In 2008, I came across the website for the Short Track UK race series and had a browse around. As you can see from the other articles on here, I’m a fan of stripped-down, homemade bikes and so I was happy to find another facet of this noble activity emerging right here in the UK, not just in remote, ‘cool’ places like the states and Italy. I had the outright cheek to email the Short Track people – Pete Boast and Jackie Savage – to say that the photos on the website weren’t up to much and I thought I could do better if they’d like to give me a go. I offered to work for free (the classic method of entry into any field of photography) in return for entry into the races and access to the pits. Of all the various responses I might expect to this, they actually accepted – one of their regular photographers, who covered mainly the northern end of the country, had a new baby and therefore precious little free time and I had presented at the right moment.
So far so good. Except that I didn’t own a camera.
I scraped together a spare £250 and bought an old Canon EOS 300D, equipped with the rubbish 18-55mm kit lens that blights these fine devices, and off I went to Stockton-on-Tees for my first of many races. Lacking a zoom of any description, I’d go on the centre green of the track instead – or hang as far as I could over the barriers – and stick my head out in front of the oncoming racers to get the shots I wanted, then quickly dive back out of the way.
These photos represent my return to photography after a very long break and my first use of a digital camera. I’d send the images to Jackie Savage, who ran the website and promo end of Short Track UK, and some would go on their website. Now, several years later and through the magic that is Two Storey Shed, they will once more see the light of monitor.