On March 22 I hinted that the image I was showing that day was just a teaser for one to follow, and I’m pleased this morning to show the image above. As you may recall if you read that story, it took quite a few tries to get any blue fire in the image, and while I liked the shot I posted on March 22, I was simply blown away when I found this one on the computer. The blue fire is much more intense as it escapes from the pipe, and the perspective in this image shows the We X Japan! logo much better.
As I was preparing this image, sending off and then evaluating the test prints I do before I offer an image for sale, I kept coming back to the reference to Japan, thinking that this element of the photograph is something that really places the image into history and gives it its story beyond the luck of catching the blue fire. The contrast of the fire (which I generally associate with the color red rather than blue) with the color scheme of the Aspar Ducati, itself designed in the red and white of the Japanese flag, only focussed my attention and thoughts on the decal and the pervasive support for Japan that was everywhere you looked in the paddock during that difficult week after the earthquake and tsunami.
At one point I had wished the bike in the image had been another rider’s, frankly someone more popular than Hector Barbera. But with time, I’ve come to be glad that it was the red and white Italian bike of the Spanish team showing the logo in support of Japan. Not only do the red and white work perfectly from an aesthetic sense, but the various nationalities involved show that the MotoGP community is truly an international one, united in support of the country that provides eleven of the seventeen bikes on the grid and many people in the paddock. Without Japan, there would be no Grand Prix motorcycle racing as we know it, and no team is untouched by Japan’s contribution to the sport we love. The more I considered the many things this image made me think about, the more I started thinking that this photograph should become something more than another item I offer for sale to my fellow racing fans and photography lovers.
My wife had just come home with some lovely hand printed greeting cards, designed in white and red, on the cover a beautiful pattern of origami cranes. The artist who’d designed and printed the cards lives here in San Francisco and had produced them as a way of making her own contribution to the Japan relief effort, donating a portion of the proceeds to the Red Cross. (I would love to include a link to these cards but they are sold out.)
I have decided to follow her example and do the same with this image. I mentioned earlier that I was leaning toward making this a limited edition print, but that would mean it would be more expensive, and probably larger than the average person cares to or has room to display. Less expensive and smaller would make it appeal to more people, so I’ve picked a size that shows the fire nicely but also makes the print itself as accessible as possible to anyone who likes it. That is important in this case because half of the proceeds from the sale of this image will go to Japan via the American Red Cross.
I am thus offering this image as an 8×12 metallic print, professionally mounted by my print vendor on thick white matboard and ready to slip into a frame. I did test prints on my standby Luster paper and the more expensive Metallic paper, and the latter really makes the fire pop. 8×12 is a size for which it is pretty easy to find a pre-made mat and frame at your local art store, and in an 11×14 or 12×16 frame, the finished piece is not too large to find a good sport to hang.
You can use this link to order the print for $50 plus $5 shipping in the U.S., $12 shipping to Canada, or $14 to Europe, Australia, and Asia.
If you are having trouble finding a frame to fit this print locally, you can order a kit from a vendor I trust, Redimat in Santa Rosa, CA. They offer several styles of frames to fit 8×12 images, such as the one shown in this link for only $34 plus shipping. I buy all my mats from this place, they do great work and are great people.