My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

” Loud, Fast and Dirty… loved it! “



Drove up to Wallkill, NY for a photo shoot with the Ridgewood Meetup Group. It was organized by Martin Joffee and run by Mark Lasser. Our group would be shooting “quads”… four-wheel motorcycles at the Waldon Motocross Track. Usually when I think about MX racing I envision the 2 wheeled variety of bikes, but these riders left nothing to the imagination. They were just as fast and high-flying as their speedy cousins.

I had access to the whole course, which could be seen in its entirety from the entrance. At first glance it appeared very hilly and there was a lot of dirt…. I mean, dusty, muddy, loose, clumpy… you name it and I stepped and even tasted it, because when these riders get going they can really move that dirt around. It took a while to find the right vantage points for each jump, bump and turn and to also get my timing down. There is always a lot of trial and error when shooting any fast event, lucky for me they do it over and over again. The engine sounds would give you a clue to how fast and then how high they would launch from one of the many hills. The problem I came across was trying to figure out where they would land and then be in position to capture it. When covering an event like this, finding and waiting for the action to appear is essential. You need patience and a certain amount of luck. You also need to be very conscious that ‘what goes up, must come down’. The fact is it seems to not be an exact science with MX racers. Just as my photo adrenaline kicked in, so does their competition gear, and sometimes it got stuck in high. Some landings were as graceful as a dancer and other times you just wanted to look away. I was struck by how fast these four-wheeled bikes could go and by the end of the day, also how loud they could be.

My ears were ringing and I am still cleaning the dust and mud off my equipment but… ya gotta love the atmosphere, and for me the end product… pics that emoted the sound (loud)… the pace (fast)… and the taste (dirty) !!!!!


49 responses

  1. Pingback: “Touching, Sensitive, Heartwarming….. Motocross ???” | mikepillowsphoto

  2. Fun to shoot I bet! Nice work.


    July 9, 2013 at 7:04 pm

  3. The pictures are awesome as usual Mike! And this looks like a crazy, dirty fun time! 😀


    July 8, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    • Sure was… the camera didn’t like it much though 🙂


      July 8, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      • lol.. I would think so. But you did capture amazing images. 🙂


        July 8, 2013 at 7:29 pm

  4. BWittje

    I just started getting in photography and Mx is my favorite to shoot so far but I think thats my love of the sport too.


    July 7, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    • Thanks BW… appreciate the visit.


      July 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm

  5. Hope you and your family are having the best of Summer. Thanks for sharing your adventures my friend. Life is about making as much great times and memories as we can.


    July 7, 2013 at 1:09 am

    • Always happy to share ‘IT’… heres to making memories and fitting them in our lifetime 🙂


      July 7, 2013 at 1:37 am

  6. Great series, Mike – so full of action!!!


    July 4, 2013 at 5:05 pm

  7. Great Action shots Mike! This looks like a whole lot of fun 🙂 It appears, from the images I see, that your patience paid off and your luck was plentiful! Great job- I always love to see your work!


    July 3, 2013 at 8:34 am

    • Thanks Cindy… I working on a follow-up doing MX 2 wheeled bikes and a more intimate look. The comment is much appreciated.


      July 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm

  8. Thrilling post! The adrenaline rush fills the air and makes us wanna jump all excited and fired up.


    June 23, 2013 at 8:20 am

    • And jump they did ‘IT’… thanks for the comment.


      June 27, 2013 at 10:15 pm

  9. Nice! I really like seeing the dirt flying from the tires. Great work capturing the details in the action!


    June 22, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    • Thanks Stephan…. that dirt sure did add an element to the day.


      June 27, 2013 at 10:14 pm

  10. Iwalani

    Great work, Mike! Love seeing the gritty, suspended thrill of it all.


    June 20, 2013 at 3:30 am

    • Hey Ewa… that grit was also tasted… I can’t believe you missed that… big thanks for the visit.


      June 21, 2013 at 4:23 am

  11. I love how the bits of mud flying everywhere are so clear, it’s like that moment was frozen in time! These are awesome pictures 🙂


    June 20, 2013 at 12:54 am

    • Thanks ‘E’… love seeing where your blog and pics are taking you 🙂


      June 21, 2013 at 4:24 am

  12. I love your comment about needing patience for action. That’s something to ponder on in many different aspects. I’m also amazed at how you capture speed and power, and show that motion, in a still frame. To be honest, I think watching a clip of the same scenes in action, would, oddly, not have the same feeling of power that the photos do. Maybe it’s because my imagination is allowed to work with the photos.


    June 18, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    • Lisa… really appreciate your visit and especially your comments. Your observation is so spot on…. many in the photo community feel the same. I feel the motion and power in motion films when they are slowed down… so a still pic seems even more powerful to me.


      June 21, 2013 at 4:28 am

  13. Lisa

    Cool images and great title. I think these folks possess some special dare devil DNA the rest of us just don’t have. “Ready” image is my favorite…the anticipation. I like it!


    June 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    • That special DNA can work against you at times…. ‘gravity’ being a big one 🙂


      June 21, 2013 at 4:30 am

  14. What wonderful images…! And this looks like GREAT FUN, even though I have never done it of course. Although I do know people who have (2 wheels only, as someone else commented as well). 🙂


    June 18, 2013 at 9:19 am

    • Thanks Fey… those 4 wheels were a surprise for me also. Originally thought I was to shoot the 2 wheeled variety. Stayed and the rest is history. Thanks for the visit.


      June 21, 2013 at 4:32 am

  15. denisebushphoto

    My son and husband are both ex motocross racers and now race enduros instead. I am very familiar with motocross and can say you have captured the experience very well. So well that I think I can here the engines and smell the gasoline!


    June 18, 2013 at 6:52 am

    • denisebushphoto

      (However, They would never consider doing it with anymore than 2 wheels!)


      June 18, 2013 at 6:53 am

      • LOL… spoken like a true MX believer!!!!


        June 21, 2013 at 4:35 am

    • Yep… that smell and sound still resonate!!!!


      June 21, 2013 at 4:34 am

  16. Pat

    What wonderful action shots!


    June 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm

  17. Great pics. I can feel the loud, dirty scene which is why I don’t attend these events.


    June 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    • LOL…. big dirt everywhere 🙂


      June 21, 2013 at 4:36 am

  18. Hi Mike, Really enjoyed the post. Well done and great work as usual.


    June 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    • Big thanks for stopping by Vince.


      June 21, 2013 at 4:37 am

  19. That looks like one good day my man


    June 17, 2013 at 11:58 am

    • Hey Memo… really appreciate the visit and comment. I had a blast.


      June 21, 2013 at 4:37 am

  20. Diego

    Great photos Mike ! Cheers!


    June 17, 2013 at 9:33 am

    • Thanks Diego… if you hear a really loud sound buzzing by in Uruguay… thats me at your front door!!!


      June 21, 2013 at 4:39 am

  21. Bonnie

    You have really caught the spirit of the event! Great shots!


    June 17, 2013 at 9:03 am

    • Thanks Bonnie…. just like the wolves we shot I felt very in tune with the dirt and noise!!!!


      June 21, 2013 at 4:41 am

  22. Wow! That sure looks like an amazing event to photograph. Many of your shots put me right up there with the racers. Well done.


    June 17, 2013 at 7:42 am

    • Many of those racers came right on down very close to where I was shooting. Thanks for stopping by… any big shoots for you this summer???


      June 21, 2013 at 4:42 am

  23. Great group of photographs. The action shots are outstanding and you really caught that “decisive moment” which requires some good instincts. After looking at these photographs my ears are ringing. That must have been one fun and noisy event.


    June 17, 2013 at 6:41 am

    • Sure was Rich… it was a very different arena than I normally shoot in… not that I was looking to branch out but, more of an experience. Did not have a plan when I got there, just kinda went with the rhythm of the event. It was great talking to you at the photo club.


      June 21, 2013 at 4:46 am

  24. Great shots Mike. I have never shot MX event looks like a ton of fun but had to be a real challenge to freeze some of that action.


    June 17, 2013 at 1:07 am

    • Oh … you should see the ones that did not come out 🙂 It was one of those places like a rodeo where you just keep trying until you capture it. Thanks for the visit Frank.


      June 21, 2013 at 4:48 am

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