7/24/2020

André Lotterer photo moments.

TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team driver André Lotterer lives a fast-paced life – on and partially off the racetrack. And that’s the source of contrast in his photos.

Once you speak with André Lotterer about his photography, it’s always a trip down memory lane to his youth. To the beginnings, to family. Because that’s where it all started. With his father, a passionate photographer. It comes to no surprise that this passion passed on to the son. When André drove laps in his cart, he was more model and guinea pig for his photographing father. But not much later, he changed perspectives: His father gifted him with his old cameras – André was 12. He took some photos here and there, but the passion for it took its time to kick off.

Taking it slow to gain full momentum.

His father was his greatest teacher in photography. He passed on all André needed to know on how to take a good picture. But it really started off a little later. Because – and that’s also inherently André – if he does something, he does it right. “He may have gifted me with a camera with which I occasionally took some pictures here and there, but it wasn’t as consistent as it is now. I bought the cameras I wanted in 2016 – the Leica, for example. Because if I do something, I want to do it well,” he recounts. And he has stayed loyal to the Leica models to this day. His favorite is the Leica M. To him, it’s not only a beautiful model, but simply a “timeless camera”. “What I like about the camera is that you still have to focus the image manually – so without automatic supporting systems – and that creates a much deeper connection to the photo. You have to put in more effort to get the right image,” he says, describing his work with the Leica M. It’s this hand-made feel that fascinates him. The connection to the camera technology and the moment to be captured.

Between meditation and backstage insights.

For him, it’s not about taking a few quick snaps. “You can get lost somewhere with your camera and take pictures the entire day, lost in your own world,” he reflects. Creative expression, time for reflection and escaping the hectic day-to-day workings of the job. Sounds like meditation. It is. „Yes,“ says André. „It’s almost like a form of meditation.“ During races, there’s less chances of taking photos in peace. The focus is on something else. Still he manages to take one or the other photo. These provide backstage insights that only André has – and he shares them with his team. „I enjoy taking photos in the background and share it with the boys via their phones. That’s how they get some photos of themselves.” Apparently, there are quite some advantages in having a driver on the team who enjoys taking photos.

Digital photography with a hint of manual.

He takes his photos digitally as well as manually. Both suit him well. The charm of manual and the modernity of digital. However, most photos he takes are digital. But – what’s digital anyway in this field? “The photos themselves are saved digitally on the memory card. But the technique of taking them, and the settings, the focus, the lighting, that’s all very manual,” he clarifies. Most likely, it’s this approach that gives his photos a soul. The amalgamation of modern technology with traditional photography techniques. In the end, worded slightly differently this may very well describe the driver André Lotterer: modern understanding of technology for the Formula E and the Porsche 99X Electric coupled with traditional race driver abilities.

His opinion on full-color or monochromatic photography is similar. Of course, there’s a stylistic winner: The one that expresses far more elegance and class. But he doesn’t want to nail it down – why should he? Creativity should have no boundaries. “Black and white is of course always the winner. Of course, full-color image also carries many emotions and is vibrant with life. But it really depends on the topic. I enjoy working with both.” One of his cameras only shoots in black and white. And that’s how it will stay. So, we will continue seeing a colorful mix with black and white from the “Leica pilot”? “Yes – I truly enjoy it and will continue working on more in the future.”

Not much of a surprising answer – or is it?

„My highlight image so far? Actually, they’ve always been beautiful images of cars.” That’s not surprising. But it shows only one aspect. “I once visited Morocco and photographed nomads. The photo came out great,” André adds. “With my camera and the lenses I own, it came out great. That’s my highlight image so far.” While listening to him speak, you get a sense of surety that there’s more to come – and there’s quite a few things on his list. “Interesting and authentic people – that’s what I wanted to portray for a long time. As soon as I have a little more time, I’d love to just go to a serene town and take pictures of people, capturing their vibes and the faces of these people well. That would be interesting.” Currently, his focus is on the Formula E. But it’s good to have a plan for later. Like for the well-deserved vacation after the season finale in Berlin. We’ll see. He laughs. “It’s most likely for after my career. I’ll discover random towns with my VW T3 camper bus and discover interesting people.”

Yes, that suits him well. The vehicle doesn’t sound quite as fast as his current workplace vehicle. But it won’t be about winning races then. Rather, it’ll be about capturing moments.

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