Yeah, I know going to photograph Summernats, billed as Australia's biggest horse power party (sic), seems a tad obvious, but I just couldn't resist an afternoon featuring the world's biggest burnout battle!
Until I visited Canberra last weekend I hadn't shot any 35mm for this project. To date it's been all medium & large format which has been rewarding but I've suffered a few notable misses due to unsuitable equipment choice (including missing the greatest photograph of my career by forgetting to cock the shutter. I'm still too traumatised to talk about this yet, so let's move on). I'm a sucker for making life hard for myself but enough is enough. So, on Sunday morning I dug out my old Leica from the back of the cupboard, threw three lenses and half a dozen rolls of film into a small bag and was away. And boy did I have fun. There is a reason that this genre of photography has almost always utilised the small camera. They work simply, reliably and reasonably discreetly. I shot 4 1/2 rolls in as many hours which totals 150 pictures. I've been away on trips for a week and not come to close to exposing half that number of frames. But as we have all learned from the digital revolution, more rarely equals better.
Highlights of the day included witnessing young children suffering coughing fits due to the putrid clouds of smoke hanging over and around the spectators area, and a lean tattooed woman punching a photo-journalist in the face for taking a picture of her kid. But it's all set against a backdrop of burnt rubber, rock and roll, and one of Australia's biggest motor retail trade shows*, so that makes it OK by me.