On this page I will endeavour to tell you a little about the person behind this website. Firstly, I am a motorcycle enthusiast, who gets a lot of enjoyment from motorcycle roadracing photography.
I live near Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland and work as a IT Technician for Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000/Windows XP Desktop Support. I am also a part time Web Designer.
The whole idea for this website started back in 1998, when I bought my first digital camera. It was a Sanyo Digicam and I used it to take some still photos in the Paddock at each motorbike race I attended. Over the next few years, I had acquired quite a collection of digital photographs, and I personally got a lot of enjoyment looking at them and recalling the events at that particular race meeting. I knew that other bike racing enthusiasts would enjoy them too and with the Internet being a great communication medium, I set myself the task of designing a simple website to display them to others on the world wide web.
At that time, I had no web design skills at all, (some might say you haven’t now!), and the first site I created was designed using Claris Homepage. It was called Sam’s Website and went online on the 9th January 2000. It wasn’t long before others contacted me to say they enjoyed the photos, and so the whole thing progressed from there.
Not content just taking photos of stationary bikes, I wanted to get some action shots as well.
I knew I’d have to buy a camera with a fast shutter speed if I was to get anything at all, enter the Olympus C2000Z.
The first race meeting I ever tried to take photos of moving bikes was at Kells Road Races 1999. There were plenty of photos of empty tarmac, hedges, straw bales, but not many motorbikes!
With practice, trial and error and sheer determination, I finally managed to get some photos of fast moving bikes and started to get some really pleasing photos for an amateur photographer. The website continued to grow both in content and design. As my web design skills progressed, in 2001 I began to use Macromedia Dreamweaver and Fireworks software for the design process.
In 2001, I purchased a new Olympus C700 Ultra Zoom camera which gave me extra zoom for those photos I couldn’t get up until then. Things progressed steadily from there and I started to get some pretty satisfying photos with what was basically a cheap consumer digital camera.
In June 2002, I completely redesigned the site and changed the name to Sam’s Roadracing, to reflect the content featured on the site. Now, my tools of web design is Macromedia Studio MX, and Adobe Photoshop 7 which give me all the power to use my creativity. The only limitation is my imagination!
It is a very rewarding experience to know that I have created absolutely everything on this site. I have taken it from a blank “piece of paper” to a fully functional 200 + page site complete with original motorcycle content, which other motorcycle enthusiasts from here and around the world can enjoy.
Hobbies & Interests
Fitness plays a big part in my range of hobbies. I like to train at the gym 3-5 times a week. This involves running about 12-15 miles a week on the treadmill, weights to tone muscles and general cardiovascular fitness training.
I’ve extended my running from the gym to the road, and I’ve ran in the “BELFAST CITY MARATHON” 1998, 1999 and 2000″ and ran in the “LISBURN HALF MARATHON” in 1998, 1999 and 2000. I raised £505 for the ROYAL VICTORIA HOSPITAL WARD 43 (in which my father was a cancer patient), the 1999 Belfast City Marathon and £350 for MacMillan Cancer Relief, by running a 10K in 1998. If you would like to view a photo of me presenting the cheque to the Royal Victoria Hospital, then click here.
Not only do I photograph motorbikes, I ride one as well. I have a Yamaha YZF R6 which I enjoy riding during the season. You can see some photos of it here. You can’t have a fast bike without a fast car, so my choice of 4 wheeled transport is a Peugeot 306 GTi-6. You can click here to see a photo of my 306 GTi-6.
Canon EOS Camera System
I have invested further in the Canon EOS System and at the end of the 2004 season I acquired a new Canon EOS 1D Mark II Pro camera body. Rated at 8.5 megapixels and with 8.5 frames per second (fps), it should be the perfect tool for capturing images from the fast sport of motorcycle road racing.
I have kept my Canon EOS 10D as a backup camera body and this will complement the Canon 1D Mark II perfectly. My preferred telephoto lenses are the Canon EF 300 2.8L IS and the Canon EF 200 2.8L. I use the Canon 1.4 and 2.0 Extenders when extra reach is needed.
To date, my images have appeared in various race programmes, Fast Bikes Magazine, Irish Racer Magazine and even in a Russian Bike Magazine called Moto.
If you would like to view a complete list of all the gear I use, please click here.