I learned about The Race of Gentleman (TROG) in May. TROG is based on the old-school, beach drag racing from the 1940s & 50s. What is really cool about this event is that all motorcycles and Hot rod cars must be of the pre- and post-World War II eras, even the clothing, accessories and the bike clamps must look authentic. TROG was scheduled for June 2018 in Wildwood, New Jersey, and I wanted to do some personal projects that are meaningful on several levels. TROG commemorates a time when motor heads would tinker with their machines for a year just to race across 660 feet of sandy beach. This assignments goal is to preserve a bygone era of machine vs machine, as well as the character of the TROG Racers which can be as important as their fast machines.
I showed up early on Sunday morning with a strobe light, a camera, and a smiling face. My approach was to wing it, just to see what I could make happen. The place was packed. The State Police were cracking down on media passes, so I decided to stand near the racers entrance and see what I could get. This worked out wonderfully as most racers were excited to have their portrait captured. I posed the subject as quickly as possible with various boardwalk elements, 3/4 backlighting them with a strobe light and using high-speed sync to add mood and drama. Desaturating the overall palette helped to convey the vintage feel.
The racers and I are thrilled with the results. We are all particularly pleased with the vintage feel of the photos with a desaturated color palette. High speed flash sync also helped to create the overall moody environment. I am using these images on my website, on an up-coming direct mail promotion, as well as in an email blast and portfolio prints.