Standing on a mountaintop overlooking Monaco, with eight Canon cameras arranged in an array, it was an unusual shoot even by motorsports photographer Frits van Eldik's standards. As the cars set off, he triggered the cameras simultaneously over a couple of seconds, and his task was complete. During many years spent photographing the Monaco Grand Prix, Frits had long dreamt of capturing a different angle from the hilltop over 2km away. But he didn't realise that this shoot would also sow the seed for a complete shift in his career.
"We were driving home and I started to have a look at the images on my laptop, but I wasn't really excited about them," says Frits. "The next day I looked at them on a bigger screen and was quite happy." He could sense, though, that he needed to view them in a different way to truly realise his dream. He sent a test image to Canon for printing at around 1.4m x 1m on an imagePROGRAF PRO-4000 (now succeeded by the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4100S). "We went for a coffee, came back after 20 minutes, and the print was so impressive, so detailed," he says. "For me, it was the only way to prove the quality of the camera, the lens and the challenge I had in Monaco."
Before that, Frits had not spent much time printing his images, but seeing this print in 2018 changed everything. "I became very enthusiastic when I saw the quality coming out of Canon's printers," he says. A highly-respected and experienced motorsports photographer who shot his first Grand Prix in 1989, Frits has made a career shooting major races in Formula One and MotoGP, mostly for editorial clients. Today, he's diversified his business so that he now earns the majority of his income from selling prints of his images.