What Historic Racer, Is, Isn’t and What I Hope It Will Be
The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that we’ve moved…. What was hosted under the name of Speedster has shifted wholesale to this new name, website and Twitter handle. Historic Racer will continue… Why is this? Quite simple. It’s where our heart is, it’s what ‘floats our boat’, gets our pulse racing. And we think we can cover this area in a way that you’ll enjoy. I’ll write about the ‘WE’ part in the coming weeks, as whilst I’m inspired to write and photograph the great subjects you’re going to see, I’ll also be relying on the input of others, to be introduced at a suitable time.
So. Back to the original Foreword text. And take particular note of the final statement. “No plan of operations survives with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy”
As a working photographer and writer, I’ve been fascinated by the new technologies in digital publishing over the last five years. New tools for creating video and publishing online plus the devices for reading content have changed the traditional print landscape forever. I’m a freelance, with both the freedoms that this brings and also it’s frustrations. I don’t always wait for the phone to ring with a commission. Instead, I use my gut instinct and seek out interesting subjects for editors worldwide. Interesting cars, fascinating people, lovely aircraft and buildings. In fact, the simple act of following my natural reactions when hearing of a story, or meeting someone of great interest has resulted in much or my work, bringing me great friendships and travel to some strange places.
The ‘frustrations’ part comes from the fact that not all stories, in all situations, are able to be used by editors. Sometimes, there are things I need to say, itches I have to scratch. Modern motoring and lifestyle magazines sometimes have agendas that aren’t always the same as mine, which is fully understandable. On occasion, I’ll see a story that others just don’t want to run with, for a variety of reasons. Other times, I may have an opinion that I’d like to express and it would be unfair on one of my editorial clients to expect them to let me use their publication as a mouthpiece. These are the principle inspirations behind this project.
My other area of inspiration was the format and type of content. As I spoke to friends, colleagues and printed magazine readers, I realised that focusing on car reviews, comparisons and the latest set of performance stats and emissions figures didn’t always appeal. Plus, you can read that stuff online in a multitude of well researched places. So I started by writing a few thoughts that I’d had as longer format blog posts and put them out there to see the reaction.
I was pleasantly surprised by several things. First off, people still want to read words and genuine opinions. If that takes a little longer than a 500 word blog post, people didn’t seem to mind, which flew in the face of traditional online writing wisdom. Seems that you want to read a genuine viewpoint and you can tell the difference between a blog written by someone sitting skimming over the day’s press releases and one written by someone with a genuine opinion. This I found very heartening. Indeed one post was picked up on by one of the big motoring websites and they subsequently wrote a very similar blog post just 24 hours later.
Secondly, I discovered that the things I found interesting, stimulating and stirred emotions within me had a similar effect on you. These things covered other subjects such as photography, aviation, technology and indeed the skill and act of driving or piloting the machines. Whenever I wrote about the smells, sounds and human reactions to cars, motorsport and competing, the traffic spiked dramatically. People read it and shared it amongst their circles. So it was clear that the things I am passionate about, other people felt the same way too.
I still love shooting and writing for print magazine clients. I still feel a physical pleasure in opening a printed magazine for the first time, the slight resistance of the guillotined pages showing that you’re the first one to open them, the scent of CMYK printing in my nostrils. I’m sure that print magazines will continue, but they’ll change. Perhaps become less frequent, of higher quality, more of a coffee table type of production, assuming the costs are sustainable.
I don’t consider this creation to be a member of “the magazine industry” any more than blogs are members of “the publishing industry”. Indeed, I’ll be writing and commenting on the production of printed magazines regularly, perhaps with the odd ‘back story’ behind some of the photo shoots and road trips we embark upon. There are absolutely no plans for a monthly magazine, digital or otherwise.
Yes, it will carry some. This isn’t art, Dahhling, I need to make a living from this and I don’t have the time to wait around. There are a variety of cost effective options for display advertising and sponsorship both on the website and in the digital download. Read more about those things by downloading more information right here.
So Do We Do News?
Sure I do. Ping me your press stuff, by all means. It’s just I’m not in the Tweeting race to bang every release that hits the inbox straight out there with the ‘Control C, Control V’ method of journalism.
So in 2013, that’s where we’re at. Expect this Foreword to be revised on an ongoing basis, because as famous German general once said,