TALES FROM BE­HIND

For over half a cen­tury three of the finest sports pho­tog­ra­phers have cap­tured the most dra­matic mo­ments in rac­ing. These are their sto­ries, from the other side of the cam­era First Grand Prix: Iconic photo:

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Comment - By Si­mon Har­g­reaves MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

1984 Bri­tish Grand Prix Randy Mamola high­sid­ing his Ca­giva at the 1988 Brazil GP

1953 Isle Of Man TT Den­nis Ire­land wheely­ing on a Brands Hatch ser­vice road in 1979 graph­ing Bri­tish Su­per­bikes. In 2003 we did the Bri­tish Grand Prix, so that was my first. Then I did some work for a rac­ing mag­a­zine, shoot­ing por­traits of the rid­ers. I got asked to shoot Sete Giber­nau and did it against the blue pit garage doors at Jerez – a fairly typ­i­cal shot. But I lit it from the side, made it a bit arty, and David Goldman from a photo agency called Gold And Goose saw the photo in the mag­a­zine and wanted me to work for him. So I did, cov­er­ing ev­ery Mo­togp since 2007.

What’s it like start­ing off in the Grand Prix cir­cus? GH: When I was free­lance, I went to Is­tan­bul in Turkey in 2006 and I had to fig­ure out my own way into the pad- dock, and didn’t know any­one there. I knew of some of them be­cause I’d seen by­lines, but I didn’t know what they looked like. PG: When I started work­ing in Grand Prix, and first met some­one like Don, it was quite in­tim­i­dat­ing to be shar­ing space at the track with him. But in those days it was a very friendly en­vi­ron­ment and you’d get to know a team me­chanic or some­one, and all of a sud­den, be­cause you feel wel­come in a team, you can’t help tak­ing more pic­tures of them. You can go into their garage and not get stared at. There’s none of the in­tim­i­da­tion of go­ing to big team bosses and be­ing sh*t scared. And your love of rac­ing grows be­cause of the peo­ple you meet.

I re­mem­ber fly­ing into Ja­pan in 1988 and hir­ing a car; I thought that was how you got to Suzuka. I was handed a map in Ja­panese and told Suzuka was that way. I re­mem­ber get­ting to an eight-way toll booth and I just guessed. I’d been driv­ing for hours and I just thought, this is wrong. So I stopped at a ser­vice sta­tion and tapped on the win­dow of this sleep­ing truck driver. I said to him ‘Suzuka?’ and he said ‘No prob­lem.’ He woke up and then drove for two hours to the en­trance of Suzuka cir­cuit, got out of his truck, bowed, turned around and went off. And I thought I love this place. These are amaz­ing peo­ple. DM: In Ja­pan I just used to buy a car at

the air­port, use it, then dump it back at the air­port. There was no sec­ond­hand car mar­ket in Ja­pan so you could buy one for peanuts. It was far cheaper than hir­ing one for a week. You just used it, drove it back to the air­port, and left it.

By the same to­ken, when Vir­gin Air­lines first started fly­ing into Hol­land, I had a VW camper I’d leave in the free park­ing all year round. I used to fly in at the start of the sea­son, drive to the var­i­ous rounds in Europe, park­ing it back at the air­port in be­tween and fly­ing home to de­liver the film, then back again for the next race.

What’s your mo­ti­va­tion for tak­ing pic­tures? DM: My mo­ti­va­tion was try­ing to per­suade the rest of the world what they were miss­ing. My mis­sion was to put the reader into that scene and make them think ‘I’d like to go there and see that’. That’s al­ways been my mo­ti­va­tion. I do a lot of rear shots, and the rea­son is I want to put the viewer on the bike chas­ing Kenny Roberts or who­ever. PG: One of the things I had in my head when I was shoot­ing for MCN and I was stood at Ri­jeka in Yu­goslavia, I’d be think­ing ‘I’m here and all the peo­ple look­ing at my pic­tures would love to be stand­ing where I’m stand­ing – so I owe them a debt to show them what I’m see­ing and what I’m en­joy­ing.’ I re­mem­ber be­ing at An­der­storp in Swe­den in 1989 and watch­ing that amaz­ing ding-dong be­tween Rainey and Law­son and think­ing ‘I’m see­ing this with my own eyes and I need to get pic­tures of this so the peo­ple back home know just how bloody bril­liant it is.’ GH: It’s great be­ing a part of this cir­cus, trav­el­ling the world, and be­ing the ones who get to bring it to peo­ple so they can see what hap­pens. It’s a priv­i­lege. And then see­ing your pic­tures in MCN; that means you’ve done a good job.

Above: pub­lic­ity shot goes hor­ri­bly wrong for Den­nis Ire­land when his throt­tle jams open. Right: Roberts and Mal­colm Smith in the Desert The late 80s saw Mor­ley and Gosling’s ca­reers over­lap The king of show­boat­ing, Mamola plays up for the cam­era at the F

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.