Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Where Is The Rest of It?

A question I am regularly asked by car enthusiasts and automotive publication editors alike who view my portfolio. My very favorite father in law is included in this list of motor heads who constantly admonishes me for selecting a small detail to focus on rather than the big picture. "Can't you take a picture of the WHOLE car?"

Short answer? Yes, of course I can. In fact, sometimes I do. The long answer?

There is (surprisingly enough) a method to my madness. So, when I am not on assignment for a commercial or private client who is paying me to capture their vision, I do it my way.

I love the small details. The reflection in the chrome...the curves and lines, the small flecks in the paint or the perfect badges. We see the whole car every day. It looks like every other one of its make, model and year does or did. How often do we look at the little details.

Sometimes my favorite vintage and exotic subjects are unfortunately sitting in a less than photogenic location at the time of capture. Sure, if you want to spend an afternoon...me, you, my camera and your Ferrari/corvette/vintage rod/geo metro (kidding!) we can go somewhere beautifully scenic, with the best lighting to bring out the beauty of the accomplishment that is your car. I will give you prints until you are blue in the face for your willingness to share the opportunity. But lets face it, this is not always practical and in this urban sprawl, we could drive for two hours before finding a suitable location- and then we would have to clean the car up in the field or extensively retouch the bugs off the windshield.

The other reason that I shoot automotive subjects that are non assignment in the way I do is because its mine. This is the unique way I see your car. It just is. I am not looking at the engine, the horsepower or even necessarily the history (though I enjoy all of those aspects too) of the vehicle. True, the design and engineering is a marvel of modern- or as the case may be not so modern technology. Its impressive. However, the small details are just as if not more impressive. The shape of the tail lights, the way the hood reflects light, the little bits and pieces are marvels in their own right. The care that went into creating these little details is the thread that I feel holds the automotive world together.

Maybe my approach is unusual. Some feel my styling with automotive shots is too specific for broad use.

If I can get one person to entertain an entirely new way of looking at a beautiful car- it will have been worth it.

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