Point and shoot?

Car photography is not that simple

Nissan E NV200
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In the last few days I’ve been sent some stunning pictures of the Jensen featured in this recent blog post. Photos by a consummate professional.

I love taking pictures as much as I love admiring cars, but when you look at mine and his, they’re streets apart.


Jensen -interceptor -1

Much shinier...

Jensen -direct -gap

It’s obvious that there’s more to photography than clicking the shutter. Once I sat in on a car shoot and found out exactly how much more. It wasn’t a shoot for one of these vintage classics or even the gleaming lines of a new muscle monster. A much more prosaic vehicle: the Nissan eNV200 - Nissan’s first electric van. One had been set free in the highlands of Scotland in the hands of mountain bike journalist, editor of Singletrack magazine (and incidental petrolhead) - Chipps Chippendale - and Nissan was keen to record the moment.

After a couple of hours merely setting up the van in a carpark, I learned the slow way that those adverts where the sun picks out the glowing contours of lustrous paintwork aren’t just fortuitous moments. Every ray of light is planned.

Dave Smith, the car photographer, arrived with his kit and his colleague. As they unloaded it was quickly clear that it wouldn’t be a mere couple of snaps. We were handed a chamois each and what appeared at the start to be a nice new clean van was given a fully comprehensive clean and buff. After an hour or so, there was not a spec of road dust on it. Wheels were blackened, windows shined.

Car Photographer In Action

Then the car was positioned. And so were lights. Every contour was considered. Internal flashes thought out, so that the interior was illuminated (or not) as required. The final touch was the photographer standing on a box to get just the right angle!

By then it was lunch time… and it was time to go for a drive.

If you’ve ever wondered how photographs of cars on open roads framed by glorious landscapes of mist covered mountains are taken, I can tell you.

The subject is driven at a very steady 30mph whilst the photographer’s car, just ahead, pulls into the middle of road with the photographer hanging out of the passenger side, aiming for the perfect angle. Just a tad precarious if you ask me.

Long lonely roads are preferred - not just for the stunning landscapes but also for decent views of the - hopefully occasional - oncoming traffic so that a nice smooth pull in can be achieved. Nothing to see here…

Really the road needs to be narrow enough to be unmarked (no official wrong side of the road) but wide enough to allow a bit of latitude to get a good angle on the subject. Both the drivers need to maintain a very steady pace and consistent gap to allow the photographer to get to work.

I wish I’d taken a photo but I was hanging on in the passenger seat trying not to ruin the shoot by looking terrified.

Nissan E NV200 Pro Photo w

The results were pretty stunning and showed that the little electric van was actually up to big terrain. We took it from Scotland’s highest village, Tomintoul, to Ballater over the gloriously remote Lecht road and through picturesque valleys, posing on bridges on the way.

Links you might like:

The article (with more pictures) is on the Singletrack Magazine website.

More amazing car photography from GR Automotive Photography.


By Beate Kubitz at 25 Oct 2017, 00:00 AM