It was a real luxury to be able to take the time off and spend it with my baby daughter Kitty during her first few months. She has now started nursery and I am now easing myself back into the world of work with a nice little project. It’s hard to call it work really but actually, the Aston Martin DB11 can be tricky to capture. Most photos you will find hardly do this handsome car justice. My Brief was to make it look good enough to tempt Mr Bond. I hope for my sake, he likes it.
My lastest car photoshoot was this Audi A3 Cabriolet. It is an interesting mixture of the brand’s now well established 3 box convertible body shape but with sharper modern lines and some really clever tech under the bonnet.
My take on it was to use high contrast lighting and some cold colours to bring out its futuristic edge. We also did some softer autumnal alternatives to show its more traditional and accessible side. My wife volunteered to take the wheel and took some persuading to give it back.
This was my first experience of ‘cylinder on demand’ where two of the four cylinders are dropped from firing, their are valves shut and the other two pots are left to do the work. It only does it when you are cruising along gentley and I was really impressed that it was so seamless. They fire up the moment you squeeze the throttle and come in so smoothly that its very hard to tell it happened at all. The result is diesel-like fuel economy without the clanky oil-burner noises.
Anyway, here are some of the shots. The dark shots are done with a combination of studio strobes and LED lighting.
Formula E might just be the future of motorsport. Many people are sad about the lack of howling V8 engine sounds but these days they won’t find that in Formula 1 either. I was pleasantly surprised by my first experience of these electric racing cars. They are quiet but not silent. The motor sounds remind me of radio controlled cars I played with years ago. You also notice all the tyre screeching and gear changes that are normally masked by engine noise.
These cars are quick too, and they are likely to get much quicker over the next few years. The street circuit racing should make it exciting to watch and follows the green route of bringing the race to the audience rather than the other way round.
I’m always happy photographing cars of all types, so this was another challenge for me. With Team China racing there should be plenty of people watching the racing around the world on TV too. Only time will tell if this particular racing series will capture public attention and become a financial success but all of motorsport is bound to head in this low emissions direction eventually. Thankfully it still makes for exciting racing so theres no need to worry for its future.
While in China I have made the time to continue to explore its more remote rural areas and people. Guangxi region in addition to its famous beauty, is a treasure-trove of ancient traditions and culture. There are countless ethnic groups proudly continuing their local customs. Each minority group has their own traditional costume which varies from village to village and many country people continue to wear them daily. At festivals and on special occasions they have more dressy versions with bright colours and detailed metal headdresses.
Rather than being a time machine into an ancient world you can see the modern world has become integrated into traditional Chinese life. It is both sad that the old traditions are being lost and cheering that progress is beginning to reach these distant inland villages and living standards are starting to improve.
This process of change makes me thankful to have the opportunity to see and record both the old and the new colliding in this unique Chinese way.
I recently did a photo shoot for County Goldsmiths who specialise in antique jewellery. The shoot was split up into different historic period inspirations – 1950s and 1920s.
I shot it with the Hasselblad and the 80mm and 50-110mm lenses. Soft directional lighting with subtle colour gels gave the vintage feel. I’m very pleased with the results and look forward to doing more fashion style projects in the future. I’m already plotting ideas for an atmospheric fashion/car shoot.