Photography Lesson, er … Diatribe

Finally, some photography of a 944 by someone who knows what he/she/they is/are doing.  Here is an example of, imho, the best view of the styling of the 944 (although I might have done some details slightly differently)…

Many cars can look a bit better from a high-angle view like this, maybe even a Prius.  Try it on a 911, but you might have to contend with its pudenda and vulva qualities.  The spreads for the Avant-Garde Collection cars probably could benefit from the addition of this approach, as the Avant-Garde look has become so recognizable as to border on cliche.

Speaking of cliche, over the years cars have been so exhaustively photographed that extreme measures have to be taken to avoid that trap.   Like Tom’s approach with his night-lighting work.

But almost everything is cliche in automotive photography.  Thanks considerably to Instagram and the interwebz.   Not to mention Photoshoppery.

My favorite way of doing a straight documentation-type take is from high angle, and I have tried often with the Blue Rascal.  But my way of bypassing cliche over-use is to do a counterplay of other lines and angles in the frame, especially with roadway and street markings and abuse of shadows.   Usually I just give up, as I’m usually in a transitory situation and only have a minute or two to deal.  I once tried a high-angle, third floor take on the ‘Rascal but for the variations that had my body stretched on the ground alongside, I realized I would need a production crew of sorts.  What I really was considering — and try visualizing it with the BaT 944 example I mentioned above — was to place a nude lying in parallel and in tune with the vanishing point.  Maybe Professor Roy might be inspired to do a Photoshop implementation of the concept …

Automotive photography distress is further complicated by compound curves and highly reflective surfaces.  A friend in LA shoots cars for publication, or did — he’s mostly retired now, I think — in tightly controlled circumstances inside darkened warehouse studios with elaborate lighting setups, often surrounding the entire car, including top-down and bottom-up. 

So for something that looks fresh and new in auto photography we have to mostly look for the content itself, and ignore the cliched angles and approaches in favor of fixing our attention on new models and new styling details and the like.  Action photography is something else, of course, and that stands to be infinitely variable.  Maybe, sort of.

Along these lines, for the past few years — especially since the advent of the pandemic, it seems to me — is the obligatory drone shot, straight down of city streets and traffic in almost everything you can stream these days.  And I’m just waiting for comprehensive, close fly-by drone coverage of the cars to show up and become de rigueur in BaT listings …

P.S. I am writing this at around 2 a.m, as I cannot sleep and am somewhat in grieving over the prospect of having to decline Jim’s invitation to join him on an outing to see vintage motorcycles on display in Pasco (prepositional decay alert).  But we can all look forward to his report, hopefully with photographic illustration.

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