While digging through thousands (okay, hundreds maybe) of my photos from this year, I came upon this conclusion: I need to either take way more photos or stop altogether. That being said, here is a compilation of not the greatest photos, but rather the greatest moments of 2011 that I happened to capture with my picture taking device.
Shown above is an upset Chinese toddler whose stupid mother purchased the wrong flavor instant soup.
Internet famous Joe Ayala and Larry Chen share a spacious jacuzzi tub at the Chateau Elan in Atlanta, Georgia with none other than Tokyo Jack Reynolds. The funny thing is, Joe and I met Jack just moments before this photo was taken.
During my travels this year, I met a lot of interesting and peculiar people. Here we see Tommy Roberts crushing our spirits with his menacing glare.
Between Formula Drift stops, Joe and I participate in grassroots drifting events that take place in our hometown of Medford, Oregon. During Joe’s runs, he can’t stop me from stealing his photo equipment and capturing his soul.
Joe doesn’t like when people photograph his car, so I snap shots of it as often as possible.
Joe inches toward the door of our favorite grassroots hachi driver, Craig Alexander, in one of many exciting tsuiso battles between the two.
With a heavy foot and some fresh rubber, Joe managed to dispense large amounts of sweet, aromatic tire smoke.
While my little brother/slave Shane swaps Joe’s tires, Mr. Ayala gives a tasteful strip tease to an eager crowd.
Not to be outdone by Joe’s titillating display of man flesh, Manerz frequently busts out his fresh b-boy moves to keep the crowd hyped.
A sunset over downtown LA as seen from atop the grandstands of Toyota Speedway, home of the Formula Drift Finale, in Irwindale California.
David “Sully, Hey Sully, SullyLife” Sullivan casually lounges at a pub in Seattle while Chris and Michelle Forsberg, Jarod DeAnda, and Matt Petty get Pupusa Posse tattoos at the parlour next door.
As Joe and I head out to a customer appreciation day hosted by Portland Speed Industries, we catch up to this RWD converted R34 dripping with morning dew.
A delightfully common sight in Kent, Washington is Rob “Primo” Primozich drifting the Pacific Grand Prix kart track in his beautiful blue 180SX.
Rob is not only a Pacific Northwest veteran, but also an employee of the track and it shows in his consistently flawless runs.
His car and driving style make for a refreshingly care-free shooting environment.
Some idiot accidentally shoots a photo of himself and Josh “Hobo” Herron while aligning a graduated neutral density filter on a Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 at the base of Pikes Peak in Manitou Springs, Colorado.
Tandem of Die’s biggest fan and favorite Electronic Arts employee, Melinda Neil, proudly displays her allegiance to the Katelyn Monaco Fan Club. Joe and I were heart-broken to hear the news of her contract ending with EA. We hope to see you again soon, Melinda!
While waiting for rooms in our Tianjin hotel lobby, I try out my new lens on an unsuspecting Matt Powers. Little known fact: My Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 is the only photo lens I’ve ever paid for.
The moment “Voice of Formula Drift” Jarod DeAnda asks Speedhunters photographer, Linhbergh Nguyen if he’s gay. Linh quickly pulls out his new wallet which states “I’m not gay, I just really love rainbows.” Oh, the look on Jarod’s face.
Nothern California’s Julian Jacobs (pictured here driving Al Pulido’s S13) is my favorite American drifter of 2011. You may not have seen him drive or even heard his name, but this eight foot man chucks hard and tandems harder.
Julian earned his 2012 Formula Drift professional license this year by participating in ThunderDrift’s ProAm series in several borrowed cars. I can’t wait to see him tackle FD in his 1JZ powered S14.
Another competitor in Mr. Pitts’ ProAm series is Lexis King, shown above tearing through turn four in his FC3S built and tuned at Justin Pawlak’s shop in Gardena, California.
During the breaks in action, we Lifeblasters prefer to stay near one another. Bohan and Joe come to check out my spot.
My spot was so good that Joe couldn’t help but get good stuff. This made him happy.
Many drivers, crew, and media members were aboard this flight to Atlanta from LA and Larry Chen seemed very excited to see Joe and I.
Even more excited was JTP, who could hardly contain himself.
During a break in FD events, Joe and I received our new wheels from everyone’s favorite Black Guy, Hertrech Eugene Jr at Enjuku Racing. Of course, we had to take photos of them in the mountains outside of Medford. It’s what we do.
Shortly afterward, Joe and I decided to take a much baller route with our cars and began chopping up our quarter panels to fit 10.5 and 11 inch wide wheels. This being Joe’s second time using a sawzall, he was elated to establish dominance over his stock metal.
All that’s left is lights, BN kits, and paint!
While visiting Portland for the weekend, Joe and I hang out with FD drivers Walker Wilkerson and Kyle Pollard as well as media dudes Ryan Davis and Yoshi Shindo at Portland’s premier auto tuning shop, PSI.
On our way to shoot a local RC race, Joe and I stop to feed the Oregon Longhorns.
This may not be as exciting as Geoff’s bike racing posts, but this little man has the determination of any of those competitors.
Joe shows Will Roegge, Linhbergh Nguyen, Larry Chen and myself how a real man blows a bubble.
Chris and Mich Forsberg’s dog, Caesar, can be your best friend…
…or your worst enemy. Do not underestimate this little guy.
Jacob Agajanian creeps up in the passenger side of Vaughn Gittin JR’s new RTR as Joe and I practice handstands in Palm Beach, Florida.
It’s no secret that Scandinavian’s like to party and Team Yellow of Norway is no exception. Many people don’t know it, but D-Max trunk lid wings make exceptional bars.
As I look back on my photos from 2011, I continually feel the presence of Uncle Geoff’s judgmental stare as he telepathically disapproves of my photography.
Joe will even remove his CRAP shades momentarily to display his discontent with my work.
But no matter how many times my fellow Blasters shut me down, my little boy is right there to tell his papa not to listen to those meanies. He’s there to tell me that I, in fact, don’t suck at photography. He’s also there to tell me that I should probably just stick to video.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Looking over these photos once again brought back many fond memories and I’m proud to present them to you just moments before the clock strikes midnight and we all die because the Mayans said so. Have a wonderful two-thousand-twelve everyone! Talk to you soon!