Wie Werner Eisele alleen van zijn bestseller Cars & Girls kent, heeft waarschijnlijk een vertekend beeld van de Duitse autofotograaf. Of tenminste: geen volledig beeld. Naast zijn foto’s van showcars en beurbabes was hij vooral in de motorsport actief, met tal van wereldplaten tot gevolg. Die zijn nu voor het eerst gebundeld in een knap fotoboek dat ‘s mans hele carrière omvat, veelal in heerlijk analoge zwart-witopnames – getiteld Motor Racing Photography.
Young and Wild
Werner Eisele’s fascination with high speeds and powerful motors started at an early age: as a youth in dreary post-war Stuttgart, he invested his pocket money in “Auto Motor Sport”, and ate up the glamour of the motorsports world. At 15, he cycled three days to reach the Nurburgring, and see his heroes in real life. Soon, his dream career was clear: Racedriver! Therefore Werner Eisele started driving his BMW 700 Coupé at various sport vehicle races.
From Racer to Racing Photographer
But being so close to famous racetracks also brought him to his second biggest passion, photography. After finishing school, Werner Eisele completed his studies as a photographer, and set up his own commercial photography studio. His favorited subject: automobiles, automobile races, and racedrivers. His bold photographs from the middle of the action and their exceptional perspectives still shape our image of racing history.
Not just a career, but a calling
Soon, Werner Eisele started gaining the attention of the protagonists of the racetrack. His humble, unassuming ways and his professional work were his ticket into the pit lanes of champions. For years, he documented the exciting and often dramatic facets of the world of racecar driving like no other. Werner Eisele and his camera followed the careers of a whole generation of racedriver legends, some until their tragic deaths on the track.
Many close friendships were born from his camera work. Drivers, engineers, builders, race organizers: Werner Eisele knew them all. And they all knew him, from Jacky Ickx, Jim Clark and Emerson Fittipaldi to Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, to Ferry Porsche and Ferdinand PiÎch. To this day, Werner Eisele loves the roar of motors and the smell of petrol, and is a welcome guest at racetracks.
[Shop & Quotes: Working Art Gallery]