This photo was taken with my first digital camera - a Canon 350D with the cheap 18-55 kit lens, way back in 2005. I remember paying almost $500 AUD to upgrade to a 2 gig compact flash card instead of the standard 256 mb - which would only hold a few photos if used in my current camera.
I was living in Western Australia at the time but had been slowly and increasingly persuaded (guilted) by my parents to come home to help them build their new home on Kootenay Lake - which is the gorgeous house they live in today. I was resisting coming back to Canada as this was the last work visa I could get and Australia is like a second home to me. Eventually I succumbed, but not until a few friends and I had one last trip.
Andrew and Cam found an amazing package deal to fly from Sydney to Auckland, with a rental car and accommodation for a week in Raglan for only a fraction more than the price of a 2 gig CF card! Apart from surfing one of the best left hand points in the world, the major draw was the New Zealand stage of the WRC rally was going right through that area. I have never been a fan of motor sports, but it was guaranteed to be entertaining with this crew of guys.
Many great times and stories came from the week as we surfed early and hopped around from different rally stages around the North Island during the day, followed by Waikato draught filled evenings - shooting pool at the local pub. But one of my fondest memories was of taking this photograph. The world of digital opened up so much creativity and the freedom not to have to worry about the associated cost with tripping the shutter.
I found myself wanting to find new angles without the spectators or sponsor banners, so I ran across the gravel road and sat myself on an outside corner, waiting for the next car to come along. I was so scared as the first car approached my new position I didn’t even take a photo. Imagine seeing one of these rally cars racing straight towards you at upwards of 200 km/h on a loose gravel road, then at the last minute locking up the brakes and skidding sideways less than 2 meters away and showering you with stones. It was all about timing, snap a photo, duck and cover your head and camera from the projectiles. Exciting to say the least.
With this new found privilege of digital, my stoke for photography was reignited. Endless creative options to play and experiment, then, just hit delete if it didn’t work out! I still really like this photo - it has some great action, nice composition, beautiful lighting, and is of decent technical quality. It invokes some great memories and emotion and is a great reminder that it’s not all about having the best camera, professional lenses, or the latest technology to create a fantastic image.
- April 2005