As a high school student in 1961, Al Satterwhite started working for The St. Petersburg Times in Florida.
He picked up freelance work for United Press International while continuing to work at the Times. Establishing himself as a talented photographer, he shot for major magazines and corporate clients: Car & Driver, Fortune, Life, Newsweek, American Express, Coke, Kodak – the list goes on.
Satterwhite’s latest project, “The Racers” is a limited edition printed edition as well as a digital book stemming from his coverage of endurance racing for Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek and Life magazine between 1963 and 1973, along with personal effects from his career.
“I had saved all of my credentials and photo passes, so I photographed them and scattered them throughout the book to add a little more interest,” said Satterwhite.
Satterewhite caught the racing bug early in his career while he was still in high school, he said. "After that I was hooked,” and dabbled in racing himself.
|1972 Daytona 24-hour race (actually run as a 6-hour race) • Jacky Ickx won co-driving a Ferrari 312PB with Mario Andretti. Photograph © 2013 Al Satterwhit|
Satterwhite captured racing greats like Jacky Ickx, Carroll Shelby and Dan Gurney. Television and movie stars such as Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and James Garner were also part of the scene.
“They were part of the racing fraternity,” he said. “They want to be treated like racers, which is where their focus is.”
|Steve McQueen. Sebring 12-Hour race. March 21, 1970. Porsche 908/01. Finished 2nd (1st in P3.0 class), co-driver Peter Revson. Photograph © 2013 Al Satterwhite. All rights reserved. No usage whatsoever without written permission - No Exceptions.|
To gain the access he needed and get the racers used to his presence, Satterwhite would usually arrive to the track a few days early during the practice sessions "to be seen enough to be forgotten."
|Daytona Speedway • Daytona 500 • pit stop • 1965 • Tri-X Holma|
He remembers the races as events where safety was far from guaranteed.
“It was pretty loose in those days, also very dangerous; I was almost killed a couple of times by getting myself boxed in with nowhere to go when a car spun off the track; or in the pits where I had gas accidentally thrown in my face.”
|2 Fuelers. Riverside Raceway. LA Times Grand Prix. April 22, 1979. Photograph © 2013 Al Satterwhite. All rights reserved. No usage whatsoever without written permission - No Exceptions.|
Satterwhite said he’s trying to bring a bit of that excitement and drama back for his readers.
"Drivers were underpaid, if paid at all. They raced because they loved to race,” he said. “I tried to pull back the curtain and show what real endurance racing was like in that period - on the track, in the pits and behind the scenes."
The printed version uses a special “lay flat” printing technique so that two page spreads are viewed without the interruption of a gutter. The digital version includes audio of Satterwhite sharing details and stories from his time covering the races.
– Cody McCloy, CNN
Al Satterwhite is a long-time photographer who has shot for major publications and corporate clients alike. Follow him on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/SatterwhiteAl:
Filed Under: Al Satterwhite • Black-and-white • Daytona • Photo Book • Sebring
READ THE ORIGINAL CNN ARTICLE HERE: http://cnnphotos.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/21/fast-cars-and-hollywood-stars/