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Yves Debraine
Yves Debraine was born in 1925 in Paris. Always interested in photography, he joined the Paris photographic agency France-Presse in 1948 as a news photographer. A few years later Debraine moved to Lausanne, Switzerland and took up work as a freelance photographer for various publishing and photo agency clients such as Time-Life, Paris-Match, and Black Star. Debraine also specialized in the high quality photography of artwork for museum catalogs. In 1953 Debraine met Ami Guichard, a young publisher in Lausanne, and together they created the idea for what became the famous automotive annual l’Année Automobile (Automobile Year). This introduced Debraine to a completely new field. Thus began many years of touring the major motor racing circuits of Europe such as Le Mans, Monza, the Nürburgring, and Spa-Francorchamps, chasing cars and drivers. It was a friendly community, often full of joy but never lacking for drama. These were years which started with drivers wearing caps and short-sleeved shirts, eventually transformed into racers swallowed by their cars, leaving to helmet and goggles the only possible identification. With ever-increasing concerns for safety, photographers were moved to ever greater distances from the passing cars and their movement around the circuits became much more restricted. This required longer and heavier lenses each year and made it more difficult to obtain photographs which showed the personality of the drivers. Motor racing in the 1970s was fun no more for one who had enjoyed the romance of its early postwar years and Yves Debraine went on to other subjects. Yves Debraine passed away at his home in Lausanne, Switzerland on March 31, 2011.

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Juan Manuel Fangio at Monaco, 1956
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