The Only Way This Drifting Lexus IS300 Could Be Better Is by Being a SportCross

Black and white is more dramatic, right?

Among the huge tank of drift photos I have from over the years, there are a few I’m very proud of. Usually, I love looking at them when I come across them, but can’t help but point flaws out and always wish I’d had a better camera. A few month ago, I had the chance to shoot with some pro-level gear, and had the right subjects at Willow Springs’ Horse Thief Mile.

Photo Details

  • Car(s): Lexus IS300 Drift Spec
  • Location: Willow Springs Raceway, Horse Thief Mile, Rosamond, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (IG + Twit @Chrishasacamera)
  • Camera: Canon 7D Mark II w/ Canon 300mm f/2.8L

A lot of my early drifting efforts were shot with real sketchy gear. I shot my first drift events with a Canon Rebel XTi, and moved into a very nice 70D a few years in. It wasn’t until two years ago that I could invest in bigtime glass, but that was still too late to catch my short career shooting pro drifting.

At Formula D Long Beach 2016, I had my 70D and a cheapo 70-300mm lens that had the AF select panel broken off, so I taped the gaping hole up with office tape. I actually got roasted at the track for the shabbiness of my gear, though my photos were quite nice. Since then, I made a point of scraping up money to rent gear until I could buy The Good Stuff outright.

Fast forward to February 2021, I had a 7D Mark II and 300mm f/2.8 telephoto prime in hand. The drifters were out at HTM. I worked a full day shooting a track day before that, but the allure was too great and I dragged myself up to get the shots I envisioned for years. Turns out, I was warmed up, focused, and ready. Here’s one of those shots, as big as we could get it:

The Only Way This Drifting Lexus IS300 Could Be Better Is by Being a SportCross
Chris Rosales

Chris has owned 12 cars of questionable quality, is an experienced motorsports photographer, and a good all-around wrench. When he isn’t tinkering with his car in his home garage, you can catch Chris in the canyons around SoCal. He also hopelessly hankers for Euros, but he honestly knows he should get something Japanese, eventually. Contact the author here.

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