by Dave Simm Published 01/08/2009
For this work I like my Fuji S2 Pro; sorry folks I just haven't upgraded these last seven years, but since it isn't broke I don't see the need to fix it - it is delivering full-page, fullbleed, flawless images and such colour fidelity. I capture RAW, but even so I do set white balance in camera, use a Minolta Autometer IVF to measure incident light, now all the exposures in that location will be constant. However, when I crouch to get chassis, engine or exhaust pipe details, I will certainly take a fresh reading.
Automobile Quarterly aren't looking for fancy post-production filters or wacky techniques, they want good old-fashioned crisp quality, within a deadline that is often too short, occasionally in a season when there are no outdoor backgrounds or have sent a brief that restricts where I can shoot the image. Well that is OK., that is precisely what commercial photography is, only now and again is there an opportunity to get ultra-creative, but in the meantime it is good to be happy just capturing fine-looking wheels and marvelling at the odd one or two that never came onto the market, like concept cars that make an appearance at the motor show and are never seen again.
I did get an assignment to go shoot four concept cars, out of a fleet of about twenty that are owned out my way. Considering the investment in the concepts, though, once I was up close and personal, I wasn't really impressed with them, they didn't even come close to the quality, style or panache of the vintage supercars.
The day I arrived in Downers Grove to photograph the Schoenthaler collection, it was a dull overcast day and a couple of times as we were trying to manoeuvre vehicle out for the shoot, it would threaten to rain and we would have to scramble to get these extremely valuable, very rare masterpieces back under cover. Remember they have to be kept looking pristine in the museum.
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