Thanks to the folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I was able to walk the Lights at the Brickyard and make some photos!

Earlier this week, I was contacted by the folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, asking if I would like to come out and take pictures of the new Lights at the Brickyard tradition. I couldn’t be more excited to.

So last night, Friday December 2nd – I headed down to the Speedway to make some photos.

Rain wasn’t in the forecast and it rained steadily on the way down from Purdue – but I wasn’t too worried.

I arrived about 6pm and met Chris Owens, IMS’ Track Photographer who I would be walking the Lights with.

I had seen him around the Speedway throughout May at this years’ 100th Running:

but it was great to meet him formally and be able to bounce ideas off as we walked. He is passionate about IndyCar photography, and it really shows. With a sport as old as IndyCar and a track with the history like IMS, he said he really enjoys preserving the moments at the Speedway.

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

We started our walk of the track and were greeted first with a giant Chevy truck:

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

After that, I noticed these two throwing a ball back and forth and only thought to take a long exposure.

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

and then thought, if I capture a frame of each of the parts of the animation and turn it into a GIF….

I could put into motion their game of toss.

toss

I pursued that idea through the rest of the track.

Here are a few more from that first part of the track:

pagoda

santa-golf

crane

truck

As we continued, I tried some long exposures and did another GIF of the cars parading through.

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

traffic

I just think looping content brings a whole new angle to stuff that not only moves but repeats naturally.

Here is what a normal long exposure of the above looks like:

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

I was lucky enough to get permission to fly the drone, here are a few aerials:

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

 

There was a pretty constant drizzle during the whole walk, and the camera on the quad kept getting little dots of water on it, ruining the shot – so it didn’t work out as well as I would have hoped, but hopefully we get some snow soon and I can try again.

I would really like to see what all these angles look like with snow falling/on the ground.

Nearly all the fixtures have motion of some sort, even if it be subtle:

wave

And others not so subtle:

jump

Like this one of Frosty taking a dive:

frosty

or this IndyCar:

car

In a regular long exposure, you would have no idea any of that motion is happening.

Another example of that is, with the grandaddy of them all.

This IMS Wing and Wheel.

An aerial view:

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

a ground view:

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

and GIF’d, because it is awesome that way.

tire-logo

And this tree going nuts positioned alongside the Pagoda.

pagoda-tree

and a Florence Henderson tribute beside it.

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

After that we headed over and around to the front stretch:

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

and up to the roof of the Pagoda for some shots, where the view is absolutely incredible.

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

You forget how close downtown Indy is.

A few more angles from the rooftop view:

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

With the drizzle and humidity, there was quite a haze but downtown was still clearly visible.

Then it was on to the final part of the track.

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

pagoda-exit

and that was it. The rain had of course stopped, but I hope to be back for more.

prints/hi-res: photos.tmahlmann.com

Thanks for having me, IMS.

I am a full-time professional photographer. If you would like to help make more photos like this possible, join my community and support me here on Patreon!