Photographer Shoots Formula 1 With 104-Year-Old Camera, And Here’s The Result!

If ever there was a sport that required rapid fire photography, Formula One racing is it. Which makes what photographer Joshua Paul does even more fascinating, because instead of using top-of-the-range cameras to capture the fast-paced sport, Paul chooses to take his shots using a 104-year-old Graflex 4×5 view camera.

The photographer clearly has an incredible eye for detail, because unlike modern cameras that can take as many as 20 frames per second, his 1913 Graflex can only take 20 pictures in total. Because of this, every shot he takes has to be carefully thought about first, and this is clearly evident in this beautiful series of photographs.

Paul was inspired to cover F1 racing with his trusty Graflex after seeing a 1969 magazine containing images of that year’s Indy 500. Noticing that the photographer had captured the event deliberately blurry and out of focus, he set about trying to recreate this technique with modern F1 as his subject. He first started shooting F1 racing at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, and he’s now so passionate about the sport that he’s even launched a magazine called Lollipop, a publication for Grand Prix enthusiasts. Check out some of his pictures below. You can also find him on Instagram.

More info: Lollipop Magazine | Instagram (h/t: PetaPixel)


F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera

F1 Photos With Old Camera




  1. Amazing what can be done with old technology. This man has made it possible to ‘feel’ the action. Thanks and God bless him.

  2. Great set of images with some “photojournalism” style to it.

    By the way, referring your second paragraphs, i rarely seen professional sports photographers shooting an F1 or other sports at 10 frames per second – let alone 20 fps! Most shoots at 8 fps and some well known pros like Bob Martin shoots much lesser fps than that.

    Sports photography are about timing and the ability to “pre emp” the action. With todays camera, the ability to shoot athelete “on mid air” is nothing special. Many photographers can do that. Its the technical aspects/angles that needs to be mastered

    1. Oh please, shut the fuck up. A photographer can’t produce shots like these JUST by using his eyes. It’s a combination, simpleton.

      1. Wow. There is always one in the bunch. You kiss your mama with that mouth?

        Why exactly do people feel the need to berate others in such a mean spirited way, just for posting an innocent comment?

        BTW, he’s right. This has little to do with the camera. It’s the result of the photographer knowing how to expose and compose the images that gives these so much character. Other than the large format DOF and film aesthetic and grain, the camera is not adding anything.

        Who’s the simpleton now?

  3. I posted this on FB and a friend on mine noticed there is no lens on the old camera in the opening photo.

    Can someone explain this?

    1. The camera has it’s own lens within it. Older, Large Format cameras, did not come with separate lenses, like modern cameras. The small hole you see on the front of the camera is the lens, it’s just zoomed in as far as it will go to cover more area.

  4. Interesting shots. It makes me want to see these photos juxtaposed with shots taken when the camera was new. So that we can see more clearly what visual artifacts that the old camera imposes on reality. Then mentally lift that veil and see the old photos in a new light.
    As a cameraman, I’ve always wanted to see ancient film reformatted, and digitally processed to remove some of these artifacts, and see the past more as it was, than through the primitive technology of the time.

    1. if he hadn’t deliberately downgraded the images they would have been better or indistinguishable from mdern images. This camera is is one of the greatest all time pieces of equipment and should function now, exactly as it did then. There would be no artifacts or blurring at the edges just sharp perfect images.

  5. It’s interesting how people associate old technology as somehow being inferior. Graflex cameras were the top of the line when they were in production, as evident with it’s universal appeal with photojournalists of the time. As far as film cameras go, they are still held in high regard. Their popularity lasted for well over 50 years. Try using your Canon D1 in 50 years and see what kinds of looks you get then. There is definitely a different mindset required when shooting with film. It’s less laissez faire since photographers were limited to the number of film frames they carried. And no, it was not limited to 20, as this article implies. That would be like saying I am only limited to one roll of film or one memory card when shooting an event.

    The market for images was slower but no less important 50, 60 or 80 years ago. All that was needed were those x number of images that would get published by the publication these photographers worked for and often those photographers worked expeditiously to conserve film. Like today, they took extra shots just for the sake of giving the editor choices, but in the end those multiple shots would get culled down to the best (let’s say) three. Today’s sports photographers can take a 1,000 simply because the technology is different but they’ll still get culled down to the best three or so. Three frames or 50 frames, the end result is the same; one image getting printed. You work with what you have.

  6. nothing like a 4×5 camera to capture an image. I know photography teachers that shoot off 15 or 20 shots with their fancy cameras and just hope that at least one comes out. We are moving away from thinking about what we do in creating an image and this guy is moving the work back to what it should be.

  7. Clearly, i’m the only non-biased one. These aren’t that much more “amazing” than any other pro shooting with a modern day DSLR. I’ll agree it adds some “character” and the photographer has great shot selection but the noise in these images with the slightly out of focus subjects makes it apparent that newer DSLR handle these types of environments much better.

    1. I was thinking similar. Really nice pictures but that’s it for me… I would say the feat is to be able to use such an antique pretty well : raw pictures, no editing, still good result. I probably could not.

    2. Agreed. Nothing really stands out. Only the NOVELTY of using old tech.
      As was mentioned, the photographer’s skill in finding the action, lighting, angle, and timing is way more apparent than the inferior quality of the final result.
      A photographer with equal skill and modern equipment could do just as well if not better.

      1. Totally agree… the guy with modern gear would be a outstanding photographer based on his compositions.

    3. I think that part of the appeal of the article is the fact that these photographs ARE of a quality that can be appreciated today. Though I agree with you, I think that you are still looking at it the wrong way. It’s not that these photographs have limited appeal because they are no better than any others produced today, but the fact that they are comparable still speaks to the quality of the older camera and the photographer’s skill.

  8. Great shots, remind me of the early window shade shutters that distorted motion while trying to stop it. I recently dug out 2 rolls of 16mm movie footage shot at the 1966 Indy 500 that I haven’t seen since I shot them. The year before the “turbine” cars intro. ! Warren

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  10. I guess this camera has a lens shutter as opposed to a focal plane shutter. As Warren above said I was expecting to see those oval wheels where the top of the wheel is photographed earlier than the bottom. Great series though. I see Lieca has a B&W only camera which recreates many old possibilities. Art is defined by its limits.

    1. I used a RB 4×5 Graflex. It has a focal plane shutter with speeds fro 1 to 1/1000 of a second. Mine used a 180mm f/4.5 lens. I used both sheet film holders (2) exposures and film packs (10 exposures). I was 19 years old. I still have my 4×5 Speed Graphic but haven’t used it in a very long time.

  11. As a life long autosports fan who knows nothing about photography the thing I like most about the photos is their character. There are some beautiful shots. Really great job and very enjoyable.

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  14. “If ever there was a sport that required rapid fire photography, Formula One racing is it. ”
    It’s shit like this that propagates the desire for amateurs to buy new cameras.
    Google Bert Hardy.

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  18. These pictures for today’s standards aren’t very good technically…but this is not what photography is about. These photographs have character,they have soul. Digital photography cannot replicate that no matter how good you are at photoshop.

  19. I believe, regardless of the camera, this photographer would have taken gorgeous photos. The beauty of these shots is that you aren’t assaulted with every single detail, you are able to focus in on the photographer’s intended target. They are all amazing.

  20. In this digital age where does he get the film for the camera? I thought all the film manufacturers have stopped making film. Makes me harken back to my youth and my Kodak Pony IV with black and white film bought with my paper route money (circa 1958). It would take me days to expose a 36 exposure roll of 35mm film since I had to plan each and every shot (and could I afford it?)

    1. Uh ever camera shop on earth? ? Kodak, and ilford, and fuji and a host of other companies still make film.

  21. Folks, don’t try this at home!
    This is the work of a very gifted photographer and less to do with 104-yr old camera.

  22. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
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  23. er….why is the quality so poor. This camera is capable of producing pin sharp pictures and shooting at 1/1000th of a second so is well up with modern cameras. Google “Ikonta Bloke” to see what it can do. in terms of sharoness at least. Don’t go thinking because something is old that it is inferior to what we have today

    1. To be able to shoot at 1/1000th of a second, your films’ iso must be quite high. And high iso causes grains, lots of grains.
      That is why you think the quality is poor, but i don’t quite agree with you there.

  24. Nice article, beautiful photos, but I noted one glaring error, his camera is not a view camera, it’s a single lens reflex, an SLR. Light takes the same path through his camera as a modern DSLR, the lens projects it onto a mirror where it is reflected onto a focusing screen which you view by looking down through a hood into the camera. Just like a 35mm or DSLR, the mirror pops up out of the way when you trip the shutter. Oh yes, it also has a focal plane shutter. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  25. Wonderful raw photos full of power and emotion. It is interesting that some will pay $3,000.00 to tens of thousands of dollars for a camera and lens. Then take dozens of shots of the same thing. Spend hours finding the best shot of 300. Finally photo shopping the image into something it never was at the moment. (you may as well take up the art of painting at home) Great job Joshua! 😉

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  28. The sharpness, contrast and shallow depth-of-field are the result of the large negative area and the long-focus lens, probably German. Japanese lenses lagged behind their German counterparts for years when it came to keeping-up their contrast, particularly in low-level-lighting conditions. Many Jap lenses still do. The modern, Japanese-made Carl Zeiss lens, that I owned recently, was a very poor lens indeed. Perhaps this camera had an area British-made lens?
    The uncover and then re-cover such a large-aperture lens the shutter would have a lot of ‘ground-to-travel’ and the blurring of the movement suggests a shutter-speed of about 1/100th sec.
    So, now we can all see the picture-making power of the big, silver-gelatine, negative.
    No worries! Your imagination’s up-to-it, I’m sure. Fire-up the old EOD-Z 9000 and 28-500mm f6.3 zoom; knock-off a few shots at your local traffic lights, and then spend the evening recreating an image analogous to those shown above, using Lurid-Creator 9 on your PC. After all; isn’t that what photography is all about these days?

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  33. I have been looking for photos like 1&4 for about 3 years. I want one for my living room where the sponsorship does not stand out. Please tell me where I can contact to purchase, I will also just try to google. Thank you.

  34. Technology offers the character
    Personality offers the view
    Nice. Very nice.
    And proof, that newest gear isn’t automatically basis for perfect shooting

  35. Definitely tells more of a story and adds drama to the instance. Amazing shots, amazing angles, great photographer.

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  38. Just a really inspiring set of shots. I feel like I should be try to do do something different… experiment just a bit more! Is there any info on the accompanying lenses that were used… 100 year old glass?

  39. Amazing lifestyle is to look at others investment in time absorbing activities like photography, giving me so much pleasure! These pictures tell stories wonderful especially when the word ‘technology’ probably never existed when the camera was made. ENGINEERING

  40. this is lame – soo trandaaay , old piece of junk put together and shoot contemporary stuff with, soo basic, bueaagh

    1. Agreed. It would have been easier to shoot on his phone and make them look old and crappy with filters. I don’t get the appeal to using old cameras to get terrible results.

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  45. When teaching modern photography , they should not forget to teach the new generation about the discipline of taking photos with the old cameras. Every shot counts. No room for mistakes.

  46. As you would expect for a 104 year old technology, bearing in mind most cameras were designed in a different age and just just for ‘capturing the moment’. Concept is good!

  47. Great coverage. Your love for covering the event, drives this almost more than the camera. But the old camera demands; shallow depth-of-field, lens Vignetting, slow shutter speeds, lack of Pics, B&W and the ‘context’ contradiction, all adding up with the VG range of shots, to be a VG essay!

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  50. What a beautiful article!! This came just as we bought a few rolls of film! A couple of them are black and white! I am so grateful we have a light meter to help us figure out settings!

    Now as for what Joshua Paul just proved to the world, taking pictures with a century+ old camera and getting these breathtaking results is truly amazing! I tip my hat to him! ❤

  51. can someone explain to me, why on the 10 photo with the track asphalt and the car coming towards the lens, you see this fine square pattern noise grid which i though was usually a trademark for DSLR sensor architecture and how it performs in bad lighting conditions?? or can that happen in post?

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