Daytona’s Ace Photographer At The Race

14 tracks and looking for more, the International Speedway Cooperation (ISC) has an ace up their sleeve when it comes to photography. Director of photography Mike Meadows has been their primary go to guy for the past six years when the shot had to be just right.

Mike says getting all the elements into the shot is critical. May of the sponsors pay a lot of money to get these cars on the track and it's important to please every client. The composition needs to include not just the car but also the sponsor's logo, the race logo, the crowd, the position at the finish line and more.

Some times using a fish eye lens can make a shot a little more interesting and he likes to see motion or a little blur when it's appropriate to show action or speed.

A local home grown photographer getting his degree literally across the street at Southeast Center of Photographic Studies Mike paid his dues. He worked the dark room in the days of film and developing at the track.

Those days are behind him now as digital technology and high speed Canon digital cameras have taken the place of the film cameras.

He worked his way up the ladder by shooting occasional races and filling in as needed. He also shot weddings in Orlando for a while; giving him a well-rounded education for those great shots like the one of Jimmy Johnson in the winners circle this year.

He says the number one rule for photographing a race at the track is lighting and second is speed. He certainly shows off his knowledge of lighting and speed by making these photos look easy to take. At the Daytona 500, he reminds us was won by Jeff Gordon.

He starts his day around 6 am and finishes at about 8pm. Long day for some but not for Mike whom you can tell really loves his work. You can hear him tell the story, talk about his camera and more at and see more of these exciting photos at in the Jack's Hall of Fame.