July 31, 2012

Sharpshooter: Julien Mahiels

If you follow Axis you know Julien's work very well and we are quite proud to follow his success ever since he came onto a radar a few years ago on Flickr.   Mahiels has recently launched a new web site showcasing his work, go visit it as soon as you are done reading this.

Part of being a successful photographer is knowing how to be in the right place at the right time and once there, convey the emotions of what you are seeing.   Mahiels is a master at it,  every time we se one of his images we wish we were right there over his shoulder smelling the castor oil  and brake pads.

As part of our series on motorsport photographers we asked Julien a few question:

AXIS:                 When did you start  shooting?
Julien Mahiels:  My grandfather always been a photo enthusiast and passed that to my mother who did photo school in the 70s. I was a aviation nut since I was 9yo and I always wanted to take pictures in air shows. I finally had my first try with my mother Nikkormat at 12yo but I really got into photography 2 years later with mountain biking and BMX.

AXIS:  Your favorite track?
JM:      It is a tough one because there is an awfully long list of track I dream of visiting. From those I've seen I must say the Nurburgring. You can pop anywhere around that track and find a new cool angle. The surroundings are superb and since I am driving nut I love to rack up miles on it after the shooting is done.
For 2012 the Tour auto paid a visit to the Charade racetrack and I think if I could spend more time around it could be my all time favorite. Such a balsy track even the ring looked tamed next to it. The nature around it is glorious too.

AXIS:   Your favorite car?
JM:       I have a real soft spot for the 250 SWB and 911 R

AXIS:  Your favorite tool?
JM:       Favorite tool would be my 200F2 I bought barely used 4years ago. It gave me image quality and versatility I needed to evolve as a car photographer. But my 85 1.4 is getting his own share of use.

AXIS:   Your ideal photograph is?
JM:       My ideal photograph is combination of a timeless subject (car and track) getting properly used (sideways) with a lot of motion blur. Motion is everything for me. You must be able to feel what was going on when the picture was taken. Of course showing a beautiful car in glorious dawn is nice but I prefer to capture a moment than showcase its beauty.

You can get in touch with Julien Mahiels via his brand new web site julienmahiels.net where you can find a huge selection of stunning images. Thank you Julien!


  1. phenomenal, thanks for sharing! beautiful work.

  2. Wow, that's freaky...that's me in the exige. Beautiful shot.

    1. that's awesome!, what are the chances? Very good actually as Axis readers are the coolest!

    2. Well considering our first collab led to Axis' first appearance in the New York Times and then our Axis-documented Z3 M Coupe adventures, maybe it's not entirely coincidence anymore!...it's a small world ;)

    3. Oh that Eric :).... Hi Eric, how are you? You should definitively get in touch with Julien and get a 20x24 of that picture to frame for your office!

      Not to mention Ron should also buy a mural of that for his shop!

    4. October 2011 with lots of Japanese ? I have more I think. HR version is up for sale (cheap my friend really cheap ;) )

  3. Wow, these are amazing shots. What kind of Italian bird graces the first photo?

    1. Don't hold me to it but I think it's a Maserati 350, Maybe Julien can chime in

  4. Julien's work is fantastic. It really hit me when I saw his shot of the Cobra Daytona at the Goodwood Revival last year. I was probably within 100 yard of where he took that shot, shooting the same car in the same conditions and I might as well have been on another planet. You would be hard pressed to convince anyone that my shot and his were taken at the same event, much less at nearly the same time. Keep up the good work Julien.


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