The Photographer Who Shoots F1 with a 1913 Graflex 4×5 View Camera

There are many photographers covering the hugely popular world of Formula One racing, but none of them shoot it quite like Joshua Paul of Lollipop Magazine. Instead of using the latest and greatest digital cameras — or even a modern camera, for that matter — Paul chooses to use a Graflex 4×5 view camera from 1913.

Paul showing Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen how to use his camera. Photo by Lukas Gorys

Paul began doing professional photography back in 1997 after graduating from an art college in Pasadena, California. After shooting for magazines as a travel and adventure photographer, and after shooting other projects with his 100-year-old Graflex camera, Paul got his first taste of shooting F1 racing at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix. He’s on his 5th season of F1 now, and has since launched his New York-based magazine, Lollipop, to document race weekends.

If you visit a race that Paul’s covering, you’ll find that he stands out among all the other photographers…

Paul says he was inspired to cover F1 with his ancient camera after seeing 1969 magazine with photos of the Indy 500 that year. The photographer had intentionally captured the race blurry and out of focus.

“Most F1 images are shot for news or big stock agencies,” Paul tells GP Traveler magazine in their March 2017 issue. “There are only a few people taking beautifully expressive and timeless images in Formula 1, mostly because there is no lucrative market for it.”

“My approach is to make images so beautiful they defy subject matter.”

Fernando Alonso being pushed to the grid in his McLaren for the start of the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

While digital photographers can now shoot well over 12 frames per second with the latest cameras — the new Sony a9 can do 20fps — Paul is limited to shooting a total of 20 of his photos per session with his Graflex. Thus, instead of holding his finger down on a shutter button, Paul spends most of his time looking for a photo, thinking about the shot, and composing the scene.

Here’s a selection of photos Paul has captured at Formula 1 races:

Williams driver Felipe Massa exiting pit lane into the tunnel, at the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Kevin Magnussen being pushed to the grid in his Renault for the start of the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The two Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas at out of turn two at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso making a pit stop during the 2015 Canadian Grand Prix.
Three McLaren Mechanics wait for the arrival of their drivers at the 2015 Canadian Grand Prix.
Into the Senna curve at the 2015 Canadian Grand Prix.
One of the Grid Girls holding position as the cars line up for the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes mechanics push Nico Rosberg to the grid in the rain, during the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo at the 2015 Italian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton drives his Mercedes into the famous La Rascasse turn in Monaco, 2014.
A Grid Girl at the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix.
McLaren Mechanic waiting for his cars to arrive on the grid for the race start at the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix.

Mercedes driver and 2016 F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg in the pits at the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix.
Sauber driver Felipe Nasr at the 2016 Australian Grand Prix.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen enters the track during 2017 Winter Testing in Barcelona, Spain.

You can find more of Paul’s work on the Lollipop magazine website and Instagram. The printed magazine is available through the website and is 220-pages with a price tag of $24.