Long Weekend Day

Every semester, I find a way to torture myself. Not in some metaphysical, psychological way (that I do daily), but in some truly pain inducing, sleep depriving holistic way. Saturday was this semester’s attempt.

I succeeded.

Because I am the only photojournalism lecturer here at the University of Georgia, I do everything I can to bring in other voices, to help the students understand there is more to photojournalism than what I preach. My big thing is workshops – a three-day-long event in the spring and an 18-hour-long marathon day in the fall.

The first year we tackled homecoming weekend in Athens. Simple, local, easy to explain. Then, in my second year, I went nuts. After meeting the vice president of communications for the American Le Mans Series, I pitched the idea of bringing all of the advanced students to the Petit Le Mans – a 10-hour-long endurance race about an hour from Athens. International flair, major manufacturers, a festival atmosphere and 100,000 spectators. All being circled by race cars approaching 190 miles per hour … 

This was the third year and we’re getting better at it. The students arrived around 7 a.m. along with my four visiting editors and we wrapped up a little after 11 p.m. By the numbers:

  • 16 students
  • 4 editors
  • 6 cases of water consumed
  • 3 packages of Oreos (double stuffs, of course, along with an unquantifiable amount of other assorted junk foods)
  • 55 gigabytes of data stored
  • 25,600+ images shot
  • 16 really big grins

The downside to being in charge is I don’t get to see as much of the race as I want – I love the big Audi prototype diesel cars and the battle with Peugeot sounded amazing. I did sneak out for the last 40 laps or so, hanging by the start-finish line and playing with light …


Canon 1D Mark II N, EF 16-35 mm f/2.8, ISO 1600, 1/60, f/2.8

Canon 1D Mark II N, EF 16-35 mm f/2.8, ISO 1600, 1/60, f/2.8

Links to student work once I get them posted, but they really learned to see …