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  • Writer's pictureJeremy H. Greenberg

Blog #149 Run What You Brung

Blog #149 Run What You Brung

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📷 📷 Hobbyist

I’ve been in Hong Kong for about 10 years. In my past life in New York, a serious hobby of mine was autocross. Autocross is an amateur motorsport that involves bringing whatever car you have with any number of performance modifications and race around a make-shift track. You race against times that are compared to other cars and drivers in the same class. Classes are based on engine displacement first, then the amount and type of modifications. It’s challenging, fun as hell, and can get very expensive very fast! I raced Volkswagens and Porsches and eventually learned to be competitive, winning trophies here and there and best of all, earning those bragging rights.

Those drivers who prefer to race their cars in the “stock” (unmodified) condition or simply haven’t gotten around to upgrading their ride just yet had an old saying…

Run what you brung.

The meaning as you might have guessed is that you can have fun and race whatever car you brought to the event regardless of the car, condition, and modifications (or lack thereof).

The expression implied that autocrossing was not just about the car and modifications. Racing is mostly about learning about yourself. This occurs through the process of preparing yourself for competition and the way in which you prepare for the competition and of course the results. Autocross is also about relationships. The same guys and gals show up bright and early on any given weekend in a massive asphalt parking lot to participate in a club event that takes everyone’s effort to make it work. All participants work the event from the timing equipment, car inspectors, cone fixers, grid workers, and safety.

There are a number of connections between autocross and photography that transcend the complexity and expense of the gear. To show up and race, you simply need a basic running car of any type with or without racing modifications. In photography, of course you need a camera but it doesn’t matter if it’s an iPhone, film camera, 10-year old DSLR, or brand new Leica.

The point is to take that first all-important first decision to pick up the camera. You can make photographs at home, you can bring a camera with you on the way to the office, or even shoot on the way home. The best work does not result from waiting around for inspiration. Sometimes you need to listen to you heart and sometimes you just need to pick up the damn camera and get on with the business of making pictures.

Just like in autocrossing, photography is mostly about self-discovery, building relationships, and of course occasionally winning. Like most things worth doing, it takes time and effort to improve, and progress is never linear. Your patience, resolve, and resilience will be tested over and over. You must continue to practice in order to improve. Put one foot in front of the other, so to speak.

We learn by doing, not by thinking about doing but by doing itself. You need a car to race, regardless of the number of modifications or lack thereof and you need a camera, regardless of the type. You must dedicate yourself to the process of racing and shooting pictures regularly and be patient while looking ahead. Who knows, you might just win one some day.

The light is always right!


*Images: © Limelight Limited February 2019

Where: Bohol, Philippines,

Subject: Black and White Travel Photos

Gear: Fujifilm X-E3 mirrorless with XF OIS R 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 Zoom Lens

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