Check out Pace Images’ Top Ten photos from 2017, accompanied by photographer Ben Roehlen’s comments.
#10 – Kicking off the Top 10 Countdown of Pace Images’ favourite captures of 2017 is from a chilly Albury Wodonga Kart Club for the Golden Power Series. Freezing cold mornings each day of the event meant frozen starter motors and tyre walls! Captured this during sunrise on the Saturday morning as I headed out to see who would get caught out by the slippery, cold track.
#9 – Another sunrise trackside, this time at the Geelong Karting Club for round 2 of the Australian Kart Championship with Oscar Priest keen to head out the gate and kick off practice in KA3 Senior. I love the way the golden glow of the sun floods through the gate and into the grid.
#8 – There has certainly been no shortage of wet racing in 2017. It kicked off with Junior Top Guns at the Oakleigh Go Kart Racing Club in January. I enjoy shooting in the rain, especially when there are puddles positioned well for some reflection shots! This puddle is actually off the track in the cut through as Christian Pancione rolls around getting set for the green flag. The vibrant colours of the FA kart worked well for some selective colour editing.
#7 – Back to the frosty conditions at Albury Wodonga Kart Club with Sam Downing giving his kart the cold shoulder after a stoppage in practice. I like the contrast of the cold, dark foreground with the grass still being frozen compared to the morning sun peaking through the trees in the background.
#6 – Round 3 of the Australian Kart Championship was held at The Go Kart Club of SA in May. Coming in at 6 in the Top Ten Pics of 2017 is Maddie Feather making herself as aerodynamic as possible down the front straight during heat 4. I enjoy the challenge of panning shots, finding a good balance between having the kart and driver sharp while still having motion blur in the right places to show that they’re still travelling at speed. Pretty happy with the results of this shot, especially as it was my first weekend behind a new camera body!
#5 – Throughout the year I tried to branch out a bit from shooting motorsport and try some other action sports photography. This is from a weekend away with mates at Bonnie Doon, shooting off the back of a boat. Being one of the last sessions of the afternoon meant that the water spray from Christian’s ski created a pretty cool silhouette effect with the setting sun behind him. I like the small amount of blue still visible in the water. I attempted a number of times to recreate this image again, but this was definitely my favourite. I enjoyed the challenge of having to adapt to the constant changes in light due to the boat regularly changing direction.
#4 – The Goulburn Valley Kart Club put on an excellent weekend for the 2017 Australasian Kart Titles (Red Plate). With spectacular sunrises each morning and sunsets each arvo, it gave me the perfect back drop. I love the contrast between Jackson Lee’s green Deadly kart and suit compared to the strong red glow of the sunset through the tree line. Already a great track to shoot at, this sunset just made it even better.
#3 – Following the final round of the Victorian Country Series at the Warrnambool Kart Club, I detoured via the Great Ocean Road on my drive back to Melbourne. I found a secluded spot for some sunset photos before deciding to have a crack at shooting the Milky Way. This was taken at about 2am at the Twelve Apostles look out. There were half a dozen other photographers clicking away, with most of them being tourists exploring the coast of Victoria. Was pretty cool to meet people from such diverse backgrounds all sharing the same passion. Thankfully the moon wasn’t out that night, meaning that the stars and milky way weren’t washed out. Although you can certainly see the milky way with the naked eye, the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor picks up so much more detail! Pretty happy with this shot, considering it was my first attempt at night sky photography and I was fumbling around in the pitch black (with helpful advice from Jarryd Veale via text!)
#2 – This moment still takes my breath away. Mid race during the final round of the Victorian Kart Championship, I had just changed positions, when all of a sudden Coady stepped sideways on the exit of the final corner. Launching off a small mound in the grass he got huge air before nose diving back to earth. Luckily Coady was ejected from the seat on the first tumble prior to the kart cartwheeling and tumbling down the grass. A scary scene to witness, especially having been within arms reach of it. Luckily with the race control tower and first aid so close to the area, officials and a medic were on scene nearly before the kart stopped flipping. I was surprised a lot of these shots turned out sharp as I was both stepping backwards and ready to drop the camera as it happened! Glad to see Coady back on track and on his feet a few months later.
#1 – I’m sure this comes as no surprise that this is my favourite capture of 2017! The Go Kart Club of SA for round 3 of the Australian Kart Championship and the KA1 Final provided some close racing. A little too close for Mat Stenner as his kart launches up onto one wheel following wheel to wheel contact with another kart. To say I wasn’t prepared for this shot is an understatement. If I had known it was about to happen I would have had completely different settings ready to go, but I didn’t. As I was shooting the sequence of shots I was already thinking that I’d missed a massive moment, but was pleasantly surprised to look down at the screen and see that they’d worked out! I like that the slow shutter speed setting means that there is motion blur thrown in, but that there’s also the sharpness of the sidepod. A bit of smoke from the left rear tyre adds to the drama of the shot. Glad to say Mat landed this upright, but unfortunately DNFed the race. An incident that could have been much worse!
“I hope everyone has enjoyed my top ten pics of the year, it sure was hard choosing a final 10” – Ben, Pace Images.
Above: Video – a bunch of other top photos (mix of action and atmosphere) taken by Pace Images in 2017.