Paul-Henri Cahier's top 3 Michael C Brown photographs, and why
Paul-Henri Cahier is one of the world's best photographers and, with his father, built a formidable archive through five decades of racing. P-HC posted this message on his Facebook page as news filtered through that his colleague had passed away over the holidays:
“There are times in life when you wonder if reality is real or a fake. Today is one of those days. Just three weeks ago, Michael C. Brown sent me a message: ‘Hello P-H! It was wonderful to see you in Austin and I look forward to seeing you again next year... maybe at Monaco! Cheers and all the best, MCB.' Yes, how do I blend that with reality? Now Michael has left for other pastures, greener perhaps, certainly filled with racing heroes, the music of high-revving engines and the sweet smell of speed. Happy Trails, Michael!”
Who better, we thought, than to ask Paul-Henri for his top three MCB images. He found it was no easy choice…
Jacques Villeneueve, Surfers Paradise IndyCar, 1995
“I remember this picture from way back, because it had such a sense of aggressive power. This was an ‘action' shot if there ever was one, and I thought: ‘Well done, Michael.'”
Gerhard Berger, Austrian GP
“You look at this picture, and you instantly think: ‘Zeltweg, Bosch Curve.' For anyone who had the luck and balls to be there photographing, leaning inside of the guardrail while drivers like Gerhard Berger were brushing the outside of the same bit of guardrail, two feet away at 145mph, no fencing, well, you think: ‘We were comrades-in-arms.'
Senna retires in Canadian GP, 1989
“Drivers race, and sometimes they experience true pain, because they have to retire while they are in the lead. This image captures this moment perfectly, Senna walking away while looking at a passing car. With the dark, ominous, sky above, you get the sense that you are there, in the picture.”
Those are my three choices. But what a shame I have to be doing this...
Paul-Henri Cahier, France
Next page: Paul Pfanner's memories of MCB.