Casey Stoner: Elbow Down

One of the great things about working with David at MotoMatters is that doing so gets me to some amazing places, now and then in position to grab an image that really means a lot to me. From time to time, one of those images resonates with others as well.

Last year at Catalunya I happened to get Casey Stoner dragging his elbow around Turn 5, and as soon as that shot appeared on this website it began an amazing journey. It's the only work of mine that has approached something that might be called 'viral' in how it spread around the world. 

Before long I was hearing from new Twitter, Facebook and other fans, but also from Alpinestars, HRC and Repsol Honda, Bridgestone, and even from Casey himself, who asked for a copy of the image. His mechanics put the photo on their laptops as desktop wallpaper, and some of them are still using it. When I spoke to Adrianna Stoner and used the image to introduce myself at Silverstone, she said, "Oh, that's your picture. We still get it emailed to us about every five minutes." 

At the time it was one of those images where I knew immediately that I had something very special. And while I was pleased to release a version in B&W, I had a frame made a split second earlier that I wanted to save for a special use. Of course at the time, I had no idea Casey would be announcing his retirement in the near future, which would mean that the opportunities to photograph his amazing talent on track were suddenly quite limited. 

It took nearly a year to bring my plan to fruition, but I was finally able to get Casey to signed a limited edition of this print at the 2012 Laguna Seca round. Though I was very pleased to have reached that goal, an unexpected pleasure was seeing how much Casey likes the photograph of himself. He signed the prints in the Alpinestars hospitality, and was grinning the whole time. 


I thought that would be the highest point of the experience related to this image. But in fact that was rivaled by some of the comments I've had from customers who have emailed or called upon receiving their copies of this signed print. For Casey Stoner fans, having this image signed by their favorite rider is something truly special, and it has been my honor to bring it to them. 

The edition of 27 prints has been for sale via my personal website for a couple of weeks now, and at this point there are ten copies left, starting with #8 and including various numbers up to #26. The prints are 24x16" on lustre paper, mounted on Styrene, ready for matting and framing. The price is $750, and until Sunday evening (Sept 23, 2012), shipping to the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia is included. Starting Monday the 24th, there will be a small fee for shipping depending on the destination. Residents of California must pay applicable sales tax.

If you are interested in a specific number, please email me with your first, second and third choices in order of preference. I will gladly send your first choice if it's available. But the remaining copies are offered on a first-order, first-served basis. Now that I'm back from Misano, I can ship as soon as payment comes through. 

Thank you all for reading this and for your support of our work here at MotoMatters.


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Damn, that is such a fantastic photo and truly the ultimate Stoner collectible (aside from one of his race helmets or bikes). I would cut off my pinky toe for one of these beauties -- if I could find someone that would buy a severed pinky toe for 750 bucks. If anyone is interested in a toe instead of one of Scott's prints, let me know.

Casey will be sorely missed next year! He brings an element to Moto GP that it desperately 'needs'....NO PC!! He rides a GP like no one I've ever seen, but I've only been following racing since '69.

I've had it on my desktop for ages. Thanks David, thanks Scott, thanks Casey. It will be a sad day when you round Valencia for the last time in November of 2012.

Jeez Scott, I work in the photgraphic trade and deal with many sports photographers (and bike photographers) every day. Your pictures are superb and you are at the top of your game, but have to say mate, making $20,000 dollars out of one pic you've got a celeb to sign? No wonder celebs are loath to sign things these days!

Good for you for cashing in, but Jeez!

Having known Scott for several years now, I can assure you that there is one thing that you will never be able to accuse him of, and that is 'cashing in'. If anything, the reverse is true, Scott does not ask for the amount that his work is actually worth. If you think this is exorbitant, I suggest you go and price up flights, hotel and car rental for the Valencia weekend. Don't forget to add in a couple of hundred bucks extra for fripperies such as food and gas.

If you believe these pictures do not represent good value to you, then don't buy one. Simple. We don't come to your place of work and complain about your wages.

Does Stoner get a cut of the $750? Not that he'd need the money but, curious. Signed just for the appreciation of you taking that shot? Or?

Riders are well paid for their signatures, and Casey was pleased to sign this photo and to be paid handsomely for doing so. That is one of the expenses involved that may not be obvvious to those looking only at the gross retail number. 

Other expenses include plane fares, hotels, car rentals and gas, meals, photo equipment costs, repairs, insurance, etc etc etc. Rest easy, I will not be retiring to Monaco on one limited edition. 

You might also consider all the photos I give away from each race weekend. So when I get an opportunity to deliver some real value, I feel fine about being paid for it, and that all the hard work I do for little or no payment is paying off in this instance. The fact is I could've charged more for this print and still sold them all. Maybe I should have!

Oh well, next time, if there is one...

For the same money one can buy a Rossi photo with the 'Donkey Helmet' - signed, one of 46. Not from a WC winning year. Since Stoner is the most successful rider of the 800's era, on the only WC-winning 800 Honda, just as a motoGp collectible the Stoner photo has to have considerably more rarity value. As a photo of a rider at the absolute limit, it is pure gold.

Good on you Scott.Most people i know don't work for free nor should you.

Having trouble understanding some of the posts here. Art is art, as far as Motorcycle racing action shots go, this is high art. It deserves high praise, high price, with Stoner's signature (and all the unseen expenses built in as people have already mentioned) $750 is not expensive at all. No really, it's not.

Obviously Scott relies on the images he captures to make a living. If you would begrudge someone his dues when he is able to get them, when he + MM brings you many beautiful images from this beautiful sport to you for free, then sorry, but you are being a touch mean-spirited!

No doubt these will all sell. I have a sneaking suspicion that my lovely partner has ordered one for my birthday due to something I saw left open.... but I can only hope...

Ive seen a few pics of guys getting their elbows down over the years, but there is something special about this one. Most elbow down pics the rider has to stick out their elbow a bit to get it to touch down, where in his one Stoner looks like if he tried he wouldn't be far off getting his head down, Wish I could afford one!

I would love to see somebody take a Fireblade in HRC colours, the matching Alpinestars leathers plus Helmet and a curbed corner on a race track, stop and lay yourself and the bike carefully down on one side, duplicating that shot:)))))Nobody will ever know:))))

If someone wouldn't know the difference between some dude in imitation gear lying on a racetrack next to a production bike and the fastest motorcycle racer on the planet completely on the limit of a multi-million dollar prototype GP bike, then perhaps four wheels and a circle track would be more to their tastes. If riding at the top level is more art than science, this is a the equivalent of Michaelangelo's David. The uninitiated should recognize it as something remarkable, even if they don't quite fathom HOW remarkable.

Looking at all the talented riders I have watched -- my most- and least-favorites alike -- there have been those I supported despite unfulfilled potential, those I raved about but grew tired of seeing on the top step, and those I didn't care for but acknowledged their skills, and more. Of them all, the one I will miss the greatest, recall the most clearly, and hold the talent of all others up to, is Casey Stoner.

It wasn't always thus. Like many, I was unfairly dismissive of him during his first championship, irritated by his unrivaled speed and breakaway wins, and blind to the truth of what was really on display. Somewhere in the seasons following his 1st championship, amidst the rear tire-pumping wildly, mysterious front end crashing, lactose intolerance, puking inside the helmet on the way to a podium, the continued failure of other riders to tame Casey's unruly red steed, and his ability to come through all that and return to the winning form after missing three races I saw things differently. Now I marvel at his enormous talent and brutal skills, respect his accomplishments for the no-frills devastation of rivals that they are, chuckle and nod at his intolerance and rejection of media flimflammery, and lament the fact that I will not have another year to bask in the rough, unfiltered, and undeniably awe-inspiring spectacle of speed that is Casey Stoner.

David himself wrote one of my favorite quotes about Stoner circa Desmosedici, in light of what we all know now after Rossi took over.

"...Stoner had been bringing a knife to a gunfight and still regularly beating (Rossi)..."

My apartment in Boston is filled with great photographs of my sons racing motorcycles dating back a decade. They were all taken by John Owens, of Cambridge. I've spent thousands on them and they will be with me until I'm gone. I love Scott's work and feel strongly that artists like him and John Owens deserve to be paid for their work as much as any of us do for ours. How else would we get to enjoy it?

Frankly I would have bought one by now if it was as simple as being able to email Scott via my Yahoo mail box. Such is not the casse. If Mr Emmett wants to give Scott my email address that's fine with me and I could communicate with him that way in order to buy a print. NO way I'm posting my email address on this site.

More thanks to all those who have commented in support of how I make my living--those remarks are much appreciated. In the entire MotoGP paddock, I know of only a handful of phtographers who make a really good living. Most of the rest of us do it because we love it, not because it's an easy way to get rich, or even a hard way to get rich. 

HAILERS, please feel free to use the EMAIL ME link in the post, which should bring up a blank email in your default client. Your reluctance to reveal you email address is understandable given the behavior of other websites. I assure you MotoMatters is not one that collects email addresses to sell to spammers. Neither is PHOTO.GP.

BTW, there are now five copies remaining with several orders pending, so I expect the edition will be sold out shortly. Thanks very much to those who have ordered one for themselves.

Speaking of Laguna Seca, one of the most memorable images of Stoner was going throught the corkscrew on the trellis DI6 back in 2007. The lean angle was transmitted.
Incredible. Thank you scribe and photographer for the titbit.

I reuped as a site supporter in the hope that you will read my comments on that reup page where I left my email address where I hopefully will get a response from Scott or some type response positive or negative about buying a photo with signature.

I read a blog entry by Chris something on motorcycleusa saying Stoner as close to perfect body position on a motorcycle as any he's seen. I tend to agree with that. Head position, alignment, everything is immaculate, like how you would try to pose yourself for a staged shot.

Scott; your pics are always wonderful and something to enjoy on this site.

BTW did you have a stand at Silverstone this year?

Some of the posts are stunning, and I'm understating it!

1) if you don't like the price of the photo, don't bitch/complain.....just don't buy it. Making negative comments towards Scott is simply LWC!
2) "Stoner nothing special"....really? You have to be kidding!!
3) Elbow down....yes, Ive had Rossi's pic as a screen saver for a long time and I have a great pic of Marquez doing the same thing. I, in fact, drug my elbow during a track day several months ago.....unfortunately it was while crashing at 75mph! I show the picture of Casey 'Nothing Special' Stoner losing the front end to lots of people and tell them, 'See, Casey and I DO have something in common!'

Keep up the GREAT work Scott!

One less print is available as of 7:13 pm cst, thank to the effort made by Mr Emmett.

Site supporter for over a year. Buy one now so D.Emmet can dine on fish and chips at the races and vacation in Aruba.....humor, please.

And Stoner will now have enough money to buy a pair of shoes for the kiddo now. I understand he's going to lose his job in a month or two.

My first comment got deleted, so I try to go with the flow here and it is not my intention to start another bashing...other threads are full of it allready.
The picture is an awesome shot as well as the matching slowmo.
Mr. Scotts business is not an easy one and one can get reminded easily every time you enter the Nürburgring Nordschleife....photographers who try to make a living with it come in battalion sizes. Its a world championship of its own, I think to really stand out from the crowd of paperazzi(?) and Mr.Scott surely deserves a trophy for it(the picture and for making a living on "just" making pictures).
[Editor's note: the rest of this post was deleted. This article is about Scott Jones' picture. It is not about whether Casey Stoner does enough laps in practice. There are lots of other articles where such a discussion may be relevant. This is not one of them. As for the issue of censorship, the main criterion for censoring material is whether the discussion has becoming boring. This particular one has.]

Scott, please tell me your the man who took the 'front on' shot of Stoner at the apex of turn 3 at Phillip Island with the Marshal waving the white flag at him. It is as jaw dropping as your 'elbow down' shot (he's got the bike about a 1/2 meter out of line with a 45 degree lean angle).

If it is yours you absolutely have to release a poster version of it.

Sorry, but I'll be heading to PI for the first time this season, so can't claim that one. Sounds pretty good though!

The photo of Scott's that I have a real affinity for is the one of Simo in the same corner (I believe) taken from the 3/4 rear angle.

All due respect to Stoner -- he's a spectacular talent. I admit to having a true soft spot for Rossi and (RIP) Simo.

Charge all you can Scott -- you deserve to make a living with your talent!


I apologise about my comment about your fees Scott. I deal with 2 x WSB photographers, 2 x BSB and 1 x Gold and Goose photographers regularly (and a few others), plus a major MotoX photographer.

I do apologise, as most of those guys don't pay their own way in terms of expenses. They are commisioned by teams to take their pics. They are funded to a small extent to do what they do and are paid their expenses in terms of travel and costs (although they are all feeling the squeeze as well). I didn't realise you weren't, so forgive me for being cynical. I love your pics and will continue to do so.

So keep doing it! Your pics are world class. Try a 1DX, my guys are raving about it... Drop me a line if I can help. I have good contacts at Canon and will help if I can.

Am so sorry Scott, I'll keep my gob shut from now on. Good luck mate. x

I appreciate your follow up post, and I realize that on the surface a product like this might look like one thing when behind the scenes there's a bit more going on than a pile of profit. 

Hope I didn't overreact, and thanks for the compliments on my work. Thanks also for the offer to help with your Canon connections. I'm pretty committed to Nikon for the time being, though it is fun to watch the competition go back and forth--good for everyone!