Ed Justice Jr.’s photography career started over fifty years ago. He had received his first camera at the age of twelve as a gift from his mom and dad. The camera was a fixed lens rangefinder. It was shortly after this that Ed was selected as one of three students to operate an experimental darkroom at his junior high school. Ed had always been encouraged by his father who had a great love of photography. This shared love would result in Ed and his dad building a darkroom in their backyard. It actually started from a fenced in area that housed the equipment for the pool.
By the age of fourteen, Ed had already captured a significant amount of history at racetracks throughout the Southern California area. During this time he became friends with the track photographer at Irwindale Raceway, Murt Miller. Murt saw something in Ed and with Ed's father's blessing, mentored Ed, teaching him advanced shooting and darkroom techniques.
Ed learned to capture motorsports using manual focus and manual exposure, in the style of the masters that came before him. A completely different style than that of today's auto focus/auto exposure world.
It was through Murt, that Ed first used Leica cameras, using both M3's and M4's. He also exposed Ed to custom fabricated camera gear. One example being an adaptor that was machined by a local Leica technician and dealer, Gus Bohanec, the owner of Alvin's Photo Supply in Pasadena, California. (Many feel that due to the displays and inventory, this was the first "Leica Store".) This adaptor allowed Murt and Ed to mount their Hasselblad lenses to Nikon F bodies. This was years before these type of adaptors would become commercially available.
At this point Ed's photographic talents had improved to the level where he was submitting his work to national publications like HOT ROD, DRAG RACING USA, DRAG RACING PICTORIAL, RACING PICTORIAL, CAR CRAFT, AUTOWEEK, NATIONAL DRAGSTER and DRAG NEWS.
Ed's work has also been featured in national ad campaigns or used by corporations or individuals that include Pirelli, Goodyear, Firestone, Dupont, Ford, Mopar, Chevrolet, Boraxo, Ansen automotive, Fiberglass Trends, Simpson Safety Equipment, Union Carbide, Dan Gurney's All American Racers, Iskendarian Racing Cams, Cyclone Headers, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Edelbrock, Copenhagen Tobacco, Cragar Wheels, Bell Helmets and numerous others.
His work has appeared in award-winning books which include; FUEL & GUTS/THE BIRTH OF TOP FUEL DRAG RACING, SNAKE vs. MONGOOSE/HOW A RIVALRY CHANGED DRAG RACING FOREVER, THE CHRISMAN LEGACY/ALWAYS FASTER, HURLEY/FROM THE BEGINNING, and FOLLMER/AMERICAN WHEEL MAN.
Gallery prints of his work are also held in numerous private collections around the world.
From his earliest days, Ed has admired the work of some of the world’s most legendary photographers like Ansel Adams, Henri-Cartier Bresson, Robert Capa, Man Ray, Andre Kertesz, Robert Frank, Robert Gibson, Mary Ellen Mark, Edward Henry Weston, Walker Evans, Larry Burrows, and Jacques-Henri Lartigue. Lartigue in particular, was of interest to Ed because he was known as a boy photographer, in addition to capturing images of early auto racing.
In the motorsports world, photographers like (alphabetical order) Jere Alhadeff, Pete Biro, Pat Broiller, Bernard Cahier, George Callaway, Bob D'Olivo, Hans Gulde, Ed Ingalls, Les Lovett, Pete Lyons, Bob McClurg, Lester Nehampkin, Steve Reyes, Eric Rickman, Willard Ritchie, Dale von Trebra, Bob Tronolone, Jutta Fausel-Ward and Bill Warner, have inspired Ed, and they also happen to be good friends.
A video on Ed can be viewed at https://bit.ly/30YBRPYn