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Guye Peak

For the past month or so I’ve been waiting for the skies to clear up. Week after week overcast skies blocked my view of the stars, until one day it was all crystal clear. As soon as I got home I grabbed my gear and drove about an hour into the mountains, stopping at Snoqualmie Pass to take some photos of the dark sky, free from the tungsten glow of the city. This is a 10 minute exposure of Guye Peak, just on the opposite side of the freeway from the pass, and the last one I took before heading home.

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Birthday Inspiration

The days surrounding my birthday usually aren’t all that great for one reason or another. This year I found out that my drivers licence has been suspended for about five years without the police or DMV ever notifying me. Most nights I would just pout, play some video games, and go to bed grumpy but tonight was different. I saw a few YouTube videos about astrophotography and one in particular,¬†How to Photograph the Milky Way in Really Heavy Light Pollution Using ETTR (Expose to the Right), really inspired me to go shooting. I had no idea that you could pull more than a handful of stars from the glowing sky of Bellevue, WA and when I finally started getting some good results my whole day turned around. Just like the playoff game between the Seahawks and Packers, it started off miserable until the last two minutes. And what a last two minutes it was.

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200cc Monsters

Typically when I shoot cars they’re 2.3 liters, 5.0 liters, or even 5.7 liters. If I’m lucky I get to shoot a mid-engine supercar. My first assignment for this year was a little different, though. Instead of 2.3 liters the cars I shot were 0.2 liters. I guess they’re not “cars”, though.

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What made this gig different from other shoots I’ve done is this was my first paid photography job. The client posted on Facebook about needing a motorsports photographer, a pro drifter friend of mine mentioned me, and we started talking. The client had seen my work before and was excited to arrange the shoot.

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Another refreshing change was that I had a list of photos the client expected and a set number to turn in with a certain level of post-production. It sounds small, and possibly annoying, but having an expectation to fill meant that I knew if I had a shot I could move on to the next, and that I could filter out all but my absolute best work. It was awesome, despite the rain, and I look forward to working with him again.

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EVD 123

Heading into the event Aaron Day was leading in points with 180. Right on his heels was Cameron Moore was Cameron Moore with 177 after an uncharacteristic Great 8 finish in round 2. Brian Lockbaum was right behind him with 175 points.

Lockbaum vs Ross
Lockbaum vs Ross

Qualifying was more exciting than usual with drivers jumping all over the place in ranking before the final scores were in. At one point 4th-place driver Ben Whyte was tied with Cameron Moore for 1st with 77 points. The big surprise of the round was former Grassroots driver Dio Ortiz II qualifying 7th during his first-ever ProAm competition.

Cameron Moore – 86
Aaron Day – 77
Ben Whyte – 76
Cody Ross – 72
Brian Lockbaum – 59
Chris Golde-Wells – 58
Dio Ortiz II – 54
Andre Escalante – 53
Kelly Thorpe – 53
Joseph Lin – 46
Chase Warfeld – 0
Shane Cannon – 0

Unfortunately for Shane Cannon he understeered coming off the bank and plowed into the wall during his first qualifying run and would be done for the rest of the event.

Aaron Day vs Joseph Lin
Aaron Day vs Joseph Lin

With 10 drivers qualifying there would be two battles in the top 16. The first battle would be Kelly Thorpe vs Andre Escalante. After a one-more-time (OMT) ruling from the judges Andre spun on his lead run while Kelly drove low on the bank with shallow angle and at some point went two-tires off. The judges ruled that Andre’s non-zero run was better than Kelly’s non-zero run and Andre moved on to the Great 8. The second battle was Joseph Lin vs Dio Ortiz II. It was a close battle but Joseph’s experience on the 3/8ths course paid off and gave him the win.

The first Great 8 battle of Cody Ross vs Brian Lockbaum would result in another OMT. Lockbaum appeared to have transmission issues and clipped the bank wall but held it together and didn’t lose drift or go off-line. It wasn’t enough, however, and Cody Ross moved on.

The next battle would be a repeat of round two, Aaron Day vs Joseph Lin. During round 2 Aaron Day had built up a sizable lead on Joseph Lin. Joseph tried to close the gap but was too aggressive and slammed into Aaron. Thankfully this round was less dramatic and Aaron moved on to the Final Four.

Ben Whyte vs Cody Ross
Ben Whyte vs Chris Golde-Wells

The remaining¬†two Great 8 battles would be Andre Escalante vs Cameron Moore and Chris Golde-Wells vs Ben Whyte. Both Andre and Chris called for a competition time-out before their battles to do some emergency repairs to their cars. Andre made it back in time for his battle but Cameron’s line was higher, smokier, and had more angle. Whatever issue required him to call a competition time-out arose again and he was unable to make it back to the starting line, giving Cameron the win.

Chris Golde-Wells and Ben Whyte both received zeroes on their chase runs and the judges ruled for an OMT battle. On both runs Ben was driving incredibly hard but in the infield his engine was making odd noises and he would lose angle giving Golde-Wells the win. I spoke with Ben later and he said he was having issues shifting down into 3rd.

Cameron Moore vs Aaron Day
Cameron Moore vs Aaron Day

Cameron Moore and Cody Ross had an incredible run that was thankfully uneventful and Cameron would move onto the 1st/2nd place battle and Cody would fight for 3rd/4th against Chris Golde-Wells. Chris dropped out of the competition with a transmission failure, leaving Cody 3rd place after completing a bye run. In a slightly less-than-dramatic finish Aaron Day drops out of the competition with a clutch failure giving Cameron Moore the win.

Current overall ProAm points are as follows:

1st – Cameron Moore – 285
2nd – Aaron Day – 275
3rd – Brian Lockbaum – 240
4th – Ben Whyte – 207
5th – Cody Ross – 189
6th – Joseph Lin – 182
7th – Jonathan Burns – 137
8th – Christopher Goldie-Wells – 136
9th – Tyler Grimsley – 131
10th – Andre Escalante – 128
11th – Tony Carreon – 113
12th – Shane Cannon – 57
12th – Kelly Thorpe – 57
12th – Dio Ortiz II – 57

Grassroots

Out of the 22 drivers that made it out 15 put a qualifying score on the board.

Aaron Leavitt – 93
Mike Goddard – 89
Brandon Schmidt – 87
Johnathan Raymer – 79
Trevor Wright – 77
David Wooten – 77
Eddie Gonzalez – 77
Zachary Richards – 75
Tristan Barton – 73
Nathan Snyder – 73
Anthony Plowman – 72
Michael Secrist – 71
Parker Lindquist – 69
Jesse Hayes – 64
Jackson Beaumont – 60

Mike Goddard
Mike Goddard

With 15 qualified drivers Aaron Leavitt got a bye run which automatically puts him into the Great 8. All the battles during this round are pseudo tandem, so where wasn’t much drama. In the top 4 Nate Snyder was paired up against Jesse Hayes in a Japanese 4-banger vs American V8 battle. Jesse lead by a few car lengths but Nate came in hard to close the gap but spun coming into turn 2 and Jesse would get the win. In the 3rd/4th battle it played out exactly the same with Nate closing the gap, maintaining angle, speed, and smoke but couldn’t hold it around turn 2. In the battle for 1st Jesse Hayes spins on his chase lap, then is passed by Aaron Leavitt who would take the win.

Nate Snyder vs Jackson Beaumont
Nate Snyder vs Jackson Beaumont

Current Grassroots standing:

1 – Aaron Leavitt – 258
2 – Parker Lindquist – 237
3 – Johnathan Raymer – 227
4 – Mike Goddard – 207
5 – Nathan Snyder – 199
6 – Jackson Beaumont – 193
7 – Zachary Richards – 166.5
8 – Braydon Batunbacal – 156
9 – Lucas Dourado – 144
10 – Michael Secrist – 132
11 – Anthony Plowman – 124
12 – Tristan Barton – 104
13 – Jesse Hayes – 89
14 – Kristian Watkins – 85.5
14 – Trevor Wright – 85.5
16 – Travis Takamori – 85
17 – David Wooten – 80
18 – Sehwan Kim – 77.5
19 – Alex Ramirez – 67
20 – Brandon Schmidt – 60
21 – Spencer Gatrell – 58
22 – Eddie Gonzalez – 57
23 – Evan Smith – 56
24 – Erik Harshberger – 55
24 – Gaston Morrison – 55
24 – Jeramy O’Harrow – 55
27 – Matt Larkin – 54.5
27 – Peter Taylor – 54.5
29 – Joshua Chang – 42
30 – Ariel Paz – 41
31 – Shain Cannon – 22
32 – Aaron Mosman – 21
32 – Cole Werner – 21
34 – Anthony Hamblet – 20.5
34 – Brad Davis – 20.5
34 – Brandon Pierson – 20.5
34 – Cameron Caldwell – 20.5
34 – Jamin Pak – 20.5
34 – Kohl Wiebe – 20.5
34 – Lief Havdale – 20.5
34 – Lucas Barker – 20.5
34 – Ryan Martin – 20.5
34 – Skyler Jenkins – 20.5
34 – Travis Stull – 20.5