Motorsport

Modern-day motorsport through the lens of a 104-year-old camera

Published 1101 GMT (1901 HKT) July 27, 2017
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As Formula One cars fly past at speeds of up to 200mph, one man captures them with a camera built in 1913. Courtesy Joshua Paul
Meet Joshua Paul, the only permanently accredited American photographer on the F1 tour. Courtesy Joshua Paul
While his contemporaries shoot up to 20 frames per second in a bid for the perfect back-page picture, Paul actively embraces the imperfections in his black and white portfolio. Courtesy Joshua Paul
"I'm trying to romanticize the sport," he tells CNN. "I just want to make it more emotional." Courtesy Joshua Paul
"The imperfections are part of it," he adds. "I could Photoshop them out or clean my holder, but things like scratches and dust marks add to the nostalgia." Courtesy Joshua Paul
After initially struggling to obtain access, Paul now travels around the world photographing the sport's biggest stars. Courtesy Joshua Paul
"It takes years for a team to say yes to a portrait," he tells CNN. "So I just thought: 'Let's take beautiful pictures that might appeal to someone that's not necessarily a racing fan, but who might then take an interest and see F1 through childhood eyes." Courtesy Joshua Paul
The photographer singles out this portrait of Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo as his favorite. "Daniel was very cool and very candid in front of the camera but he had this big smile on his face," Paul recalls. "I was just trying to get him not to smile!" Courtesy Joshua Paul
Not that it's just about the fastest drivers. Paul believes it's "the people behind the sport that make up the magic of Formula One." Courtesy Joshua Paul
His magazine, Lollipop, goes beyond the overriding narrative of the World Championship title battle. Courtesy Joshua Paul
"I'm trying to let this portfolio evolve, and make it more about the people than the cars and the racing," he says. Courtesy Joshua Paul
In an age when the majority of the population can use the camera on their mobile phones to take a passable picture, Paul embraces "the process of photography." Courtesy Joshua Paul
Anticipation is key. "Because I only have 10 film holders, I'm limited to about 20 frames per session, so I think about the shot," he says. Courtesy Joshua Paul
"I try to let the drivers know I'm trying to do something different and often they'll indicate they like what I'm doing," the photographer concludes. "It could just be a nod or gesture, but it means a lot to me." Courtesy Joshua Paul
Going forward, Paul would love to shoot sailing or capture the heritage of football. Like his work? Why not go behind the lens with an award-winning sailing photographer? Courtesy Joshua Paul