Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Racing Into The New Year

My Updated Alleygroup Logo
What a difference a year makes; or a week, for that matter. Last year at this time, I already had plans made and plane reservations booked for Daytona for both the Rolex 24 Hours and the Daytona 500 weekends. Up until a week ago, I had nothing lined up for my 2015 racing season but things have changed in a hurry, and somewhat unexpectedly. Reading reports from this past weekend's "Roar Before the 24" TUDOR sports car test at Daytona, I was having some regrets about not being able to shoot the Rolex 24 this year even though I had an opportunity with Associated Press. Having just recently gotten engaged, discretion financially seemed to be the better part of valor this year so I opted not to make the investment in travel and lodging costs for an uncertain return. Such is the life of a wire service photo stringer, yet I am grateful that I had an option to go. Maybe next year...

Other than planning to go to Talladega for both NASCAR weekends for AP this year, my 2015 calendar was a blank slate for racing when this new year rolled around. Then last week, I contacted motorsport.com about shooting the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Indy 500 and Brickyard events again this year and got confirmation they would use me for those. A couple of days later, I was contacted by my friends at ARCA about shooting more races this year for the series as the person they thought was going to cover all the 2015 races had to bow out due to an unfortunate set of circumstances. The same day, I heard from AP in Atlanta about shooting the NASCAR race this spring. Although driving through the Tennessee mountains in late February might be a challenge, I'm planning to do that race so my racing season will start just a bit later than it did in 2014. I haven't been to Atlanta since the Labor Day weekend race in 2011 so that should be a fun, and hopefully productive, road trip.

So within the span of a week, I went from having no idea what racing I would be shooting in 2015 to having quite a few options on my calendar. Feast or famine seems to sum it up for me right now, and while I still have a lot of planning to do, getting some race dates on my calendar now sure helps my outlook during the long gray Indiana winter! In the meantime, I have been working on other creative projects to follow up on the 42 Day Photo Challenge I gave myself at the end of 2014. I have been working on updating my logo, watermarks, web banners and other graphics for my Alleygroup online presence. The logo concept (above) blends old and new with a sunset colored background to match my website theme and business cards. The following graphic updates the hawk theme which I have used for the last few years with a bird in flight from one of my more recent photos along with new graphic elements. I've incorporated features like these into my website banners as well, but the next creative task I must tackle is a comprehensive update of my website! That will take some time since I have already built so many pages, but since winter is my racing off-season, now's the time to get that done, especially before I start hitting the road again. I am looking forward to it! See you at the races!
New web banner developed for my Facebook page