The Best Photos of 2015: Shawn Gritzmacher

Published On December 21, 2015 » 2736 Views» By admin » Blogs, IMS, Indy 500, Photography

We’re looking back on 2015 through the lenses of IMS photographers. Today, Shawn Gritzmacher shares his favorites.

My favorite images from a season of racing, or shall I say, a season of giving. There is so much that the sport of racing and IMS grants the photographer, it can be overwhelming. So many moments, so many looks, so many missed shots. This season was so different from the last, and will be from the next …


Drivers’ family shoot

Unique opportunities are always a part of being on staff at IMS. To shoot the families of our drivers was an untold story — and a wonderful thought by IMS lifestyle communications manager Cathy Kightlinger. So often the stories of their lives add to the character and story of our drivers. They enrich and support the drama unfolding on track. For this shot the day was perfect, and with the lighting expertise and brawn of fellow photographer John Cote,  the shot worked amazingly well considering the number of kids involved!



Newgarden wins again

It was a breakthrough year for Josef, he won twice and was in championship contention until the final race. This was from his second victory in Toronto, and I almost missed it — I was assigned to shoot the checkered flag, and had to break into a steady jog to make the celebration. When I got to there, I was unable to get to the nose of the car, which is where I commonly shoot the reaction from. Instead, I had to settle for shooting the reaction from the tail of the car. However, I was overjoyed with how well the background came out. With the fans as a backdrop, I think I will be shooting from the tail more often in Toronto …



Season’s end, Dixon’s car wheeled away

The action at the track for a racing photographer is never over. We are some of the first to get there, and some of the last to leave. Once the checkered flag waves, we still have a couple of hours of work to do. For the season finale, the celebration lasts quite a while, but I couldn’t pass on the championship winning car being wheeled away and parked for the winter…



Iowa’s light

As a staff we all have our preferences and our strengths. I love shooting on the grid before the race. The setting sun before the night race at Iowa always provides a great environment.  For this image the light was amazingly sculptural as it raked across Ryan’s face.



Justin Wilson portrait

The last image I took of Justin Wilson, in Milwaukee.



Dario’s driving gloves

History is always with you at the Speedway, it’s one of the few celebrated venues in sport that annually hosts the pinnacle event. I am always taken by the respect many drivers hold for the history of their sport. Dario Franchitti is exceptional amongst them, always speaking and exhibiting the history. Here he was with his driver’s gloves before the 99th Running after completing a lap in Jim Clark’s Lotus. I loved the merging of old and new here; wearing his champion’s ring, there is no mistaking who this is, without even a need to show those classic sideburns.



Wreath in waiting

Sometimes the most stationary objects speak the loudest.


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