite a beaufitul bit of art, and I was pleased to share the above photo with others who shared that opinion.