Bid­ding adieu to a Legend

Renowned mo­tor­sport pho­tog­ra­pher, Ge­orge Francis passes away at 57 after a brief ill­ness

Evo India - - NEWS -

THE 80S WERE AN era where mo­tor­sport could be por­trayed in its purest form, with no gim­micks. An op­por­tu­nity that Ge­orge Francis took, quickly hav­ing dis­avowed the idea of be­ing a priest, pre­fer­ring in­stead to ex­hibit mo­tor­sport through his lens.

Ge­orge Francis, 57 years young, founded Scorp News in 1984. He made sure that he was present at each and ev­ery mo­tor­sport event pos­si­ble. His pho­to­graphs were al­ways in de­mand and he con­trib­uted to al­most all ma­jor auto pub­li­ca­tions be­sides the In­dian print me­dia. In­dia’s top mo­tor­sport pho­tog­ra­pher started his en­deav­ours at the fa­mous Sholavaram track, back in 1984, after quit­ting his job at the In­dian Ex­press, Chen­nai. The fi­nal out­come, the de­vel­oped shots, were mailed to mag­a­zines. In­ter­est­ingly, Francis also used to cover ral­lies in an age where the me­dia was not ac­co­mo­dated. He would try to make it to the lo­ca­tion of the rally no mat­ter what. The ex­tent to which he would go for his shots is laud­able.

If you hap­pened to be at the MMRT in Fe­bru­ary this year, that would’ve been the last you of saw him be­hind the lens, cap­tur­ing For­mula F2000 cars in all their glory. Ear­lier, mo­tor­sport or­gan­is­ers didn’t en­ter­tain the me­dia. Francis would even travel on the roof of a bus, to get to the venue and then walk miles, rain or shine, to pick the per­fect spot for ac­tion shots. Many of his pho­to­graphs, span­ning over three decades, adorn the liv­ing rooms and scrap­books of In­dia’s top rally and rac­ing driv­ers.

“Mo­tor­sport in In­dia has evolved con­sid­er­ably since my early days, but there is a lot that still needs to be done for the sport to be­come more pop­u­lar. So, I am just do­ing my bit by tak­ing and dis­tribut­ing pho­to­graphs,” said Francis.

Francis was quite the daredevil when it came down to risk­ing it all for the best shot. He has had a cou­ple of close shaves too, one of them be­ing while click­ing Ja­gat Nan­jappa in ac­tion. His work, which re­flected his pas­sion and com­mit­ment, in­spired a gen­er­a­tion of photograph­ers who looked up to and ad­mired Ge­orge Francis, a man who spot­ted, nur­tured, en­cour­aged and in­ducted raw tal­ent into his com­pany. He will be missed. ⌧

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