Photographing cars was the reason I got my first camera. I’ve always been a big car guy, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by my current ride; a Scion xB. Maturing sucks. My brief 10 year driving history includes having my name under an 87 300ZX, 96 300ZX, 94 RX-7, 99 Subaru 2.5 RS, and now…. the box. Unfortunately a fire-spitting RX-7 can’t haul all of my photography gear.
Back on point, after a 2-3 year hiatus of not shooting cars (focused on people and designing), I got an itch to shoot Lauren’s new Volvo C30… that, and I had a day left of renting the Canon 15mm 2.8 lens for the Ashley Knights Jr. photoshoot (hence the same location!). I wanted to focus on just 1 shot, a motion/rig shot. This technique used to be a super tight-lipped secret up until a few years ago. I like to think I was one of the first digital photographers to figure out how to take this kind of picture. Along with names like Easton Chang, Luke Munnell, and Jason Siu come to mind as well. Back then I was using a 2.5mp “state-of-the-art” Olympus camera lol. In fact it was a rig shot that gave me my big break in the automotive industry, and opened a lot of doors. Now with the spread of blogs, tutorials, and every photographer out there willing to share every shred of knowledge in a youtube video for any kind of fame, the secret isn’t so, secret.
Unedited image. Despite an occasional car at 3am, the famous tunnel had very little traffic.
My trusty rig, totals 12′ in length. Got the piping specialty cut at some NASCAR shop in North Carolina years ago.
The two 6′ poles are connected with a slightly smaller diameter metal sleeve, and held together by… yes, paper clips. I may not have the fanciest rig on earth, but I dare say it’s the most practical!!
I almost felt like I was 16 again shooting my buddies cars long after midnight. In hindsight I would of done a few things differently for this Volvo image, but it’s a good starting point to my revamped interest in shooting things with 4 wheels instead of just 2 legs.
Speaking of when I figured out how to take rig shots, this is it! I was playing around and took my first unintentional rig shot in May of 1999 in the East Tennessee State University garage one night of my beloved Subaru Impreza. Since then, the camera has gotten much further away from the car.