Skip to content

My First Photography Award

This month, NNJR PCA held their “Slide Night” themed monthly meeting. Members were invited to submit photos and each contributor was given a chance to present their images. After everyone had shown their work, images were judged by Dom Miliano, a professional photographer and regular contributor to car magazines like Excellence. First, second, and third prizes were awarded in both a Porsche and non-Porsche division. An overall Grand Prize was also given to the overall best picture.

As soon as I heard about this meeting, I wanted to pick some of my pictures to submit. I choose a small group of pictures from the PCA Club Race at Watkins Glen and the ALMS Northeast Grand Prix held at Lime Rock Park. I cropped the shots to zero in on the subject and display a better composition. Since I would have liked to use longer lenses at both of these events, cropping my 10MP images down to around 1280 x 850 really improved a lot of the shots. I knew the pictures would be displayed on a projector screen and laptop at Slide Night, so I figured this relatively low resolution would be good enough if it meant I could create a really good composition. The cropped versions that I submitted are available in this album.

alms_lrp_fl45rsr_landscapeAt the meeting, after a few others photographers had gone, it was my turn to present. I gave only a short explanation of each, but I told a joke for the first image: a panning shot in Turn 2 at Lime Rock Park of the Flying Lizard 911 GT3 RSR ahead of 2 Corvettes and 2 BMWs:

I showed this one to my cousin, a BMW guy, and he said “I see those BMWs, there in the back…” I replied, “Right, that’s where they normally are… in the back!”

After some laughs from the crowd, Dom Miliano said he really liked the shot, because it was very clearly focused on the Lizard Porsche, making it a perfect panning shot. Because of the angle of my shot as related to the corner layout of the track, I was panning left to right to track the Lizard Porsche, while the BMWs were moving right to left. This created additional motion blur on those cars and provided more depth in the image. Overall, there is plenty for the eye to explore and it keeps you busy looking at multiple objects and layers.

After I presented my work, pictures from a lot of other contributors were presented. I thought a lot of the shots were great – I personally liked quite a few of them. Once all presentations were completed, it was time for the photos to be judged. We all waited a few minutes as images were reviewed and awards determined. Finally, finalists were announced starting with the non-Porsche pictures. Next was the Porsche division. As third and second place were announced, I thought the images were great choices and assumed I had no chance to receive anything – there were so many awesome shots shown that night. Then, my first photograph was announced as the first place in the Porsche division! I was really excited to have been honored against so many other great pictures, and I’m happy my work has been recognized.

Winning this recognition has certainly encouraged me to keep shooting pictures of Porsches. I’ll be trying for the grand prize next year! It is also another example of how the equipment doesn’t make the picture, at least to a point. My first-place shot was taken with the kit lens that came with my digital SLR. While I think you do need the performance of an SLR (or “real camera” as I call it) to shoot things like sports, having the latest, greatest, super expensive telephoto L lens doesn’t ensure you take great pictures.