A few reflections on car photography

At a car show in the streets of Bristol I was struck by the paintwork on a particular car, a De Tomaso Pantera GTS.  The petrolheads among you will know that this was designed by an American, was made in Modena Italy, (just down the road from the Lamborghini factory), and had an American Ford V8 engine.  To add a further layer of internationalism, the company was founded by an Argentinian-Italian.

The paintwork on the car was spectacular.  It was sort of candy-apple metallic red, and was highly reflective.  It was so reflective that trying to get an image of the whole car just recorded a lot of people and buildings.

“De Tomaso reflection” by Derek Gale

I decided to make the reflections work for me instead of against me, and to record a detail of the car rather than all of it.  I chose the engine cover because it was fairly flat, and made sure that the line of the reflected building didn’t cross the line of the air vents.  In fact the corner of one air vent sort of fits into the top corner of the reflected building.  The deep colour of the paint contrasts well with the black and white vents.  I flipped the image upside down in Photoshop to make the perspective look more interesting.

The moral?  Don’t think, “Damn, everything is reflecting”, think “Great, everything is reflecting!”

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