Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Motorsports through Montague's lens

Published:Sunday | September 9, 2018 | 12:00 AMKajamba Fitz-Henley

Search d_montii_images on Facebook or Instagram and other media platforms in order to observe Jamaican motorsports through the professional lens of Donovan Montague. "I have always been interested in motor racing and it had a niche that I could contribute to. You know how they say a photo lasts a lifetime; I just thought that was my calling."

Montague gave serious heed to his calling in his late teens, developing his photography through observation of experienced photographers and accessing online courses to build his work through a process of trial and error. "I've been associated with friends who were racers from back in the days - first, second and third generation. It [the development of his photography] has been a lifetime association with racers and mechanics/gearheads around me."

Montague cited 2011-12 as the period in which his photography made the transition from a hobby to more of a professional practice: "With getting compliments from other photographers and other persons in the sport, I realised I could actually hone my craft and get better with it. That was when I basically invested in better equipment and started more online courses to better my craft."

The photographer now works events such as Dover race meets, collaborating with various event sponsors in order to professionally capture some of our most popular Jamaican motorsport stars. With the promotion of his work across social media platforms, Montague's photography has gained increasing attention over the years, resulting in him being approached by various entities within and outside of motorsports.

"Sometimes I might even be going about my personal business and I am recognised. With the advent of social media and the Internet, it is easier to get exposure. That can be both good and bad." The 'bad' would consist of his images being pirated, an issue he admitted to having to take some measures against.

Passion for the craft

In terms of motorsports, Montague's repertoire is wide. However, there are certain aspects of the sport that often beckons the focus of his lens: "I appreciate all forms of motorsport, but my first love is Rally, my second love is circuit racing. Sometimes they alternate." Outside of motorsports, he has branched out into other photographic themes such as nature and more recently, portraits. "As long as I am moving my camera is with me in the car. If I see a shot, whether it's nature of just something that catches my eye, I'm gonna shoot it." Those shots are usually taken with either Nixon or Sigma DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) lenses, both of which have served the photographer well over the years.

"Sometimes you get a particular image and you look at it and you say 'Yes! I did that'."

For Montague, a few such images appeared on the 2018 Texaco calendar. He emphasised the importance of passing on knowledge of the craft: "Sometimes going to events, I wish I had a little sidekick who I would be able to pass on information to. If I were to find the right individual right now I would gladly assist." He also added his own admiration for other photographers, "I have a number of people that I have to lift my hat off to for where I am at now", naming Steven De la Pena, Jared Tisdale, Hugh Wright as persons he personally looks up to.

In addition to being a photographer, Montague is also a member of the board of directors of the Jamaica Race Drivers Club as well as a retail businessman by trade. However, he revealed to Auto: "All I would wish for right now is more time. Because of my responsibilities with my current 9-5, it limits the time I have to enjoy myself behind the camera. But I make the best of what I have."

Despite constraints, the photographer sets to work at motorsport events as frequently as possible. Some of his recent events include the Dover Independence of Speed in St Ann, various Off Road events in St Elizabeth and St Catherine as well as the NDRC drag racing event at Vernamfield in Clarendon.