I was fortunate enough to view Herr Schlegemilch's exhibition of these photographs at London's Proud Gallery in Camden, and I've never before been so impressed by a single photographer's work.
Every period of the "Golden Era" is covered, from early days when these races still had a "Club meeting" feel right up to the last days of the "real" Formula One (Which in my personal opinion ended with the death of the greatest of them all - Ayrton Senna Da Silva - in 1994) and onwards to the present time.
It's really hard to pick a favourite. There were so many that I just wanted to take home with me. My personal favourite would be a B&W of a pensive looking Graham Hill alone with his thoughts. There are so many great pictures here though that it's a good thing this book is available. I could never afford to buy all the prints that I love, but I can afford this excellent volume.
What really makes this work stand out though is the way that the photographer has not simply concentrated on the cars and the action (although his work here is of course stunning) but also on the life of the drivers and the whole "travelling circus" that was F1 back in the days before money and corporate involvement ruined it.
It also reminded me when browsing through the pictures on the wall, what a dangerous business F1 was back in those days. The study of the crashed car at the side of the circuit in Monaco and the expressions on the faces of some of the drivers really brings home how much of a gamble it was back then to pursue your dream of winning a World title.
Worth every penny. If you know someone with even a passing interest in F1 then you've just found their ideal Christmas present.
I'm not really a stranger to the photos of R. W. Schlegelmilch, I've purchased the Excellent "Formula One in Camera.." series to which his photographs are a key element to, so if you've seen/own these books then you will know (and rightly expect) that pictures in The Golden Age of Formula 1 will be of the highest quality. The title of the book refers to a period of F1 history as "The Golden Age", which is always open to everyone's opinion, but the book starts in 1962 (when Schlegelmilch started snapping at F1 cars) to 1969, which is pretty much the timeframe I'd use (but going a few years onwards)
Fist things first, this book is HUGE! Its not so much a coffee-table book as just a coffee table w/o legs! At just around 13inchs tall and almost 11inch wide, its big and buyers should be wary where it should be placed. But such a size means that Schlegelmilch's glorious pictures are able to fill the full page (or 2 page spread in some instance) with a mixture of driver profiles (be it close ups & long shots) in & out of their cars, group pictures, of the cars, team members. If it was in or around F1 in the '60s then chances are it can be seen in some of these pictures. One thing that I do love about this book is the paper used, the pages are brilliantly thick, at least twice as thick as any other picture book I own (You'd be forgiven for thinking you'd turned 2 pages when reading). With its thick pages and equally sturdy front & back cover, this book is pretty solid and should be quite resistant to damage.
For the would-be-buyer, if you have seen the aforementioned "Formula One in Camera" series, with all its Colour pictures, that's not the case in this book. Its not stated (to which I can see) on Amazon that ALL the pictures in this book are Black & White. But don't let that put you off, as mentioned the pages are large and it brings the pictures to life, and although I'm no expert on every F1 picture, I don't recall seeing them in other publications. Each picture is accompanied with some text explaining who is in the picture and where, or small details that might be missed by the reader. Additionally, the book has a foreword by Sir Jackie Stewart, a 2 page overview of the 60's F1 scene and the dangers in posed. All these are written in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, although the text for the pictures are only in English.
This is an excellent book, it offers some wonder pictures in a book whose size & structure goes someway to justify the price. With R. W. Schlegelmilch being such a superb photographer, you can be sure that its well worth looking at.
For any Formula 1 fans, you must buy this. It really is a superb book. Bought it for my Father for Christmas, then my wife bought a copy for me after seeing how much I loved it. Sensational pictures & history. The quality is outstanding. Very much a coffee table book. Don't underestimate it's size! And at this price it's an absolute bargain. Waiting in anticipation for the next book, crammed with colour photos I hope.
This is the best book on motorsport that I have come across, and I have most of the beautiful collections from the great photographers of this period. What makes this so special is the way the details of this long gone world have been captured so intimately - the straw on the wheels on the cover photo, the tape wrapped round the driving shoes on the first image, I could go on about every page, this book brings the period to life The more conventional racing images are just as great, in all an absolute gem.
This is a truly wonderful book that perfectly captures the glamour and excitement from this golden era of motor racing. You can almost hear the roar of the engines. The photographs are stunning. A great read with many fascinating anecdotes. It also shows how much driver and crowd safety has moved on - thank God! A perfect gift for any petrolhead.
I'm a child of the sixties, and for me the sixties with Jimmy and Graham and Jackie and beautiful Eagle Weslake's and unsponsored cigar shaped cars will be the pinnacle of Formula 1. Rainer's images are works of art that capture the beauty of this era before extreme aerodynamics, sponsorship, and neutered tracks became the norm. Class.