The owner of this Lotus and I had met up for lunch weeks prior to the shoot to talk about ideas and locations. He was looking for a “different” kind of shoot and offered to give me full freedom with it, letting me shoot wherever and as long as I’d like! It seemed like we both had the same eye for photography and wanted to do something off the beaten path in terms of traditional automotive photography. We agreed to meet soon at a later decided upon location. Soon though, weddings and other projects got in the way, and the shoot kept getting delayed. It looked as though it was going to take forever to set a date into stone!
That is until one day a client that I’d booked at MSR Houston was unable to make the shoot. Not wanting to waste the amazing opportunity of an open track for shooting, I thought hard about who to call. Then the Lotus popped into my head! With only two hours notice, I called the owner and offered to shoot his car at MSR. Just as excited about the prospect as I was, he dropped everything and drove an hour from his home to the track to begin shooting.
The track coordinators were gracious enough to let both the owner and I out onto the track after closing time, giving us full access to every turn and even the “crow’s nest” where the checkered flag is waved. We tooled around the track looking for nice vantage points, stopping periodically to set up and shoot. I wanted to get as many “track” elements in as possible, so I paid close attention to the striped curbing, barrier walls and other elements that are unavailable in most of the locations that I shoot.
A storm was rolling in as we were concluding our shoot, which lit up the sky with a great orange-purple light. I took advantage of the soft, warm lighting to get a few detail shots of the Lotus, which is incredibly beautiful when viewed up close. The sweeping lines intersecting at the rear fenders were my favorite element, and I did my best to photograph them in the flattering light.
In the waning light we set up the rig, which I hadn’t used in months. It was great to dust it off and use it again, and the results were great on the smooth surface of the track! I also took a video while I processed the rig shot, which is available below.
I hope that these photos are a bit different than most automotive shots that you see. I wanted to experiment with angles, elevations and light to reach an outcome that normally isn’t thought of. I can’t thank the owner enough for giving me free reign with the shoot, as well as helping out with flash placement and the positioning of the Lotus every step of the way! Thanks also to MSR Houston for their kind offering of the track for the photos – they just wouldn’t be as special without the location!
On to the photos!
A video featuring the breakdown of the rig shot!