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Formula 1: The Roaring '70s Hardcover – 15 Oct 2011
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epic photography --Sport Magazine, Oct 2011
About the Author
Rainer W. Schlegelmilch studied photography and design in Munich and opened an advertising photography studio in 1964. He discovered his passion for motor sports and fast cars early on, and this passion is clearly reflected in his photography.
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Top Customer Reviews
Initially its weight, size, high quality dust jacket and image on same; its overall 'presence' is in the best 'coffee table' tradition most impressive indeed. Open the book however and you are immediately confronted with around 25 pages of title/intro. 'blurb' in five languages no less! Eleven modest photos punctuate aforesaid text with I hasten to add ten being driver(s) portraits with only one, a scene at Montjuich, showing the rear view of two 'small' cars set against an albeit impressive, imposing backdrop of an historic and beautiful building. This to some degree sets the theme for the rest of the book.
Another initial impression and personal observation: the choice of paper used is somewhat unusual. A low-gloss almost matte reproduction on admittedly high quality but overly heavy paper. Its rather like thin card and feels as if you are turning two pages at once. It doesn't quite work for me.
Back to the contents. Luckily my personal interest is primarily in the first half of the decade, the books content does reflect a strong bias for these earlier years. There are some superb studies of Jochen and Nina Rindt (but only one small rather 'ordinary' photo of his GLTL Lotus 72 on track). I believe I have seen some of these and other similar if not exactly the same images depicted in this book elsewhere, including Paul Parker's book as referred to below within which several images are duplicated.Read more ›
People like the author surely have a responsibility to bring the past to life. Show that it really all did happen, in colour! (I say that, because most of the images we saw at the time were in black and white.) More than that, the 70's was the last time that F1 raced on the 'great' circuits, like the Nurburgring Nordschliefe, Barcelona's Montjuich park, Clermont Ferrand, and the old Spa francorchamps. And in cars that 'look' more like the F1 cars of today. Surely it'd be great to see lots of images of those circuits as they were at the time? The author frequented all of those races, but we get no images of what went on out on the circuit! Frustrating! Today, we can only imagine what it was like to see a F1 car on the aforementioned circuits, and sadly it seems that it still has to remain in our imagination.
To put it into perspective, there are no action pictures of the McLaren M23 (1973-1977), Tyrrell 006 (1973), Brabham BT44 (1974-5), Lotus 79 (1978), Williams FW07 (1979), the seminal cars of the era. How can one look at car development over the period? The best pictures are of Francois Cevert's Tyrrell, jumping at Montjuich, and an out of focus image of Ian Ashley's 1975 Williams equally jumping at the Flugplatz (on the Nurburgring), but that's pretty much it!Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I love this book almost as much as Schlegelmilch's first book on the 1960's, The Golden Age of Formula 1, (The Golden Age of Formula 1). The contrast is incredible between these two books. The 1960's book was almost all black and white, the 70's all color. The 60's focused on the gorgeous cars and the courage of the drivers. The 70's book is more about the spectacle and grand view of the races and the lovely female entourage that showed up around the drivers. Where there were virtually no sponsors in the 60's, the 70's was all about the growing corporate sponsors and their effect on the sport.
Schlegelmilch's technique with the camera changed and how he saw the racing world around him. In the 60's the photographs are almost all perfectly tack sharp and grain free. In the 70's he begins to experiment with faster shooting, more grain, blurring of the race cars, and, a technique I don't care much for, the zoom lens or twisted camera blur (sadly this technique caught on and is still around auto racing). Schlegelmilch is without question a master photographer. It appears that during the 70's he has taken thousands of photographs at hundreds of races. The choices he makes for this book are remarkable.
The book tells a wonderful story of how much the cars changed during the 70's. The photographs are presented in mostly chronological order. In the early 70's experimental strange looking wings have grown on the front and rear of those beautiful clean 60's machines. A few years in, the cars bear absolutely no resemblance to the beginning of the decade - side pods grow, wings grow everywhere, the driver suit changes, and the fireproof suit / balaclava appear after Niki Lauda's horrible accident.
The book is full of remarkable images, each tell stories way beyond the sometimes clumsy captions. An early image of three photographers at Monaco lying on the ground underneath the thin Armco rail, speak volumes of how much spectator and photographer safety would change in the 70's. The most chilling image is from September 1970 at Monaco. This is a perfectly composed image of the pits, along the visual diagonal there are three women (a man in a suit interrupts the perfect line). In the foreground is a gorgeous woman with a stopwatch, looking into the distance. The caption gives the horrible truth of this moment, Nina Rindt hadn't gotten the news yet that her husband Johen Rindt had just died in a horrible crash at Monza. Another chilling image is a head shot of Niki Lauda with those piercing blue eyes underneath his red racing helmet concentrating on the start of the 1976 Nurburgring race. This is the race where Lauda crashed, was burned so badly he was given last rites. He recovered from that accident and four weeks later is racing again in Monza.
One of my favorite images is of Mario Andretti in the victory circle at the 1977 Long Beach Grand Prix. Mario is smiling, something he rarely does. The beauty of the picture, he is smiling and looking at his 15 year old son Michael.
I prefer the Golden Age of Formula One; I loved the focus on the cars and the drivers of that era. There was innocence to Schlegelmilch's photography; I could see how he was developing his amazing talent as a photographer. This book includes more about the things that happened around racing, the sponsors, the women, the branding of some drivers (especially Jackie Stewart) and the politics (Schlegelmilch manages to, rightfully so, include a number of jabs at Bernie Eccelstone and Max Mosley). It feels like Schlegelmilch got caught up in the entourage. But that was also what racing in the 70's was about, money and popularity.
As a massive set, the Golden Era and The Roaring 70's make for a fantastic history of Formula 1 racing. Just like the previous book, this one is flawlessly printed and bound. The paper is very heavy. This book is about the story of Formula 1 and not necessarily the purity of the images, so there are captions in German and English for every image. Double page images are captioned on the previous page not always in the most logical place - this is sometimes confusing. The book is large format, roughly 11 x 14 inches. This is a beautiful book to hold, representing some of the best in publishing fine images.
The 60's brought back childhood memories, long ago dreams about racing, and cars that I still love to this day. The 70's reminded me of the birth of auto racing I would be addicted to in the 80's and 90's. The 70's was about innocence lost.
The publisher provided me with a review copy of this book.
"Formula 1: The Roaring '70s" has a harder task. The elegant almost-cylindrical shaped cars of the prior decade had given way to aerodynamically enhanced machines plastered with corporate sponsors. The captions throughout make mention of these changes, lamenting the end of private entrants. And the elegant drivers of the earlier years had given way to big hair, bushy sideburns and ridiculous glasses (see Jackie Stewart). On the positive side, there was arguably more sport and less spectacle as F1 had begun to introduce safety features that acknowledged that real men were piloting the cars.
But as for the book, it's a beautifully produced, 200+ page work, aided immeasurably by the author's vast knowledge of his subject. Schlegelmilch is obviously a gifted photographer, but not one who randomly happened to wander into a rich location -- he captures the grit and subplots of F1, with a nice focus on personalities: Lotus boss Colin Chapman at work, for example, and especially Jochen and Nina Rindt. The sport is bigger than the machines -- personalities and locations are a huge part of it, and are portrayed nicely. There are many photos of wives and girlfriends throughout (not complaining, just being diligent here...) You do get the sense that Schlegelmilch cares about the people who are part of the F1 panorama, and that adds a nice dimension to his work.
With regard to photography, I believe the first reviewer pointed this out, but in some cases the "advanced" techniques and special effects that came into vogue at the time do a disservice to the subject. Thirty to forty years on, the joy is in observing the details of the time and place, and blurred shots meant to impart a sensation of speed do just the opposite. Nor does the extra grain help. Fortunately there's not too much of this, and a good number of the photos are breathtaking: an empty cockpit shot of a Ferrari 312 B2 says more than any blurred action shot, and Schlegelmilch is at his best with a nose shot of Graham Hill's car charging toward the camera after a thundershower at Barcelona in 1971. Likewise, his lower rear view of a Penske PC4 Cosworth reveals all the mechanical grace, strength and vulnerability of the car. This honest detail sets his best work apart from the handful of special effects shots.
"Formula 1: The Roaring '70s" is a beautifully done photographic tour of the decade, made even more interesting by informative captions -- the author must have had a massive notebook to accompany his mountains of spent film. It is a great companion volume to "The Golden Age of Formula 1" (which I also have), equal in quality. If I had to recommend one over the other, I would say the "Golden Age" would get the nod, because of the magic of the era. On the other hand, there's no denying the talent of Jackie Stewart and Emerson Fittipaldi, and the courage of the crashed-and-scarred (in 1976) Niki Lauda is the stuff of legend. "The Roaring '70s" is certainly a worthy companion to the earlier volume.
quality paper a real thrill to read over and over for years to come