A section of the suites at Bristol Motor Speedway is reflected in a puddle outside the fence during the Short Track US Nationals on Friday, May 18 2018 as heavy weather affected 2 of 3 days racing.
I spent my childhood living in Africa and the Near-East, reading National Geographic and Life magazines which developed my love of photography and interest in pursuing it as a profession. I currently work as a full-time photographer at a small US newspaper- The Bristol Herald Courier– where I have been for the last 22 years after working a few short years in Washington D.C.
Shooting 4×5 black and white films at the local track is something I’ve wanted to do since I shot my first race 22 years ago. American stock car racing goes back 50+ years and I wanted to document its modern form in a style and technology that harkens back to the early days of NASCAR while trying to maintain a modern approach.
Shooting 4×5 forces me to slow down and consider the image and camera technology I’m using- lens choice, shutter speeds and film selection are far more limited than using the digitals I also carry. So instead of trying to get peak action shots, I’ve been more interested in what makes the sport so interesting to the fans. While attendance has been steadily declining over the last decade, the most dedicated fans still show up and cheer on their favorite drivers. I’m trying to find that one shot that explains why.
The camera is pretty durable, but keeping concrete grit and rain out of the lenses and film holders is a challenge, so I keep everything in large ziplock bags. And as at any racetrack, you have to be aware of your surroundings whenever there are cars on track.
There are far too many shooters that influence me to fully list, but I am amazed by Sebastiao Salgado and Jim Nachtwey, Bauhaus, Dadaism, Soviet Realism, the Hudson Valley School, … pretty much everything I see (LOL).
About Andre Teague
Just a guy with a camera, doing the daily grind and trying to make an interesting photo.