Lori Carey Photography

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How did I get such an insane point of view on Wrecking Ball?

Jake Hallenbeck on Wrecking Ball, 2014 King of the Hammers
Jake Hallenbeck on Wrecking Ball, 2014 King of the Hammers

How did I get such an insane point of view on Wrecking Ball during the ULTRA4 King of the Hammers race? I tucked myself into a spot that usually only Go-Pros go! Seriously! The course safety officials knew where I was and were okay with it, although they were keeping a close eye on me to make sure I stayed safe. But the BLM came to do a site visit to make sure everything was safe and they weren't exactly excited about where I was. I wasn't ordered to move, I was asked politely to reconsider the safety of my spot because the BLM wasn't comfortable with it. I didn't want to be the source of any tension between the BLM and Hammerking that might jeopardize the future of the race so I moved to higher ground. I won't say exactly where I was, there are a few people who saw me (and I know that Levi Shirley's co-driver spotted me because he pointed right at me in the shot). I will say that the safety personnel and the recovery team out on Wrecking Ball were the coolest guys ever; they knew I was getting some wicked shots from down there! At least I got most of the leaders from that position before I had to move. Thanks guys for helping me climb back up quickly when I needed to move.

Randy Slawson on Wrecking Ball, 2014 King of the Hammers
Randy Slawson on Wrecking Ball, 2014 King of the Hammers

Erik Miller on Wrecking Ball, 2014 King of the Hammers off road race
Erik Miller on Wrecking Ball, 2014 King of the Hammers

Derek West on Wrecking Ball at the 2014 King of the Hammers off road race in Johnson Valley, California
Derek West on Wrecking Ball, 2014 King of the Hammers

More insane shots from Wrecking Ball in my 2014 King of the Hammers - Wrecking Ball gallery.

Still processing photos and uploading as quickly as I can, the LightRoom workflow is throwing me off pace a bit. I've been using Photoshop for 17 years and my workflow was second nature. I have to think too much with LightRoom, but I know that once I get it down pat my overall workflow will speed up tremendously. At least my web host finally worked out their problem and more than twelve photos show up now!

Monday, February 10, 2014

All in a Day's Work

Lori Carey in a helmet

How do you dress for work haha? To interview the youngest competitor at King of the Hammers, 15 year old Melvin Wade IV, I put on a helmet and went for a ride in his UTV racing rig! He's an awesome kid and I had so much fun riding out to the lakebed in Johnson Valley for a mini photo shoot for our story. The clashing bright yellow vest is my hi-viz media vest. (Thank you to his Mom, Lisa Wade, for grabbing this photo of me looking so stylish!) Check out my story and photos Meet the Youngest KOH Contender: Mel Wade IV on DrivingLine.

Wow was King of the Hammers crazy!! I worked 18 hour days out there, everything from the Backdoor Shoot Out Monday night in 25 degrees perched on the side of a cliff of loose rocks (I watched quite a few people slide several feet down the side but drinking may have been a factor) to a 6am photo shoot back at the bottom of Backdoor with the entire Nitto racing team (6 cars and drivers/co-drivers), a few trips out to the lakebed for high-speed desert racing then jeeping through Johnson Valley to get to obstacles that other media couldn't reach, and time on the short course to cover Qualifying, Power Hour, and race starts and finishes. And then up all night processing photos to provide daily content for DrivingLine.
It was a brutal schedule and by Saturday morning I was exhausted, but I had a fantastic time because I was doing what I love best to do!

In addition to catching up with some old friends I met many fantastic new people out there. On Wednesday I shot Qualifying next to Chris Collard, the Editor-in-Chief of Overland Journal (swoon) and got to chat with him for several hours. Shooting for Overland Journal one day is an aspirational goal of mine of course! They have the most gorgeous imagery, and Chris was a super nice guy. On Thursday and Friday I teamed up with the awesome Doug Dienelt of DRD Images because we both wanted to avoid the media crowds and I had the vehicle to get us where ever we wanted to go. Doug is a great co-pilot/navigator, a fantastic race photographer and an all-around super guy. Doug was also one of the "strangers" I was sharing a trailer with. Thank you for making the week so much fun (AND productive) Doug!

Also got to spend a little time Friday night hanging out with the crew from 4 Wheel To Heal, the organization I volunteer with. They brought eleven wounded warriors out to King of the Hammers for the week. Thanks to the support of the off roading community they were able to get the guys out on the trails a few times and I could tell by the smile on everyone's faces that they had a fantastic week. Thank you so much to everyone who gave them help and support. I was feeling guilty about not being available to help out but they had no shortage of love and support, and even a few minutes on the main stage in Hammertown!

What else....? My head is still spinning. I shot about 10,000 photos during the week and am still working on finishing up the processing. My webhost is having issues and even though I am uploading to the galleries only twelve or so images are showing. Not happy about that one bit. And this was my first time using Lightroom on location. When I imported the catalog to my main computer it seems that I lost the edits I had made on several images that were posted on DrivingLine throughout the week, so I have to re-edit all of those.

And of course a big congratulations to Loren Healy, winner of King of the Hammers. Loren is one of the Nitto drivers so it was a very exciting (and busy) day for all of us. Nitto had three drivers in the Top 6, so it was a fantastic week for my client. Here's a shot of Loren at Wrecking Ball.

2014 King of the Hammers winner Loren Healy on Wrecking Ball

More coming soon...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

King of the Hammers

I'll be heading out to spend a week photographing the toughest off-road race, King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, tomorrow morning for title sponsor Nitto Tire and the automotive enthusiast publication DrivingLine. King of the Hammers combines high speed desert racing with technical rock-crawling in a 165 mile long course. It's in the middle of the desert...no electricity, no internet, no running water. Preparing for a week of shooting out there with the expectation of creating daily digital content for DrivingLine is a story in itself and after I return I'll share some of the logistics in a post.

If you want to get an idea of just how hard core this race is check out this video:

To learn about the history of this race check out my latest story on DrivingLine. It's a bit different than my usual story...this time the photos are not mine and I got to play investigative journalist! When I was asked to write about the history I didn't want to write the same old wikipedia blurb that everyone else writes so I started digging around for the real story. Hope you like it!

Race photos will be posted to a special King of the Hammers 2014 event gallery that will allow people to select and collect their favorites. It will be my first time trying the event function so I hope it works as expected. As long as I have internet I'll be uploading from the race, but there's no guarantee. The rest will be posted when I return.

Right now it's in the 40s and windy out there, possible rain forecasted for Thursday and Friday. Should be an interesting and challenging week!