There are snappers, photographers and artists – Steffen Jahn is very much the latter. You’ll hear some professional photographers complain about the Instagram generation, where filters and effects can turn the most hurried snap into a picture postcard.
But there’s still no substitute to good composition, an eye for the dramatic and the skill of colour grading. It also takes more than the latest smartphone or digital SLR.
Stuttgart-based Steffen Jahn uses a 56 megapixel Mamiya Leaf Aptus-II 10 to shoot these stunning images, capturing the spirit of the cars he photographs as much as their design and profile.
“I always try to bring inanimate objects to life. A car is all about speed, movement and acceleration and the fascination it brings to the driver as well as to the spectators. This is what I try to emphasize in my images,” said Jahn.
He discovered his passion for photography at an early age and up until recently relied on the traditional virtues of film, “After finishing an apprenticeship in one of Europe’s biggest car studios, I started to assist car photographers worldwide for a couple of years – and this lead straight into becoming a car photographer.”
The images shown in this article are from a 2010 shoot to recreate the battle between Porsche’s 917K and Ferrari’s 512S in the 1970 Spa 1000km.
The race featured drivers such as Pedro Rodriguez, Jo Siffert, Brian Redman and Vic Elford in the 917Ks, while Derek Bell, Nino Vaccarella, Jacky Ickx and John Surtees were driving the Ferrari 512S’.
Remember, this wasn’t the modern 4.3 mile circuit but instead the the ultra-high speed 8.7 mile circuit in use at the time.
Siffert/Redman won the race averaging a lap speed of 160.513 mph and earning the accolade of driving the fastest ever road race in history (at the time).
Ickx/Surtees finished runners up in their Ferrari 512S on the same lap, with the top 8 cars being equally split between the 917 and 512.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of this race, is how the pace of these ‘sports cars’ compared with the Formula One cars competing in the Belgian Grand Prix three weeks later.
Despite the addition of a chicane at Malmedy Corner, the Formula One cars struggled to get within 12 seconds of their lap times.
Although the record would be broken twice more in the following years, the eventual record stood for decades. The 917K and 512S didn’t just look fast, they really were fast. Jahn’s unique images capture their speed and emotion perfectly.
To see more of Steffen Jahn’s work, visit his website www.steffenjahn.com