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The Brickyard, by James Ball

1 August 2019

This image is part of a series shot at the 99th Indy 500 back in 2014 as a promotion piece for a creative studio called INK, where I am a part-time Art Director. It was a last minute decision to attend and with no official photo-access pass I would only be able to shoot ‘fan side’ and not track-side.

The overwhelming Americana was evident and inescapable, there was little in the way of brief, except for ‘come back with something cool’ and so I decided to focus on the people and try and get some candid shots mixed with race action.

As part of my process involves quite heavy post-processing I tended to shoot with what I call a ‘photoshop-eye’. I’m looking at things thinking, ‘I’ll chop that out, remove that’ etc. Many people were happy to pose, it was clear with a big camera people wanted to be photographed - so that made life easy. The overwhelming presence of stars and stripes was irresistible. With such a loose brief I was trying a lot of different things, styles, objects, details, people, but essentially in the edit, I settled on a short narrative-driven piece.

It was an excruciatingly hot day and I wanted that to translate in the work. I experimented with different filters and grades and paired down the look to what I started to determine as ‘sunkist’. A simplification of the palette into yellows, blues and reds, where the highlights are retained and there is a warmish hue to the sky. A bit of a crunch to finish and the project seems to visually tie itself together under that grade. From the point of finding ‘the look’ it was easy to edit in other shots, knowing they were going to follow that formula.

The project was featured on the ‘Photography Served’ section of Behance.

James Ball is a photographer working under the pseudonym 'Docubyte'. His works focuses primarily on technology of the past and present, fusing objects and stories with bold colour. Instagram is @docubyte. ​

See more work by James Ball

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