Article by Ryan Randels and Corey Davis. All photographers are mentioned and linked.
Last week we received a truly great response from the community regarding our last installment of the Top 10 Media. Not only did our social channels come alive with activity and fresh blood submitting content, but we're also getting attention from amateur photographers who want help, direction, and technical knowledge about photographing our favorite subjects—automotive beauty. Team Revvolution is here to assist those who want to advance their photographic skill set. All you need to do is reach out. Until then, we present our choices for this week's Top 10 Automotive Media Volume VII.
Clarity. Exposure. Sharpness. Tone. Contrast. Subject. These are all qualities that define a great photograph. And they're exactly what we're looking for. For the first couple of weeks, we will provide a little insight into why we chose these images so that everybody can better understand what we and our community are looking for.
Composition. Composition. Composition. That's what really sets this shot apart from all the others. Yes, of course, the Verde Ithaca Lamborghini Gallardo is stunning as it sits poised, but that's more the endgame when viewing this image. What immediately draws our eyes is the framing—the "picture-perfect" composition and how William developed a setting that allowed the surroundings to complement the subject. We're specifically referring to the chain-link fence that sits to the right of the image. While it's considered the foreground of this image, it's not the focus (because it's literally not in focus, but that's the point). It helps to frame and drive our eyes to what we should be looking at. Photographers will often use a wall or barricade (motorsports) to help establish depth or aid in framing a subject, but this photo goes a step beyond, as it's semitransparent, allowing the viewer to actually explore what's behind. Great overall composition!
Photo Credit: William Stern
As with many of our Top 10 images, it's the light painting that really captivates the audience in this image. The way Jeremy purposely painted each individual subject and then composed the image allows the famous Ferrari "Rosso Corsa" red to really pop from the heavily contrasting (dark) background. Naturally strong contrasting images are typically powerful, and in the world of automotive photography, powerful equates to a sense of awe.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Cliff
Nathan's shot is one of those lifestyle captures that really conveys the emotion and feelings of an early morning track day. You can almost feel the cool, crisp morning air as the sun peeks over the horizon, casting a warm glow over all the subjects. Yet another level of depth is accentuated by the faint lens flare that transverses the image, casting its tonal properties across the subject.
Photo Credit: Nathan Leach-Proffer
What really stands out in this image is the awesome location and lighting of the Nissan 350Z. There's considerable depth shown in the paint, as we can see the subtle curves and lines of the car. This is an element that sometimes gets lost when lighting a vehicle with an external light source and something we as photographers need to be wary about. Not only does the lighting show all the details of the car, but it's also evenly illuminating the candy apple red, giving it that high-end production look. Ciprian chose a neutral-toned industrial location that certainly complements the car. Being able to look far into the background and out the tunnel adds even more acuity to the photograph.
Photo Credit: Ciprian Mihai
Sunlight is often at its best when it just starts to dip below the horizon. It makes for long shadows and a warmer, softer quality of light as opposed to the harsh sunlight at high noon. These longer shadows add contrast and depth to an image. Situated before a vast expanse of land, the rocky earthen foreground and picturesque landscape in the background depicts this car in a light that is seldom shown. We're used to seeing exotics in showrooms or parked in a VIP parking lot. Gil breaks from this trend by moving from the man-made asphalt into Mother Nature, which can have a profound effect on how a photograph feels.
Photo Credit: Gil Folk
Rig shots are always a welcome sight in automotive photography. They convey a sense of speed and motion. You can almost hear the branches whizzing by as the turbo continues to spool and the red Evo pops from the green foliage. The location works well because rig shot skies are often blown out because of the long shutter speed. With the trees in the background, more depth and interest are added to the photo. When stopping down the aperture a lot, you have to be careful about any sensor dust or debris on the lens, which will become visible and show up as little fuzzy dots throughout the image. It's also important to make sure the camera doesn't shake while attached to the car because the camera will pick up any vibrations, making the image a bit soft. Shaun is certainly off to a great start with his rig shots, and we look forward to seeing his future work.
Photo Credit: Sean Jeroski
The lighting on this angelic-white Nobel M12 GTO is spot-on, with highlights on every curve and line of the car. You can really understand the wicked aero of this car. Regarding atmosphere, there's almost a grungy aspect to the image with the textured brick-and-plaster wall behind the car. It really ties everything together nicely. What Damian did well is using the ambient light to his advantage to separate the car from the background, and the brake lights create an eerie red glow on the pavement. The passing light trail drags the viewer's eyes along the curves of the car. A nice effect and implied movement are created by utilizing the randomness of a passing car.
Photo Credit: Damian Hock
We like the simplicity of this image. It's difficult to simplify motorsport images because so many different elements may come into play—perhaps another car, spectators, or a group of other photographers ruining your shot. Here, the especially shallow depth of field eliminates any distractions and renders the background and foreground into a nice, smooth bokeh, allowing the car to show through. Robert's composition and low angle makes you feel as if you are actually lying on the track—a nice touch! The image is so detailed that you can see the concentration in the driver's eyes!
Photo Credit: Robert Larsson
We often see automotive photographs with industrial, architectural, or urban settings. When you find that perfect place that complements the subject, a big portion of the work is complete. Incorporate that with the perfect time of day (when the setting is outside), a proper atmosphere, and even the perfect season (think fall colors), and you have the making of a stunning image. Marcel's elevated shoot perfectly captures the distant city at dusk while a dense, silky fog rolled in, perfectly complementing the smooth, flowing lines of this Toyota Supra Turbo.
Photo Credit: Marcel Lech
This image is an exploration of light regarding both the subject painting and the atmospheric or background elements. While we believe the overall tone of this image could be cooled down a bit, the photographer did a good job establishing an overall tone and sticking with it. Even with the warmer colors of the background combined with the warmth of the strobes, the color of the Porsche 997 Turbo still maintains its depth and quality. An intriguing composition.
Photo Credit: Maurice Etoile