Friday, June 15, 2007

US Drift: Baltimore

"Drifter Kiely Mackey slides his 1997 Nissan 240sx in lot O at M&T Bank Stadium to promote Hyper-Fest Friday afternoon. Mackey and eight other drivers raised funds for the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center with each passenger they piloted around the course."

Call it a coincidence. Call it whatever you want. But today I shot my old passion of the import automotive world. In this case it was drifting.

I started my day visiting Kate on her last day of her first year teaching second grade. I must say I could never be a teacher. I give her and all teachers a lot more respect after spending only three hours in a class room full of seven year olds.

When I got home I had a piece of mail with two credentials to shoot Hyper-Fest 2007. Hyper-Fest is one of the biggest east coast drifting events/car shows.

I am sorry. I should back up a sentence or two. I used to be a huge gear head in high school; filming illegal street racing, car shows, drifting events, and all other aspects of the underground import car culture. I loved cars, especially Japanese autos. However, I grew up and got out of the scene. I then started pursing journalism. I guess I was already doing some sort of journalism, I just needed to mature and get into something with more of a rewarding outcome in my life. And I think I've found that with photojournalism.

Moving on. I got online to see when Hyper-Fest was since I was interested in shooting it. I had not been since 2005 when I videographed the event for a friend, Matt Martin. (You can find some videos I did here). Matt is apart of my automotive friends who is a talented drifter. I met him through my other friend Brian Wilkerson who owns Mid-Atlantic Motorsports in Baltimore, MD. MA, as we call it, is a performance shop specializing in drift and import autos. (side note: Brian recently finished top 16 in the biggest Drift league, D1GP, which US drifters can compete against some of Japan's finest. That was without totaling his car. Video HERE).

Again, sorry. Sidetracked. Anyways, for the past three or four years US Drift has hosted a charity/promo event a week before Hyper-Fest in Baltimore. Without hesitation I met up with the guys and started shooting. I must say I miss the sound of large spooling turbos, smell of burnt rubber, and sight of cars going sideways at high rates of speed. It is something you should really witness once in your life.

Time for some sleep now though. Check back for updates and more photos. I'll be at Hyper-Fest next weekend if I am not shooting the Dew Tour in Baltimore.

(note: Any drifters from the event are reading please contact me if you wish to use any of the photos in any fashion, whether they have posted or not. They are all available for purchase, too.)


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