Tim works professionally as a commercial photographer in the UK and specialises in automotive photography, shooting cars from Aston Martins and classics to the modern family car. Cars are something that we see everyday in our lives, and we have all swooned over the images in the glossy car brochures, but what makes a great automotive image?
“For me it’s all about creating a desire and passion for the car. In many ways cars have their own personalities, so I approach a shoot almost like I’m taking an automotive portrait that captures the personality underneath the metal and chrome. With many of the older Classics such as the DB5 it’s all about the lines of the car, sheer beauty and elegance, whereas with the more modern sporty cars it’s often tied into power and design.
Setting the Stage
Whether you’re shooting a Fiat 500 or an Aston Vanquish, the first element is to set the scene that you’ll be placing the car into, very much the same way as you do for a portrait with a person. This helps set the mood, and really your options are only limited by your own imagination. The image of the Aston DB6 with the Steam Trains ‘Escape to the Border’ was based around my idea of doing a 60’s style scene that had an air of action and intrigue.
The lighting was from Elinchrom’s ‘Ranger’ portable flash system that I use on many of my car shoots as it allows me to direct light in a carefully controlled fashion, and helps create the image I’m looking for ‘in camera’. A lot of the time I try to light the subject gradually, increasing the lighting as I find many people when lighting tend to over light and often this can kill the atmosphere of a shot. I like a shot to almost look as if it has not been lit at all. Another huge problem when shooting cars is…