Behind The Scenes You May Not Think About

Behind The Scenes You May Not Think About
     When you think of motor sports, chances are a million videos of your favorite racers come to mind. Maybe photographs you’ve seen in magazines. While your mind instantly goes to the insane thing the driver did to earn the spot in your brain, my mind goes to the person who took the shot. Photography itself is an art, and action photography is some of the hardest shots to get. I’ve tried my hand and have a book full of blurry photos. I caught up with Dustin Thompson, an action photography guru, to get his take on things from behind the camera. Here is his account of things:
1. How old were you when you began photography?
I have been taking pictures practically my whole life. But it went from a hobby to a passion/career
in 2011 when i got my first Dslt the sony a55.
2. What shoot got you hooked into action/sports photography?
I was in a store and I saw a flyer for drifting at Adams Motorsports park. I knew I had to check it out! While I was watching I couldn’t help but be a little jealous of the photographers that were track side. So I contacted the owner and luckily he let me shoot at the track the very next week. Somewhere between the loud music, the crazy crowd and the smoking tires, I knew I was hooked and I have been addicted ever since! 
3. How long have you been taking pictures at extreme sporting events and races?
Ever since Adams in 2011. Ive had a lot of great opprtunities like shooting formula drift, Sideways Sunday, the dirt series and the EMC series with my all time favorite rider Jeremy McGrath!
 4. We met when you were shooting drifts for K.R.O.P.S, is drift your favorite type of racing to photograph?
I love drifting, and it will always have a special place in my heart. But my real passion is in the dirt . There is nothing more exciting than banging bars, rubbing wheels and shooting some major roost! It is always unpredictable. You always need to be on your toes! That’s what I thrive on!
5. What is your favorite piece of equipment to use?
My favorite piece of gear would have to be my 70-200 2.8 lens. I call it the great white. It’s heavy as Hell, but it always does an amazing job!
6. What is your dream photography job?
My dream would be to new able to just cover racing and sports. It’s such a rush when you nail that shot. And I just feel at home when I’m in the middle of the action looking through the viewfinder. On the other hand I certainly wouldn’t be too bummed if playboy contacted me to shoot for them. 
7. Has your photography ever gotten you in trouble? 
Besides almost getting kicked out of disneyland for having a camera that looked “To professional” I haven’t gotten into to much trouble. Its kind of surprising because I do love exploring abandoned buildings and deserted towns like Bombay beach.
8. Do you participate in any extreme sports or racing yourself?
I used to race quads, but after a few nasty crashes I figured I better switch over to the photography side of racing while I still could! I’ve also dabbled in rock climbing, bungee jumping and sky diving.
9. What advice do you have for people looking to break into this style of photography? 
It needs to be a passion. The days are long, it’s usually hot and there is tons of competition. Definitely do not expect to come out and make big bucks right out of the gate!
10. Who is your pick for the following:
2015 250cc Supercross champ
I have always love the smooth precision riding of Musquin but I have to say that Cooper Webb is my guy this year! I love his feisty attitude and man can that guy ride!
Lucas Oil Off-road ProLite champ
In prolite I would love to see RJ Anderson win big this year. I am a big fan of him and his insane rzr videos.
     You can tell that being on the backside of the event can be tough and grueling. There are a lot of long days, testy clients, and a ton of competition. After talking with Dustin about his passion, I know I will never look at what it takes to portray racing to fans as “easy” ever again!
If you want to check out more of Dustin’s work check out his gallery online, the link is below!

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