Back in June of 2013, I received an e-mail from Dennis Gray – Senior Photographer for Sports Car Digest and f8 Motorsports Workshops instructor. He asked me to call him about the upcoming HMSA event at Mont-Tremblant and the idea of me writing a story about my experience with the workshop and the events I had attended.
I followed up with Dennis and discussed his idea for a story and related images that would be published sometime in October/November 2013 for Sports Car Digest. What a great opportunity for me to to write about my experiences, as well as having my images published on the leading international online journal for sports, racing and vintage car enthusiasts. Of course I was on board with this!
I took notes and compiled several sets of images. I worked on the initial draft of the article from October through December, submitting rough drafts to Dennis for his input. Finally, we had a time-frame for submission to SCD – Early January 2014.
I finished up my final draft and completed the selection of 60 of my favorite images from the events I covered. After Dennis reviewed and approved the article, I submitted it with the images to Jamie Doyle, editor at SCD.
I awoke Friday morning at 5:30 am (after having a nightmare – but that’s another story) and checked my iPhone. It was neat to see that my story had been published as the featured article on SCD.
Thanks Dennis and Jamie for the opportunity to share my images and story with the SCD readers.
You can read my article here: Behind the Fence – Capturing the World of Motorsports
This image was captured at the 2011 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance. This event is a unique showcase of classic collector cars on the world-renowned shopping street. The annual Father’s Day tradition showcased more than 100 vintage Italian cars and motorcycles were on display, lining Rodeo Drive north of Wilshire Boulevard.
There are two things no man will admit he cannot do well…
…drive and make love. – Stirling Moss
I found Dwight’s Kickstarter project for this book through Sports Car Digest and after reading his project information, I knew I had to help fund his project!
This is such a special book that I wish it was written 18 years ago, so that I could have shared it with my young son at bedtime.
Dwight took one of the those wonderful scenarios of finding a treasured sports car in a barn and created a timeless father/son story.
The illustrations are very well done, the attention to detail is outstanding and the story itself is sure to win fans with both fathers and sons… and I expect daughters as well.
With the holidays upon us, this would certainly make a truly special gift for all the fathers, son, grandfathers, uncles and any one who can relate to this neat story.
Thank you , Dwight, for dedicating my copy of this book to my father.
It has been 33 years since the passing of Hollywood legend and icon Steve McQueen, a victim of cancer. The cool, anti-hero, race car driver and film star, left us at the young age of 50, but his presence, style and energy continues to be felt now and for the foreseeable future.
If you love racing and photography, then you know the name Jesse Alexander. He is the world famous motorsports photographer, who is best know for covering the world of racing during what many call “the romantic” period. At 84 years of age, he’s made thousands of photographs, covering the world of motor racing for the last 60 years and he’s authored at least ten books devoted to auto racing – all which have become collector’s items.
Recently, Jesse has gone back into his archives and uncovered many previously unpublished images, which has prompted his latest project, MONACO, a celebration of the Grand Prix weekend in that famous principality on the Mediterranean.
This is not just an auto-racing book. What he’s tried to do is to paint a picture of the glamour, excitement, and romance of the golden age of motorsport in this tiny country that once a year hosts the most famous Grand Prix race in the world.
Steve McQueen, Princess Grace, Prince Rainier, and many other celebrities were all part of that amazing scene. There were also classic Grand Prix cars with legendary drivers behind the wheel, like Sir Jackie Stewart, Phil Hill, Stirling Moss, and Juan Fangio.
His new book, MONACO: THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE GRAND PRIX, captures them all and much, much more. The book is a large 12″x12″ hard cover and consists of 160 pages of black & white and color images, many never seen before, with a beautiful Foreword by Sir Jackie Stewart. It will retail between $50-$60 USD.
Jesse is taking a different approach in publishing this book and has decided to self-publish MONACO using Kickstarter to make it happen. Please join me and the rest of the backers on Kickstarter, in bringing this exciting project into the world.
It looks like the pledge goal of 15K for Jesse Alexander’s Kickstarter project has been met in just under 2 days! I’m sure the project amount will reach a point where he will be able to produce the kind of photography book that he envisions! Congrats, Jesse!
You can track Jesse’s Kickstarter project below:
Robert Ryan’s 1968 McLaren M6B. (image © 2013 Victor Varela)
Phew! It’s been a bit of a struggle to get back into the swing of things, after eight days of fun, family, exploring, eating and a little bit of work on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Once home and after updating client’s websites, addressing a mailbox full of e-mails and going through images in Lightroom, I gave myself some time to post something exciting here on my blog, that happened while I was away. I had my images from the 2013 Coronado Speed Festival published on the leading international online journal for sports, racing and vintage car enthusiasts – Sports Car Digest!
Alex Curtis’ 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing. (image © 2013 Victor Varela)
Before I left for the weekend in Coronado, I received a phone call from friend and f/8 Motorsports Photography Workshops instructor, Dennis Gray, who asked for some images of the event for the HMSA annual (Historic Motor Sports Association, is the sanctioning organization for the Coronado Speed Festival). They were requesting an assortment of track and “pit candy’ shots of the weekend to be included with the other HMSA events. I happily agreed and before we ended the call, he also asked if I could cover the event for him as he had another event to photograph and could not make it to San Diego. It would be for Sports Car Digest and would consist of about 120 images and a report of the weekend’s activities. To say that I was excited and honored about covering this event for Dennis, a photographer with his experience, credentials and reputation, is, well… an understatement. It was such a great moment for me! To have my abilities as a motorsports photographer, validated by Dennis with this request, well I can tell you I had a 48 hour grin on my face. I greatly appreciate that he had the confidence in my abilities to ask me to cover the event for him.
Thank you, Dennis!
It was a great event and weekend of vintage racing with the various race classes that participated, as well as an open paddock where the cars and drivers prepared for their track time. With all the vendors, food stands, car club corrals and several military vehicles and aircraft on display, fans their families and friends, had a lot to see, eat and experience throughout the warm and sunny Southern California race weekend.
The track was a bit difficult to use as a back drop for all the fantastic cars that participated during the weekend, but I found several good spots around the track to capture them. The morning light offered some beautiful lighting as is evident in the image above of the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing. The mid-day sun wasn’t too bad for capturing images as seen by the image below of the beautiful, young lady and Fred Lacorte’s 1950 Oldsmobile “88″ Convertible.
Fred Lacorte’s 1950 Oldsmobile “88″ Convertible is a girl magnet. (image © 2013 Victor Varela)
Once I returned from San Diego, I was on a tight deadline because of the trip to Oahu at the end of the week. I post processed, organized, captioned and sent the images and report to Dennis, Jamie Doyle – founder & editor of Sports Car Digest and Bill Wagenblatt at Track Thoughts for the HMSA annual.
I was in contact with Jamie and Dennis during that weekend, about the possibility of having the images published on SCD (although Dennis had asked me to cover the event, it was up to both Dennis and Jamie to approve them for publishing) and when they would be on the site.
On October 2nd, I woke up to another beautiful morning in Oahu and checked the Sports Car Digest website and found the image of Robert Ryan’s 1968 McLaren M6B and the following copy…
Report and photos by Victor Varela The Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California, played host once again to the thundering symphony of vintage race cars at the … Read Full Story
Wow! What a great feeling it was to see one of my images on the front page of Sports Car Digest!
I have to thank Jamie for the opportunity and the prestige of having my images and report on his fantastic website. Hopefully, I can make future contributions to Sports Car Digest and maybe other online and printed publications in the very near future.
Fell free to click the image or link below to see my image gallery & report.
This is my all-time, favorite image of David Bowie, period. No second guessing, no question… at all. I know it’s a bold statement to make considering the countless, fantastic images that have been taken of this rock and roll chameleon throughout his career. But not surprising, this image also happens to be one of Bowie’s favorite images of himself.
Back in 1988, my wife (then girlfriend/fiancée) gave me this large framed image as a gift and have pretty much had it adorning one wall or another in our home since then. It is such powerful image that it never fails to make me stop and admire Rowlands’ perspective: the lighting, the clothes and the pose Bowie took when the image was captured.
What I find amazing about this photograph is that it is not a studio capture at all. The image was taken during the 1976 Station To Station / Isolar Tour, just 30 feet from the stage, just as Bowie was preparing to ‘fire’ his imaginary bow and arrow. Rowland captured the iconic pose just moments before the lighting engineer followed Bowie’s cue and killed the stage lights.
Recently, this image was produced from the original negative and has been re-created as an edition of 100 prints in 3 sizes. The numbered prints are hand-signed in pencil by both David Bowie and John Rowlands. ‘The Archer’ is available here.
[image © 1976 John Rowlands]