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Behind the Lens: Meet Motorsport Photographer Lon Joseph Cachia

Interview with Lon Joseph Cachia from LJ Automotive Photography

What initially drew you to motorsport photography/videography, and how did you get started?

To be honest, ever since I was young, I’ve been drawn to cars. I began my journey as a sports photographer, mainly focusing on volleyball, and then transitioned to Hill Climb racing.

Motorsport events can be fast-paced and action-packed. How do you prepare for a shoot, and what equipment do you rely on to capture those special moments?

During race week, my first priority is to ensure that by Wednesday, I have fully charged batteries and empty memory cards. I also make sure to clean the lens. My weapon of choice has always been Nikon, a brand I’ve been using since the beginning of my photography career.

What are the biggest challenges you face when shooting motorsport events, and how do you overcome them?

The biggest challenge is always giving your 100%, because in motorsport, most of the time, you have long days of shooting. However, once you’re done, only about 45% of the work is finished, as you then have to go home and start the editing process for the 2k+ images taken during the event.

Can you share a memorable experience or standout moment from your time as a motorsport photographer/videographer?

Until now, the standout moment remains my first time shooting in Italy, at the Iame series in Adria. That experience marked the transition from a hobby to a passion for me.

Motorsport photography often requires capturing split-second moments and showcasing the speed and intensity of the sport. How do you approach composition and timing to convey these elements effectively?

Panning is an art that involves capturing motion in still images without relying heavily on Photoshop. The slower the shutter speed, the more motion is captured in the images.

How do you adapt your shooting style and techniques to different motorsport disciplines, such as circuit racing, rallying, or drifting?

Most of the time, before shooting at circuits, I try to find race footage or onboard videos to identify places where there might be opportunities for shots like a wheel in the air or potential overtaking spots.

Motorsport events can present unique lighting and environmental conditions. How do you adjust your settings and post-processing techniques to achieve the desired results?

Lighting is paramount in photography, as it’s essentially painting with light. Environmental conditions, such as rain, can significantly alter the dynamics of photos. Rain provides uniform light, similar to shooting with diffused light on a cloudy day, and the water spray from the tires adds an extra element.

Are there any specific motorsport photographers or videographers who inspire or influence your work? What aspects of their style or approach do you admire?

Currently, I admire photographers like Jamie Price and Kym Ilman, both of whom capture F1 races. Jamie also covers other series like endurance and GT races, while Kym focuses more on F1. I follow them not just because they shoot F1, but also because I appreciate their unique styles.

Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring motorsport photographers and videographers looking to break into the industry?

My advice is to keep shooting, have fun, and most importantly, learn from the photos you delete or don’t use, rather than just focusing on the ones you like.

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