Introduction – From Across the Pond
Hello Driftworks fans! My name is Justin Muir and I come to you from the land of the “dry heat”, Phoenix Arizona (USA).
Before I really get started, Let me give you guys just one piece of irrelevant advice. If anyone ever tells you that a “dry heat” isn’t so bad, just know that they’re 100% full of crap. Okay, moving forward. Everyone is probably wondering who I am, what I’m all about, and why I’m here.
Lets jump right in with a little background info. I’ve been an automotive photographer for the past 6 years. I’ve shot independently and for other blog sites. I obviously wasn’t always an automotive photographer. Before then, I was just your average tuner. Coming from an All-American Ford Mustang family, I was instantly labelled the black sheep when I bought my first Acura Integra.
My 1992 Acura Integra
*disclaimer: please excuse the JDM angle, I was still a noob when this was taken.
After my beloved Integra was stolen (twice) and totaled (once) I went through a series of other Honda’s only to end up trading a Civic with a supercharged GSR engine for an S13 with an SR20DET. Naturally I started to explore drifting!
My SR20 S13
I won’t lie, I sucked…bad. With RWD being foreign to me, and the cost of tires/repairs, I decided to sell my 240sx. I put a nice down payment on a truck, went on a small vacation, and ended up purchasing my first DSLR with the money from the sale of the Nissan.
I figured that photography seemed to be a cheaper hobby than racing, and while over the long term, it is, it’s still a hard pill to swallow when I’m handing someone thousands of US dollars for equipment. If you don’t get it, don’t worry, neither does my girlfriend. She thinks I could do just as good of a job with my camera phone.
So off I was with my new DSLR! I had all of the ambition in the world, but none of the knowledge. The first few years of shooting was mostly for fun. While still a gear head at heart, I knew that I wanted to focus on automotive photography. With help from some good friends in the automotive industry, I set a goal to photograph some of the most spectacular cars that Arizona had to offer.
2010 Mitsubishi EvoX
I started slow, shooting cars owned by my friends for the first few years. After a few years of learning and posting shoots on local forums, I started to make a small name for myself. I decided to brand myself rather than watermarking my images with the ever so standard format of “*insert full name here* photography”. Pure Street Photo was born. Love it or hate it, it is what it is. Many folks to this day still hate my watermark but before I knew it I reached my goal.
Vivid Racing's Fastest Standing Mile Stock Block 997 (212mph)
JIm Cozzolino driving his twin turbo race spec Acura NSX on the streets of Arizona.
Once you reach a goal, you have to set the bar higher to keep things interesting. This is when I started taking on motor-sports events. This was about the same time that I started my own website and was able to do away with having to watermark my images due to free hosting sites (www.purestreetphoto.com). Initially I started shooting local road racing events and finally worked my way up to XDC (Xtreme Drift Circuit) pro/amateur events.
Matt Predmore in his Quickstyle S15
Chris Soehren in his Elite Automotive Finishes "570sx"
Shooting drifting was the most exhilarating thing I had ever shot. I was instantly hooked! The only place to go is up so I pressed on, shooting two events for the 2011 Formula Drift series here in the United States. I got my first taste of Formula Drift at the Streets of Long Beach event in early 2011. I was immediately blown away. I don’t want to take anything away from XDC, but Formula Drift is on a completely different level. The drivers of Formula Drift are truly masters of their craft. They can put the rear tires of their car anywhere they want at any time. They control the uncontrollable… and I am lucky enough to photograph it.
This year for the 2012 season of Formula Drift, Driftworks and I have collaborated to bring European fans original FD content. I’ll be covering Long Beach, Las Vegas, Irwindale (if the track is open) and possibly more. With the Formula Drift season opener at Long Beach for 2012 only a week away be sure to stay tuned for updates and possible fan interaction opportunities! With an intense rookie field, Formula Drift is going to be bigger than ever this year and I can’t wait to help bring United States drifting to an international audience. In the mean time, I’ll leave you with some shots from last year. Cheers!
Long Beach 2011
Fredrik Aasbø leading Taka Aono through the sweeper at Long Beach
D-Mac (Darren McNamara) leading the Top 32 parade.
Daijiro Yoshihara sliding through the mini bank at Irwindale raceway.
Conrad Grunewald standing on the throttle passed the front straight clipping point.
For more pictures from last years Formula Drift events, feel free to visit my website at www.purestreetphoto.com