As an amateur photographer I am always looking for new opportunities and ways to enhance my skills. This summer, My Life at Speed offered me a great opportunity to expand my portfolio and experience something completely different. After a road trip through four major national parks: Bryce, Zion, Arches, and The Grand Canyon, taking my typical landscape photos, I found myself three quarters of the way up Pikes Peak at Devil’s Playground at four o’clock in the morning.

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Instead of setting up my tripod to catch a landscape of the sun rising, I was eagerly scouting out a location on the mountain, and listening for the first roar of an engine to commence day 3 of practice. Having never shot motor-sports before I had no idea of what to expect. Once the cars started flying by I forgot about everything else. My hands feel cold and the lower percentage of oxygen became unnoticeable.

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There is nothing like being on a majestic mountain at dawn hearing the distant roar of engines and waiting for the next car to come around the bend and down the strait with the warm sun behind it. Watching a car as it hits the hairpin curve, ten, twenty feet in front of me, squeezing the shutter for a burst of images as the driver pounds down on the throttle, and then I gather a whiff of exhaust and rubber. There is really no way to describe the true atmosphere and awe of this experience.

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I am very grateful for the opportunity to shoot at the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.  Thank you Chris Nazarenus and Andy DeVol!

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