It’s four o’clock on a Friday afternoon.The mobile rings. A request to handle a project that needs to be completed by Monday 9 am without fail. This can be the challenging and darn right rewarding life of the professional corporate photographer. The brief is to photograph an Audi A1 for a conference that is being held the following Tuesday. The situation seems pretty straight foreword. Go out and photograph a car to the brief, there you have it.
The agency has been instructed that the car needs to be shot as a rear view. Just the boot area and this is going to be printed to full scale and displayed at the conference. The first thing to do here is start calling all local Audi dealerships to see who has a clean car and were they happy for me to photograph on site. After about one and a half hour calling around I had found some possibilities.
Early that Saturday morning I set out with cameras at the ready. What a lovely day! Though told it may have some bright spell by the weather channel the strong wind with horizontal rain patches was something to be desired. I travelled to the first location and managed to shoot a car out in the car park at a dealership.
All pretty pleased here called and reported the shoot was in the bag. But found the brief has now changed and that it’s been decide that the boot of the car needs to open to see the inside of the car. This was obviously not the initial brief. They can change like that! I’ve now outstayed my welcome at this dealer and need to find a new one to accommodate me. Later that morning a result and found a dealer that was a fair distance drive but had a car in a showroom out of the not so good weather conditions. Perfect. I shot the car using daylight and the lights from the dealership with just a small fill in flash and due to only the one angle needed here it was off back to the studio.
It had been decided that the image needed was to represent a car at the show. My goal here was to have a finished piece of artwork ready for the printer to produce a life size display. The conference set people were going to use the boot shelf area to display a particular product at the conference. The first stage was to do a cut out around the car to separate the background. Not an easy job cutting around smooth curvy lines especially when it’s ending up a life size image. Any imperfections would show here. The car interior was black so lightening was needed to give it some detail in the upholstery. Then I needed to replace the glass areas with cloud due to being able to see the car showroom within the front screen through the car. How best to do that, go outside and shoot the sky so you have a reality image to drop in.
This then was a procedure of making various layers and also masking wanted areas to be able to compile the end result. All reflections had to be removed on the paintwork of the car and highlights painted in to give it the overall effect. The number plate was an actual shot to give its shape and colour and logo added later. Finally I had the all clear on the finished piece of artwork ready to be uploaded to the printers at 6pm Sunday evening. That was my weekend!