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Matinee: 'The IMS Photographers Behind the Lens' Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

28 May 2022

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 450th in our series of Saturday matinees today: The IMS Photographers Behind the Lens.

On Tuesday, WRTV in Indianapolis, the ABC affiliate, broadcast Brad Brown's 3:56 story on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway photographers who capture the Indianapolis 500, which will take place for the 106th time on Sunday.

Thirty three cars will line up three-across, one of which will be driven by the winner of the Indy 500, who will celebrate with a swig and a shower from a bottle of milk.

Fifteen staff photographers will cover what is called The Greatest Spectacle in Racing on race day. Brown talked to two of them.

Chris Owens is the manager of photo operations at the track. He joined the staff in 2010 and is among the photographers featured in the current exhibit of racing photos at the Speedway museum.

"You really just need an interesting angle," he says, explaining how he grabbed some of his most memorable shots. "And what's more important is to go where everyone is not."

He tells an amusing story about a great portrait he made. He didn't take any chances when opportunity presented itself, taking a couple hundred photos in a few seconds.

Brown also talks to Joe Skumbinski, both a staff photographer and manager of the Speedway's massive archive. That includes four to five million negatives, 100,000 of which have been digitized, and countless digital images.

You don't have to wait until the race to see images from the staff, though. At the Speedway Web site, there are a number of albums up already featuring this week's practice runs.

Just to get you in the right frame of mind.

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