Volvo C30: Same tunnel, same old tricks

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.

The Great Recession

Clinton has now been in front of my camera 3 times. Previously with a gritty downtown LA theme, and a cowboy/western theme. This time he wanted a fashion theme. I wasn’t sure what he was going to wear until he knocked on my door… Pointed black shoes, grey wool slacks, leather gloves, and a matching grey wool beret? 1920’s here we come! Which would go PERFECT with my loft’s atmosphere since it was built in the 1920’s and well maintained since then.

World of Whirlcraft

Another shoot at my new pad in downtown LA (freakin love this place!). This time with Lyz. Short and sweet is her name, and her personality is just the same. Believe it or not she’s an avid World of Warcraft gamer! I can hardly get my sister to play Halo 3, let alone coax a model into playing one of the most addictive life-ruining, insomnia-inducing game in existence! You can never tell a book by it’s cover… well, sometimes, but definitely not in Lyz’s case.

From neat to street

Time to break in my new AlienBee lights (1 ABR800, 2x AB1600), and trusty PocketWizard transmitters. I feel like I’m just picking up the camera and shooting cars 5 years ago, and feel that inspiration and drive once again. So now it’s shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot. Not all of my shots will be exactly what I want, but eventually I’ll get closer to that goal.

Ripping up Los Angeles Streets

Clinton Thompson’s everyday outfit usually consists of a bright pastel polo with plaid shorts and sandals. Easily one of the nicest guys I know. And oddly enough we’re the same height, weight, and he moved from South Carolina (Greenville) to LA just like me! Yes we knew each other before moving to LA. Small world.

This shoot was my first model photoshoot that felt real… As in… fully charged my equipment, scout locations, thought of a direction for the shoot, and had great help from my assistant Lauren and photo buddy John Batte. For the shoot I primarily used an Alien Bees ABR800 for main light, and a Canon 580ex for fill light. The goal for the shoot was to turn a real world nice guy into a gritty bad guy. Enough babbling, here are some untouched images:

The location had a power plant in the background, wicked power lines, and a pile of pavement rubble… All a few miles from downtown Long Beach, CA. The sun was just right to get a beautiful graduated sky. Cali never disappoints with pleasant weather and even more pleasant sunsets.

OK so even though I loved the location, and the sun was just right, I was still sticking to my original art direction of compositing him into a badass city background. Again the main goal of the shoot was to turn Clinton from a J. Crew model into a gritty character:

Look familiar?

Some dust added, with downtown LA in the background.

This shot is a compilation of about 8 different photos. No streets were harmed in the making of this image. Take a look below for some of the main images used.

All in a nights work… well maybe less if my computer had more RAM! I must say the most challenging part was distressing the pavement where his feet and hands once were.

All smiles after the shoot is done! See I wasn’t lying about us being the same height/weight!… though he could probably beat me in arm wrestling.