Automotive commentary and imagery by maxim stensel

Touge (mountain road) drifting!
This isn’t as insane as it looks, by the way. It might not exactly be legal, but the way the road is laid out, you can have a car or a person with a flashlight about where I’m taking the pictures from, and they can see up both sides of the road and then flash the waiting drift car to go ahead if it’s all clear, or to abort if there’s traffic. Lots of runoff space when running uphill, too. This is super difficult to shoot and really demanding on the equipment. With most of my photos, I feel like I could do almost as well with entry level gear, but it’s stuff like this where the ISO has to be super high that smaller sensors falter, and you need the almost supernatural autofocus abilities of a modern pro body to be able to track in this kind of lighting.Touge (mountain road) drifting!
This isn’t as insane as it looks, by the way. It might not exactly be legal, but the way the road is laid out, you can have a car or a person with a flashlight about where I’m taking the pictures from, and they can see up both sides of the road and then flash the waiting drift car to go ahead if it’s all clear, or to abort if there’s traffic. Lots of runoff space when running uphill, too. This is super difficult to shoot and really demanding on the equipment. With most of my photos, I feel like I could do almost as well with entry level gear, but it’s stuff like this where the ISO has to be super high that smaller sensors falter, and you need the almost supernatural autofocus abilities of a modern pro body to be able to track in this kind of lighting.Touge (mountain road) drifting!
This isn’t as insane as it looks, by the way. It might not exactly be legal, but the way the road is laid out, you can have a car or a person with a flashlight about where I’m taking the pictures from, and they can see up both sides of the road and then flash the waiting drift car to go ahead if it’s all clear, or to abort if there’s traffic. Lots of runoff space when running uphill, too. This is super difficult to shoot and really demanding on the equipment. With most of my photos, I feel like I could do almost as well with entry level gear, but it’s stuff like this where the ISO has to be super high that smaller sensors falter, and you need the almost supernatural autofocus abilities of a modern pro body to be able to track in this kind of lighting.

Touge (mountain road) drifting!

This isn’t as insane as it looks, by the way. It might not exactly be legal, but the way the road is laid out, you can have a car or a person with a flashlight about where I’m taking the pictures from, and they can see up both sides of the road and then flash the waiting drift car to go ahead if it’s all clear, or to abort if there’s traffic. Lots of runoff space when running uphill, too. 

This is super difficult to shoot and really demanding on the equipment. With most of my photos, I feel like I could do almost as well with entry level gear, but it’s stuff like this where the ISO has to be super high that smaller sensors falter, and you need the almost supernatural autofocus abilities of a modern pro body to be able to track in this kind of lighting.


Here’s a track aftermath photo from a few weeks back, after one of Extreme Speed’s “twilight” events at Streets of Willow at Willow Springs. Really awesome events, five sessions starting around 5PM and ending at midnight, so your first couple are in the day, third is right at sunset, and the last two are in the dark with overhead lights above the apexes. They’ll be doing more of them next year and I highly recommend it if you’ve always wanted to feel what it’s like to be an endurance driver running through the night on track. View Larger

Here’s a track aftermath photo from a few weeks back, after one of Extreme Speed’s “twilight” events at Streets of Willow at Willow Springs. Really awesome events, five sessions starting around 5PM and ending at midnight, so your first couple are in the day, third is right at sunset, and the last two are in the dark with overhead lights above the apexes. They’ll be doing more of them next year and I highly recommend it if you’ve always wanted to feel what it’s like to be an endurance driver running through the night on track.


Haven’t posted much of anything in a while. Did a bit on the 2 the other day, replaced the pads and rotors before running a trackday at Willow Springs. While I was at it, I dragged this old toolbox out of the basement, cleared out the random junk that was in it, and used it to make a bit more sense of the giant pile of tools and supplies that was cluttering things up. Now if only I could make it possible to get a car into the garage…Haven’t posted much of anything in a while. Did a bit on the 2 the other day, replaced the pads and rotors before running a trackday at Willow Springs. While I was at it, I dragged this old toolbox out of the basement, cleared out the random junk that was in it, and used it to make a bit more sense of the giant pile of tools and supplies that was cluttering things up. Now if only I could make it possible to get a car into the garage…Haven’t posted much of anything in a while. Did a bit on the 2 the other day, replaced the pads and rotors before running a trackday at Willow Springs. While I was at it, I dragged this old toolbox out of the basement, cleared out the random junk that was in it, and used it to make a bit more sense of the giant pile of tools and supplies that was cluttering things up. Now if only I could make it possible to get a car into the garage…

Haven’t posted much of anything in a while. Did a bit on the 2 the other day, replaced the pads and rotors before running a trackday at Willow Springs. While I was at it, I dragged this old toolbox out of the basement, cleared out the random junk that was in it, and used it to make a bit more sense of the giant pile of tools and supplies that was cluttering things up. Now if only I could make it possible to get a car into the garage…


Installed some yellow foglight bulbs (Hella Optilux) on the Mazda2 to replace the super-weak stock ones. Pretty nice I think, much brighter than stock and looks cool to boot. Shot with my new Rokinon 85mm f/1.4, by the way. One hell of a bargain lens, $269 for the Nikon mount version and amazingly sharp with great bokeh. Only downside is the lack of AF, which means you pretty much have to have an FX camera if you want to be able to focus through the viewfinder.Installed some yellow foglight bulbs (Hella Optilux) on the Mazda2 to replace the super-weak stock ones. Pretty nice I think, much brighter than stock and looks cool to boot. Shot with my new Rokinon 85mm f/1.4, by the way. One hell of a bargain lens, $269 for the Nikon mount version and amazingly sharp with great bokeh. Only downside is the lack of AF, which means you pretty much have to have an FX camera if you want to be able to focus through the viewfinder.

Installed some yellow foglight bulbs (Hella Optilux) on the Mazda2 to replace the super-weak stock ones. Pretty nice I think, much brighter than stock and looks cool to boot. 

Shot with my new Rokinon 85mm f/1.4, by the way. One hell of a bargain lens, $269 for the Nikon mount version and amazingly sharp with great bokeh. Only downside is the lack of AF, which means you pretty much have to have an FX camera if you want to be able to focus through the viewfinder.