Purpose — finding meaning in your work and sticking to it is probably one of the rarest things in life. We seldom find works that are true to their purpose but when we do, we try to give it the respect and recognition it deserves. Speedhunters member and Potsdam Kino film tester Trevor Ryan is one of those people who give meaning to that word. His photographs are a reflection of his dedication to the art of photography, a love letter to car enthusiasts and motorsport fans throughout the world.
Trevor's work is the culmination of his years behind the camera. His approach to photographing the events he covers for Speedhunters — an organization that is synonymous to speed and global car culture — is respectful both to photography and the field he's in. Every shot is a calculated move, from lighting down to the choice of film.
“Shooting with film is a nice change of pace for me as it forces me to slow down and really focus on finding interesting light, how I'm framing the shot, anticipating what's going to happen, and getting the settings just right. Shooting film allows me to create more artistic images because I don't want to waste a frame, whereas digital images are disposable in that you can quickly take five or ten images trying to anticipate the right moment and fiddle with your settings in the meantime.”
Like Trevor said, shooting with film has made him appreciate his work. It changed the way he saw the shots in his head. In his case, the film he chose played a part in the event itself, lending its qualities to the images he was trying to capture.
There's no doubt that capturing speed required fast film and an even faster shutter but Trevor knew that there's a place for everything, there's gear for every occasion. He brought that mentality to the car events we went to.
“No one likes to fail, but having a lot of experience shooting at Laguna Seca I finally settled on a vintage race weekend (the Trans Am SpeedFest) to make a go at it with the Potsdam Kino 100, some expired Gold 200 and a couple of rolls of Portra 400. Being able to use all of my modern EF glass meant I could shoot the race as normal, I just had to be really careful with my compositions and settings.”
“One of my favorite parts about my job is the freedom I have to be creative and to experience one of my favorite things — cars — on a regular basis and with the best seat in the house.”
And the results were better than expected. These images from Trevor show how preparation and having the right mindset when going into a shoot pays off. The cars and races he photographed are absolutely beautiful. You can almost hear the roaring of the engines, the cheers from the crowd, and feel the rumbling at the track. And that's just for the races.
Trevor knows how to stitch up a narrative that's composed of speed, beautiful car design, and pure motorsport spirit. A few more shots of gorgeous cars won't hurt but we have to admit, it's stirring a bit of lifestyle envy in us. Just a bit.
And it's just not about cars, too. These events won't be what they are if it weren't for the people who shared the same passion. They are driven not just by the thrill of the race or the recognition of having the best show cars.
“Working with Speedhunters is a dream come true in a lot of ways. I've been reading the website since around its inception in 2008 or so, but once I purchased a '66 Mustang in 2010 I became a lot more interested in cars and the culture around them. This is what got me into shooting in the first place, and I bought my first camera after reading the photography guides on Speedhunters. Eventually, they accepted a few of my submissions a couple of years back, and the opportunity presented itself to come on as a contributor after a lot of hard work. It was one of those full-circle sort of things.”
These people get together to express themselves with the machines they drive and build. It's a community that's built on the idea of going fast. Speed is a language they use and Trevor's photographs translate that into a visual experience.
Whether he's shooting at Nurburgring or appreciating the beauty of vintage cars at Laguna Seca, you already know that Trevor's somewhere around the track or show floor — waiting for the opportunity to capture all of the action on film. Godspeed, Trevor. We hope you don't ever slow down.
We would like to thank Trevor for letting us feature his images on the Magazine. If you're interested in his work, you can see more of it on his Instagram account and on his Speedhunters author page where he continues to provide awesome content. Trevor Ryan is a photographer and writer for Speedhunters. His next adventure takes him to the Monterey Car Week and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion this coming August.