Thank you for visiting my web site. I am a retired elementary school teacher in southern California. I often used photography as a teaching tool in the classroom. My first serious camera was the Cannon AE-1. Although Cannon has always been my camera of choice, I also have used Pentax and Minolta cameras. I learned lenses and film photographing my grandmother’s cats. My cameras and I have been to four of the seven continents: North America, Africa, Asia and Europe, with extensive camera work in Hawaii and Alaska.
For ten years I was the official photographer for a local girls’ softball association and for a city’s AYSO soccer program. I learned motor racing photography on the streets of Long Beach, California photographing the Long Beach Grand Prix. Each year I would purchase a photo pass and return with bigger and better equipment. Since 1994, I’ve been a photographer with the Vintage Auto Racing Association (VARA). It is the largest organization of it’s kind in the country. Its members are devoted to restoring, maintaining and racing vintage and historic race cars at motor racing tracks and venues throughout the southwest. My motor racing photos have appeared in motor racing publications such as Vintage Race Car Journal, Victory Lane, Vintage Motorsport, and The Vintage Voice (magazine of the Vintage Auto Racing Association.)
I am constantly looking for new and different camera experiences, locations, angles and vantage points. I seek to capture images most others might overlook. I have shot from:
• Pace cars on various race tracks
• Hot air balloons in Kenya and New Mexico
• A stagecoach and glider in Colorado
• Trains in Alaska, Hawaii and Colorado
• Tour busses and vans
• Ships and boats
• And even a rickshaw in Hong Kong.
A friend once asked me if Ansel Adams inspired me as a photographer. I replied, “Ansel Adams did beautiful work, but photographers who inspire me are guys like Michael “Nick” Nichols and Steve McCurry who both shoot for National Geographic Magazine. They are the kind of photographers who would continue to shoot pictures with guns pointed at them.” An image I have in my head from a National Geographic special is that of Steve McCurry grabbing his camera bag and vest and running alongside firemen into the collapsed, and still burning, ruins of the World Trade Center.
Photography has been a major part of my life. It has allowed me to document and share my travels and life experiences. As you may have noticed, this site is currently focused on VARA racing photography. In the next few weeks and months, I will add travel photography galleries, as well.
Please continue to visit this site in the future as it expands to display more of my photography. I hope you will enjoy my work. - Gil Murrieta