The man behind the camera: Introducing photographer Joan Codina
During the 2017 season, Joan Codina was so kind to supply the ADAC Formula 4 Tribe with his pictures. But who is Joan and how did he get involved with photography? I caught up with the man from Spain.
Joan always loved motorsports, in particular, Formula 1. He used to race himself at a karting circuit just outside Barcelona. But karting wasn't his only passion; photography has also always been on his list. When he and his family reached the point where karting became a question of budget, Codina quickly found out that he could simply put both passions together. And so in 2005, he switched from being behind the wheel to behind the camera, deciding to go to an academy to dedicate to it professionally.
Afterwards, it was just a simple email which became Joan's breakthrough. "I emailed Gregory Heirman, a guy who was taking pictures at Kartòdrom Catalunya near Barcelona. Then, we met and he gave me the opportunity to start in Fórmula Catalunya karting series. In the process of getting more experience, I grew towards national karting championships, followed by international CIK-FIA events in 2006. It then led up to the single-seater races for his website FotoFormulaK.com I do today", Codina explained.
In both German and Italian Championships, Heirman is best known for his work for Prema Powerteam. "He can't do F2, F3 and F4 all at the same time, so it's either my colleague Manuela Nicoletti or me helping him out. We are both taking pictures for that team in ADAC F4 and Italian F4", he added.
Talking about his future, Codina has a very clear view where he sees himself: "Gregory wants me to cover more and more single seater championships, but my aim is to also continue in some international karting races like CIK or WSK Championships."
But what exactly is so fascinating about these Championships? The Spaniard gave a very clear answer on this: "What I really like is to see the drivers grow that I met, when they were just 10 or 11 years old. In addition, it's a privilege to see the races so close on track service roads!"
Even if times are not always happy on a race track with danger always travelling alongside it, Codina also experienced his fair share of scary moments. In the end, they can't keep him away from his passion. "One time, a kart ran over one of my colleagues in Sarno (Naples, Italy) so they took him to the hospital. It was many breathless minutes until it turned out that he was nearly unhurt", he said.
In conclusion, Codina finishes with an advice for those who would like to follow in his footsteps: "It's necessary to be consistent and patient. I think it's really difficult to start taking pictures in F1. For me, it's important to stay in karting because you can meet the drivers when they are young along with having easier access to talk with them, compared to today's F1 stars."
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Joan Codina on Twitter: twitter.com/F1Joan
Kartòdrom Catalunya: www.kartodrom.com