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Wednesday, 21 June 2017


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@ our Mike: "I like naturally-aspirated engines." I have to agree; there's no substitute for cubes!

Not being an auto enthusiast, Mr. Humphrey's motorsports images, while quite good, did not hook me the way they did you.

However, I did find his Todd Hido-ish Nightscapes work quite engaging!

Having just returned from San Francisco I also found it very interesting that a local lab and printing business, Rayco Photo Center smartly fosters a community of photographers through exhibitions and workshops (just a few blocks from my hotel, too!). It looks like a very vibrant place.

Mike wrote, "The engine would cost almost exactly as much as the car, which illustrates my basic lack of practicality even in daydreams ... "

What's so impractical about buying such an inexpensive car?

> what would you dedicate yourself to photographing if you could dedicate yourself to photographing anything?

Wildlife - with an eye towards conservation and the protection of the ecosystems and natural spaces that wildlife need.

> Are you doing what you want to?

Photography: as much as possible, yes. Conservation: not nearly enough.

" ... what would you dedicate yourself to photographing if you could dedicate yourself to photographing anything?"

I enjoy creating abstract work more and more as I grow older. I want to create more stuff like this:

"Are you doing what you want to?"
Not yet entirely, but soon. I plan on retiring from full time work in the next year or so, moving back out west to be closer to family, and dedicating more time to personal work and interests.

"Track day/party"? That brings to mind Trent Parke's photo from the Bathurst races: https://www.worldpressphoto.org/collection/photo/1999/daily-life/trent-parke

I attended Bathurst some 30 years ago, and Parke's photo captures the atmosphere succinctly - a mix of the infield at the Kentuck Derby, and the Hells Angels Memorial Day picnic.

[That's a great shot. --Mike]

Another TOP non-photographic photography story!

Mike asks: "What would you dedicate yourself to photographing if you could dedicate yourself to photographing anything? Are you doing what you want to?"

One (my) answer: I'm a blend of Nat Geo's Sam Abell (in my aspiration if not execution) and several other Yellow Borders, but shoot anything? Yes: Anything! No: No one thing I'd hang around–variety is the spice of life!

And, no. My day job is almost entirely non-photographic despite my master's in photography. On the other hand, it's entirely satisfying to my other psychological needs. (Financially less so but more so than pro photography!)

As a (sigh) former Miata owner, I found the Road & Track article fascinating. Your earlier mentions of Flyin' Miata had sent me to thier website some time ago. But, as with many things financial, I was not able to respond to the greedy lust it inspired. Now you have to bring up the combination of an ND with a Duratec engine. Drat.

Just how far are you living from Watkins Glen? And you do have room in your garage for one more small automobile. And another hobby, why not?

[I'm 24 miles from Watkins Glen Racetrack, and I have one large and one small space in my garage/barn, only one of which is in use. :-) --Mike]

I would choose an unmolested, perfectly maintained 1973 Porsche 911E.

There was a period when street 911s used technologies used in Porsche race cars about 4-5 years earlier. The 71-73 911s are exquisite track cars.

Even more than four decades later all you need are fresh tires and a well-sorted manual fuel injected 911 to achieve road-course nirvana.

The understeer mentioned by Sam Smith predominates and momentum-car techniques are important as well. The in-slow, out-fast cornering technique cliche applies to both cars. Both cars have "light-switch" power responses.

On the track the 911 rear engine design demands a significant exception. The instant one realizes rear suspension traction is fading, it's time to floor the throttle. As weight shifts to the rear wheels, the rear suspension geometry changes, traction increases and away you go. This is one time when a bit of rear-wheel sliding is an advantage. When the rear wheels resume 100% traction the car is now pointed in the correct direction. On the other hand, if you do what your brain tells you to do when carrying too much speed into a corner, one's natural instinct to get off the throttle usually results in a spin.

That said, if I was in the market for a sports car to enjoy public-road recreational use, a Miata would be my choice.

I've had a ride once in a Caterham 7 and it was the most thrilling trip I've ever had. My friend had a one and took me on a quick spin North on the A68 in Northumberland from the Redesdale arms over Carter Bar into Scotland (Mike your Reiver ancestors would have known this road well) and then through an amazing set of hairpin bends towards Jedburgh. I got out back at the Redesdale Arms with a grin on my face. The only car that has come close was an Alfa GTV6 I had once

Mike I moved to California to take care of my mother about the same week you moved to New York. Otherwise I would have visited by now. I go back about once or twice a year but only for a few days at a time.

[As time warped and woofed onward yesterday, this fact came back to me. I need to get you moved in my head, though. :-) --Mike]

@hughcrawford: The shot from *inside* the Corkscrew was taken through a photo hole behind the k-wall that is at the end of the gravel trap. The only way to get to it, though, was to hike all the way down the outside of the track from Turn 6 to back behind the Corkscrew, and go down a hill to get to the position behind the k-wall.


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