Motor racing, and motorsport in general, is highly photogenic but there are few photographers that have the ‘eye’ for a shot and can make sure they are in the right place at the right time, knowing the angle of the track, the composition of the shot and where the sun is. It is more cinematography art direction than taking a technically perfect photograph… having the photographer’s eye… being in the right place at the right time.
Motor racing, and motorsport in general, is highly photogenic but there are few photographers that have the ‘eye’ for a shot and can make sure they are in the right place at the right time, knowing the angle of the track, the composition of the shot and where the sun is. It is more cinematography art direction than taking a technically perfect photograph… having the photographer’s eye… seeing the shot; framing the shot and seeing the commercial aspect in the frame.
In this series of blogs we’ll look at a few photographers who are the masters of their craft; masters of the art of photography. We make no excuse for loving the depth and contrast in black and white photography, the lighting, shadows and atmosphere… and we make no excuse for loving the period between 1930 – 1975(ish). Photography is, without doubt, an art form and we hope you enjoy this selection of photographs.
In the first installment we looked at Louis Klemantaski; this time it’s Rainer Schlegelmilch.
In his 55-year career, eminent photographer Rainer W. Schlegelmilch has taken more than 600,000 photos – which now belong to the Motorsport Network.
Rainer W. Schlegelmilch attended his first race meeting in 1962 when he shot a set of portraits at the Nürburgring for his School of Photography exams. From that point on he became one of the most respected and acclaimed motor racing photographers. Initially he covered many aspects of motorsport but from around 1975 he has focused on Formula One ™. We appreciate all of his work but we are drawn to some of the exquisite black and white monochrome photography from his early years. With over 15,000 monochrome images in his archive the choice is overwhelming but here we pick only a few of those images that we think perfectly capture the action, time and emotions.
If you want to know more then there are numerous books and publications and many exhibitions where his work and art is catalogued and showcased covering diverse subjects within motor racing such as: Historic F 1 and Sports Car Races, Jacky Ickx, Hangar-7 / Red Bull, Salzburg, Classic Cars & Racing Legends, Formula 1 and Sports Cars of the 60s at Cimmic Photography Gallery, Formula 1 at Getty Images Gallery,
Race Fever, McLaren – 50 Years Retrospektive, Lorenzo Bandini, Sportscar Racing 1962-1973, 50 Years of Formula 1 Photography at the Leica Gallery, Jochen Rindt, Rennfieber at the Leica-Gallery, Le Mans, Historic Formula 1 in Monaco, McLaren, 60’s Formula 1 and Sports cars and La Scuderia.
Schlegelmilch is able to capture the emotions, tension, action and atmosphere of motorsport – the behind the scenes shots, the ‘before the start’, the unusual photographs that capture a moment, an emotive scene or the pitstop.
Recently the subject of a photographic documentary on motorsport.tv Rainer Schlegelmilch has indeed reached the pinnacle of motorsport.