50th anniversary of the Rolex 24-hour race

Orlando Sentinel

Thousands of fans packed the tri-oval of Daytona International Speedway on a picture-perfect winter day in Daytona Beach, Fla. to witness the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24-hour race.

Drivers team up with multiple partners to push their Ferraris and Fords and BMWs and Porsches through a grueling non-stop race that tests their road course skills through a series of S-turns in and out of the tri-oval before continuing down the super-stretch of the legendary super speedway.

The great advantage of the 24-hour race for photographers is that it offers the opportunity to make photographs during the magic hour, the quintessential moment when the light is warm and colorful with long shadows and brilliant highlights.

The proximity, in which you are able to shoot, coupled with the style, speed and aerodynamics of the majestic machines, offers a unique opportunity to compose and execute different photographs than you would normally make during a NASCAR event at the track.

Through a series of slow motion blurs, long exposures and panned action photos, the track comes to life through a rainbow of colors warped through a dimension of speed.

Don’t get me wrong, NASCAR has it's own virtues, but nothing compares to the Rolex. It's a different breed of race with a different breed of fan.

Gary W. Green can be reached at ggreen@orlandosentinel.com. Follow the Sentinel photo staff on Twitter @OSPhoto. Like us on Facebook: Orlando Sentinel Photography.

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