You may have noticed from previous blog posts that I am a bit of a fan of cars. I own a classic Pininfarina Spidereuropa. It sounds glamorous, but it’s really just an old FIAT in a party dress.
The shapes of cars are fascinating subjects for creative photography, and I love the little details.
This is the bonnet of a Jaguar C-type Le Mans racing car from the 1950’s. I was attracted to the louvres – cut into the bonnet to help engine cooling – and the way that the highlights in the background made a complementary pattern. I used a long lens and a wide aperture to give great bokeh.
Often, selecting just a part of a car can tell a story. Take this image for example. It’s part of the front/side bodywork of the modern Le Mans 24 Hour Race-winning Audi R8. You can see just how effective the aerodynamics of the car were, because the oil from other cars has spread in perfect lines on the Audi’s curves. Not really pretty, but it tells us so much more about the car than completely clean bodywork.
This car, the Maserati Birdcage concept car, does have completely clean bodywork. It’s very shiny, and reflecting the chequered flag pattern of the marquee the car was under. It’s made a great pattern/abstract shot, which also reflects the fabulous racing history of the original Maserati Birdcage.
Bonnet/radiator badges on cars are a perfect example of branding. This 1930’s Mercedes badge really sums up everything about the car; quality engineering, style without (too much) ostentation, and exclusiveness. I don’t need to show the rest of the car. You get enough of an idea of how it is from the out of focus bonnet hinges, and the split windscreen in the background.
This car did have style with a lot of ostentation. It’s a 1950’s Cadillac, and was made in the era where cars looked a lot like jet fighters or rockets. These tail lights have it all; lots of chrome, space-age design, and they are “loud and proud”. I used a long telephoto lens to throw the second light in the background out of focus. This lets us concentrate on the foreground light.
Lest we forget, cars are made for driving, and not just for admiring their design. This image is of my view from the passenger seat of a friend’s early 1950’s Bentley Mark VI Park Ward convertible. It shows an empty open road, the sheen of the coachbuilt bonnet reflecting the sky, and the proud Bentley “Flying B” pointing the way. You can follow the line of the bonnet, and that of the road, to that magical place called “just around the corner”, that makes you want to keep on driving.
Cars and photography; the perfect partners.