I’m now entering my tenth month with crankandpiston, and it’s a pretty cool place to work. We’re never sure what multi-horse powered supercar or classic muscle car is going to roll into the garage next, so as a car lover I’m in my element! And having spent years working hard creating a look for my photography, of which I’m very proud, the opportunity to showcase them here is just awesome!
Recently though the guys at the office asked me a question that caught me off-guard: ‘which has been your favourite crankandpiston shoot?’ That’s difficult to answer, since there are quite a few I have a soft spot for. You guys have probably already seen the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Jaguar XFR pieces, and the Dubai 24hrs video. Choosing just one of them is difficult, but perhaps I’ll have an answer for you guys some day.
One shoot in particular did spring to mind though, and that was the time we shot the 45th Anniversary Edition Chevrolet Camaro SS alongside the then-crankandpiston Management Fleet Camaro SS convertible. Unfortunately these images got put on the backburner, and never made it to the site proper. But it’s a set I really want to share with you.
This shoot was done a few months ago, and at the time, things were ridiculously busy in the office. So much so that we actually took these photos on a Saturday afternoon, although this proved to be an accidental bonus. For the Camaros, I wanted a backdrop that was very rugged and uncomplicated. Something that in itself was outstanding but which at the same time epitomised what the cars stood for.
Of course, neither myself nor James – whom I’d recruited to carry lights, lift boxes and generally make himself useful – knew where we could find a location that hadn’t been done to death, and it took us an hour or so of driving around before we eventually stumbled across this building site. And I loved it!
One of the challenges for me is creating colour from a setting that is very neutral. Aside from the gorgeous blue sky, there’s a lot of white, grey and black in these pictures. It would be so easy to take boring, standard shots but I don’t like doing that. I like my images to be vibrant, and to show some character. And this setting and these cars have some serious character!
I also love how the sun shines down onto the struts in the roof, creating these amazing shadows on the ground. Their linear nature makes the background seem so far away, almost like the location itself stretches forever. That’s why a lot of these images are shot very low down, to really emphasise the sense of distance and space. It was important to include a lot of the building’s architecture, to really capture this perspective. The latticework on the support beams looks pretty cool anyway, but they also really helped create a lot of symmetry in each picture. Almost like there’s a frame within the frame.
This shot I particularly like. The two Camaros side-by-side had quarter mile drag race written all over it! It did take us a while to get the cars lined up inside the shadows but I think the effect is amazing.