Born and raised on the Isle of Man, I have been immersed in motorcycle racing from an early age. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on a hedge with my dad and uncle watching the Isle of Man TT.
I received my first “proper” camera as an 18th birthday present but it wasn’t until I bought my first digital SLR in 2007 that my passion for photography really began. Since that time I have honed my photography skills to become one of the motorcycle racing industry’s leading photojournalists.
I’ve photographed events and races all over the world and I have been working as a self-employed photojournalist within the MotoGP World Championship, Isle of Man TT, Macau Grand Prix and other motorcycle racing events for the last 3 years.
Prior to becoming a full time photojournalist I spent 25 years working in the finance industry on the Isle of Man, a background which cultivated the essential discipline of working to tight deadlines now so imperative when working in the field and at high-profile events.
I’m often asked about the gear I use when shooting motorcycle racing. I’ve therefore put together a list of my current equipment.
Nikon D3s – A few years old now and it’s been refreshed a couple of times but still a stunning sports camera with amazing low light performance.
Nikon D700 – Along with the D3 the D700 was a game changer when it was released and re-established Nikon in the sports shooter market, particularly when matched with the MB-D10 battery grip. It may be getting long in the tooth but it’s still a great camera and a second hand bargain.
Nikon 500mm AF-S f/4.0 IF-ED II – This is a big beast but reasonably light for a lens of this size, although hand holding for long periods of time is not recommended. With good technique the lens delivers stellar results, as well it should for the price of a decent used car. It also fits into both my camera bags which is a bonus.
Nikon 70-200 AF-S f/2.8 VR – A great lens and one I love to use for portraits.
Nikon 24-85 AF-S f/3.5-f/4.5 VR – Not a full pro lens so missing some of the speed (plus weight) of the 24-70 f/2.8 but still a good performer. Redesigned recently for Nikon’s new high resolution cameras, it therefore shines on the lower resolution D700 and D3s. It’s also a nice travel lens for the D700.
Sigma 15-30 f3.5-f/4.5 – When shopping for an ultra wide angle lens I quickly ruled out the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 simply because of the price. The Sigma was discontinued in 2007 so I went searching around the used retailers and found a mint one on an eBay shop for £260. I took the plunge and I’m glad I did. The lens is sharp wide open at all focal lengths and the variable aperture is not an issue for me. The lens does flare when used into the sun and suffers from some barrel distortion but they’re common traits on most ultra wide angle zoom lenses. A bargain lens.
Nikon SB-910 Speedlight – Nikon’s flagship flash gun and surprisingly easy to operate.
Think Tank Airport International V 2.0 – If a lot of air travel is required then a roller bag is pretty much an essential item and they don’t come much better than this. It fits domestic and international hand luggage size restrictions so no problems carrying it on board. It’s like a Tardis inside and will fit all of the gear on this list, apart from the iMac of course.
Think Tank Airport Commuter – A roller bag is useless when I’m covering road racing events such as the Isle of Man TT. You can’t wheel a bag through a muddy field after all. A backpack is the only way to go and this one is excellent. As with the Airport International it is carry on compatible and will fit all my gear.
13inch Macbook Pro and 21inch iMac both with Adobe Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC.