First Morning - Richard Kelley Zoom

First Morning

Richard Kelley

30x45
cm
50x75
cm
60x90
cm
80x120
cm
100x150
cm
Alu mounted print
Hanging bars
Shadow
Gap Frame
Black/White/Oak wood
Acrylic print
Aluminium brace
Starting

170,83 €

LocationMosport Park, Canada
Shooting date7 octobre 1977
Original pictureNegative
FormatsLarge format
FormatsLarge format
Era1960-1980
ColorsBlack&White
CollectionCelebs
Richard Kelley
Richard Kelley

I have been a photojournalist, writer, communicator and historian for most of my life.

I gravitated to the work of W. Eugene Smith, and the Magnum photographers; Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Joseph Koudelka. Their common approach became my mantra: make images that tell a story; remove yourself; disappear; leave out the vanity; and, make emotional and elegantly composed images that point to a truth about your subject.

I began my Formula One documentary in 1972, just nine months after I first began to make images.

Although underage, I was able to get full accreditation for the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. I was immediately swept up in the tangible drama of the pit lane and its compelling images. From 1972 through 1984, I captured the intimate moments of drivers who fought to survive in a Formula One era that was rapidly undergoing the most comprehensive changes to drivers, cars and technology in Grand Prix history.

Early on, it was clear that these technological developments were influencing the spirit, passion and bravery that I was recording of that time, and so I decided to adopt the style of Cartier-Bresson and become “a fly on the wall”; getting as close as I could to the telling moments without influencing the emotion or the drama of the moment. 

I consciously backed away and didn’t go looking for moments; I just waited to let those moments compel me to make an image. And, as luck would have it, I witnessed and recorded hidden moments that became pivotal incidents in Grand Prix history.

After positions at the Chicago Tribune and Observer Newspapers in Detroit, I began a 20-year association with Car and Driver Magazine, traveling the world to provide art for over 600 feature stories and numerous covers.

As always, I pursued personal photographic projects, capturing the human condition outside of my newspaper and magazine work.

I also expanded my photography by providing creative content for media and marketing materials for many of the largest multinational automotive manufacturers in the United States. Clients included: Audi, Mazda, BMW, Volkswagen, Porsche, Ford, General Motors, Kia, Subaru, and Jaguar.

I transitioned my photography to include writing and editing in 1998.

In 2001, I joined Mitsubishi as Senior Manager of Media Relations, helped launch the Lancer Evolution 8. I became Manager of North American Motorsports in 2003, winning the SCCA Pro Rally Championship Manufacturers’ National Open Class title with the new Evo. From there, I went on to provide public relations management for another multi-national Japanese auto company for a further eight years…

Throughout these decades, I could never forget the intimate Grand Prix images I had captured and the experiences of being a “fly on the wall” in the world of Formula One.

So, I am reclaiming my soul with this collection of never-before published Grand Prix documentary photography. I believe they offer unique impressions of amazing driver’s and athletes, and moments that changed their lives forever.

The initial presentation of my images took place in the fall of 2013 in Hong Kong, courtesy of an exhibition hosted by Blackbird Automotive and in conjunction with McLaren’s 50th Anniversary. My collection and memoirs will become later the basis for a book.

I have also returned to creating new digital work, in both monochrome and color, on fresh editorial assignments and personal sports projects that will again allow me to record human drama, struggle and grace, with all its emotion, patina, and nuance, such as Macau’s growing influence on Formula One.

And as before, I’m enjoying a creative adventure lived as "a fly on the wall." 

Thank you for joining me on this continuing journey.

For the 1977 Canadian Grand Prix, Gilles Villeneuve was held back from arriving in the Mosport pits for his first F1 session as a Ferrari driver until every photojournalist had been removed. There were to be no exceptions. I remembered there was a narrow crack in the concrete rear wall of the Ferrari pit stall, so I quickly left the pit lane and took position behind that split. I was completely alone, and I waited quietly to avoid drawing attention from the authorities or competing photojournalists. When he arrived, I steadied my lens against the wall’s face and calmly made the only series of images of a joyous Gilles Villeneuve at the moment the team placed the Ferrari jacket on his shoulders. He once said, given three wishes, he would be a racer, be a Formula 1 driver, and drive for Ferrari. This was his dream and witnessing that moment with him was pure bliss.

I made this image with a Nikon F2, using a Nikon 180mm f/2.8 telephoto lens, with Kodak Tri-X film rated at 400 ASA, 1/125 second at f/2.8, on the morning of October 7, 1977, at Mosport Park, Canada.

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First Morning - Richard Kelley

First Morning - Richard Kelley

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