This past Saturday I got out to the Rogers Centre in Toronto to cover the 12th round of the AMA Supercross series.  I photographed this event for Racer X last year and shortly thereafter began to shoot more and more for MXP.  Covering the CMRC motocross season for them last year was amazing and this race marks the beginning of the 2012 series for me and the mag.

For this photo report and a few other worthy selects this season, I have implemented this new widescreen format.  I started doing this on a mountain bike site I run (www.ridingfeelsgood.com) and find it looks much better for these photo reports.  I hope you like it.

Last year was arguably one of the best supercross series on record and this year was shaping up to be a continuation of that.  On Friday afternoon I headed over to the track to pick up my media credentials and get a lay of the land.  I am always super excited to cover the only Canadian stop of the AMA supercross series.

The thing that really put me over the top for this weekend though, was getting my new Nikon D4 body.  Just as I was leaving the track on Friday, I got the call that it was in.  I was really hoping to have the body for this race and when it hadn’t come in yet, I was pretty disappointed.  I had just turned the key to start my car and leave the track when my phone rang with the good news.  I was ecstatic but also a bit nervous that my first trial with the new body was going to be at such a big event.   A kids’ party at Chuck E. Cheese would have been the hot ticket for this.   I contemplated sticking to my D3 / D700 combo but then quickly gave my head a shake.  This event was the perfect proving ground for the new body and I was pretty happy to be one of, if not the only, shooter there with one.  I charged the battery, read the manual (partly) and tossed the camera in my bag.

It’s going to be hard for me to not speak exclusively about the D4 in this report.  I won’t turn this into a review of the camera, that will follow, but will give you a few first impressions.  My mind was sufficiently blown away by the improvements over my D3.  I never stepped up to the D3s so, for me, this body means 2+ stops of light.  That’s huge.  It also means a much bigger buffer, wi-fi image transfer and uncompressed HD video just to name a few things.  There are tons of features I haven’t even looked at but I can say that from a mechanical, ergonomic and performance stand point, I was impressed.  The focus and low light capabilities of this camera are insane.  There were times where I could have got away with a lot less but wanted to push it to it’s limits.  I think I did a pretty good job of seeing what this body is capable of on the still photography side of things.  The feature image above was shot at ISO 9000, 1/1000 at f/5.6.  No flash, no noise reduction and it’s cropped (about 15%).  You can judge the other images below for yourselves but I am pretty happy with them.  I used my D3 as my second body, something I never thought I would say, so not all these images are from the D4.  You can snoop the metadata or leave a comment if you would like more information.   This is also my first post workflow session using Adobe’s new version of Lightroom, LR4.  I really haven’t spent any time in the new version and, as a result, have just passed over these images very quickly.  There are a lot of new worthwhile features from what I have seen so far.

I got to the track first thing on Saturday morning.  I have a pretty good game plan as far as parking in a stealthy location so that I have access to my gear should I need it.  I also like to be there for track walk.  I like the candid shots and it always helps to walk the track yourself to see what might be interesting come race time.   It makes for a long 12hrs day though.

Here are some of my photographs from the 2012 Toronto Supercross.  I hope you enjoy them.

 

Matt Goerke’s bike in the tunnels under the Rogers Centre.

Cole Thompson going over some line choices with brother Justin

Ryan Villopoto, always looking back, ’cause there is no one ahead.

James Stewart Sr.

The Man – Roger DeCoster

Blake Wharton was riding like a man on a mission all day.

A pensive Matt Goerke in the pits

Everybody thought JS7 was here to race. Bobby K’s 2012 Canadian series machine.

Hunter Hewitt and Malcolm Stewart during practice

Bobby Kiniry sliding the back end around

Hometown hero, Cole Thompson, was able to walk off after his crash but unable to race.

Barcia, Barcia, Barcia!

Mike Alessi ready to race.

Everybody is out watching practice.

Slash performing the national anthem for opening ceremonies

The mesmerized crowd

Opening ceremonies for the 2012 Toronto Supercross.

Broc Tickle dodging “lasers” (said like Dr. Evil)

Brett Metcalfe pulling some wheelies for the crowd

Fan favorite, Kevin Windham.

The unstoppable series leader and reigning champion, Ryan Villopoto

The man everybody wanted to see battle it out for the 2012 championship, Chad Reed.

250 lite’s start

Ms. Supercross, Dianna Dahlgren, always at the ready with a “look”

Kevin Windham in the start gate.

K-Dub pinned in the straightaway

David Millsaps coming in hot.

Darryn Durham fighting his way through the berm.

Ryan Villapoto, on his way to yet another victory this season.

I hate shooting podiums but if Windham is on the box, I’m there.

If Oasis sang about this it would be “Like a Champagne supersoaker in the eye”.

 

Thanks to Nikon Professional Services Canada for getting me one of these highly sought-after bodies so quickly.

Thanks to JD at Redbull for the invites to the suite, wish I could have made it.  See you all at the races soon.



About the Author

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FastTimes
Marc Landry is a Toronto, Ontario based action sports photographer. Honing his skills on local and World Cup cycling circuits, Marc has since expanded his subject matter to include several outdoor adventure sports. Marc is in his element when surrounded by the energy that top athletes radiate. The relationships he forms with his subjects is apparent in his images and is part of what defines his look. He is most at home in the mountains and his preference for long glass and elaborate lighting setups has become his signature style. Born and raised in Ottawa, Marc now lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter