"Our FOCUS for this edition is Jamie Sheldrick With a background in landscape photography, Jamie Sheldrick's photos often give you more than simply a picture of a car - we chat to him about how he got into motorsport photography. "
FOCUS on Pedro Dermaux
Meet Pedro Dermaux
Our FOCUS for this edition is Pedro Dermaux
After finding very few pictures online of the race team he managed, Pedro Dermaux decided to give photography a go himself.
Influx: How did you get into photography?
Pedro Dermaux: “It all started in 2007 when I got involved in a team of gentlemen racers competing in the Nurburgring 24-Hour race with an Aston Martin N24. Asking me to be their ‘team manager’. We actually finished in front of the Aston Martin works team, which was quite an achievement back then.
“When I got back home after the race, I immediately started browsing the internet to look for some pictures of our car and drivers to have something as a souvenir. To my great surprise I wasn’t able to find that many.”
“A few months later, as the team decided to participate in the Belgian round of the GT4 European Cup at Spa Francorchamps, I decided to buy a Canon system pocket camera and try to get some shots myself.
“Didn’t really work for trackshots, but at least I could do some static stuff and had something to look back at. I quickly decided after that to buy my first DSLR with a kit zoom lens and attend some races at Spa and Zolder to give it a try, as since my childhood I had always been facinated by racing cars. The first year(s) was purely for fun and learning how a camera works, especially panning shots. The stuff I saw from other guys and professional photographers on the internet (this was back in the days when social media was booming ) motivated me to go attend more races and learn more photo techniques.
“One of my favourite photographers back then, and still today, is Gary Parravani. As we were doing a round of the British GT at Brands with the same team I decided to contact him to give us a quote to cover the race for us so we would have some decent photos. HAs he noticed back then I was into photography too, and a few months later he asked me to do the Spa 24 with him and shooting some stuff for the team he was covering back then. We almost immediatly became friends and still are…
“Later he asked me to join his agency Xynamic.com and trusted me to shoot some assignements he couldn’t do, or clashed with other events he had to cover. I Invested in professional equipment, kept on visiting different events to learn how to shoot, new editing techniques and in 2012 decided to start my own business in motorsport photography.”
Influx: What kind of subjects do you like to shoot?
Dermaux: “Racing cars, no more, no less, and the odd grid girl ( shame on me really…)”
Influx: Are there any images you’re particularly proud of?
Dermaux: “The one from the Spa Pitlane entry. I think I was the first one to do it, had it in my head for a long time and on one perfect Saturday morning with some fog raising from the woods I got it like I imagined it.
” I loved it and apparently after publishing it on different social media, everyone else did and started copying it, which is kind of flattering in a way (read as annoying).”
Influx: How do you feel about camera phones?
Dermaux: “To be honest I don’t really use my camera phone that much, in fact I only do when I’m on a holiday or somekind of city trip…..just to keep the Missus happy really as she still thinks I’m a professional photographer.”
Influx: “Is there a particular vehicle you’d love to shoot one day?”
Dermaux: “Lola MK6. I have only seen it once at the Goodwood Revival sitting in the paddock but that was back in time before I started shooting. Unfortunately I’ve never seen one since…”
Influx: What makes a good photo?
Dermaux: “I love the fact that you can actually put speed into a photo. That’s probably why I wasted two shutters on learning how to pan properly. We even used to have some kind of contest between us who could go lowest on the shutterspeed and get some kind of sharpness left.
“For static shots really love detailing and light.”
Influx: What advice would you give yourself if you could travel back ten years?
Dermaux: “To eat more vegetables and invest less money in shampoo.”
More of Pedro Dermaux’s work can be found on his Instagram
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