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ABOUT JERRY

My dad took me to my first auto race in 1970, the Donnybrooke Trans-Am in Brainerd, MN, at the tender age of five. I started taking racing photos shortly after getting my first camera at age seven. My first action shots from the 1972 Donnybrooke Trans-Am weren't the greatest, however my dad did teach me how to pan along with the cars and I actually got a few shots that turned out okay that day. From that point on, up until mid-1979, the majority of the racing shots I took were from the pits or paddock after the races. In August 1979, I was able to get a decent camera to shoot action shots.

By the mid-80's I had pretty much mastered taking action photos at road course races at both Brainerd International Raceway and Road America. In 1986, I went to my first road rally, the Ojibwe Pro Rally, held in Grand Rapids, MN. From that point on I fell in love with that area of motorsports as well.

Originally I started shooting with a Kodak Brownie Starmite and then had various 120 and 126 cameras before getting my first 35 mm SLR camera, a Pentax KX, for $150 with saved up paper route money. Iíve became an avid Pentax shooter and a loyalist to that brand of camera due to their ruggedness, excellent quality and decent price compared to other brands. The fact that I didnít need a whole new set of lenses also helped in making my decision as my older lenses could still be used with the more modern camera bodies. The KX was my primary camera that I used at road races, ice races, and rallies but also purchased two used cameras, an MX and an ME, as backups in the early-90's. In 1998, I upgraded to a Pentax P3, but destroyed that during a rainstorm at a rally in late-2004. In 2005, I upgraded again and went digital buying an ist*DS 6.1 MP digital SLR. In early 2009, I upgraded to a K-x 12.1 MP. Currently, as I watch the prices drop on the new cameras, Iím looking at making an upgrade to a K-7 14.6 MP or even a K-5 16.3 MP here in 2012. 

As far as the start of ComicOzzie, I started posting my first rally photos online, at a now long gone website, from the 1998 STPR rally after being urged by fellow rally organizers. That site was one of the first U.S. rally websites, if not the first in the country at that time. After taking trips to Prescott Forest and Lake Superior Pro Rallies later that same year, I posted even more photos online and that site became a popular place to check on photos from rallies days after the event. In 2004, I started ComicOzzie RallySport Photography as its own site. In 2009, Iíd started shooting at Brainerd and Road America again and was posting non-rally photos, so I changed the name to ComicOzzie Autosport Photography.

Why ComicOzzie? In 1978, my brother Tim started the Comic-Ozzie Racing Team in the International Ice Race Association series. Tim, along with my other brother Mike, raced Datsun 510s in the early 80's. In 1985, I joined the team at the age of 19. The team was known for the Japanese rising sun flags painted on the hoods, doors or entire sides of the cars. (Get the connection: Comic-Ozzie = Kamikaze.) By 1987, Tim and Mike had both retired from regular ice racing competition, but I continued on with the Comic-Ozzie Racing Team name through the years. I kept the name for the website; however I shortened it to ComicOzzie.

Unlike many other racing photographers, I try to shoot the entire field at an event, not just the front-runners. I've seen a lot of racing careers start early and had taken photos of many of the top drivers before they had made it big. As of the start of 2012, all of my racing photos from 1972 through 1989 are fully posted. IĎll keep adding more photos from the 90ís road racing events and also numerous rally events from 1997-2004 in the upcoming years. 

Iím doing my best to help document the current U.S. racing scene as well as racing Ďback in the dayí. I have a plethora of programs, grids, results, press kits, and other historical data stored in two four-drawer filing cabinets in my office. If you want to, feel free to use my photos for historical purposes on Facebook, race car history websites like Oldracingcars.com and Sports.Racer.Net or public racing/rallying forums TenTenths.com and SpecialStage.com. Drop me an e-mail at comicozzie@juno.com if you have any questions on usage. All I ask is that you DO NOT crop the copyright that was placed onto the photo. Oh, and please DO NOT re-post any photos onto a photo sharing website where one might be able to purchase my photos! If I see my photos shared anywhere without proper credit you will receive a not-so-nice e-mail and/or anger on a public forum from me. Shooting photos costs me money; scanning, correcting photos, documentation, marketing, etc. takes a lot of time and effort on my part. Please be fair with my hard work. Thatís all I ask.

Keep checking back and thanks for checking out the website!

Jerry