Skip to main content

BMW 5 Series Launch


Shooting a car launch always promises to be fun. A car launch is a multi-disciplined affair, if you choose to approach it more than just an event. I arrive with a full compliment of lighting, stands and thingemebobs, to make sure I’m prepared for any eventuality. I look to supply the client with: images of the actual vehicle being launched in the milieu of the launch (automotive photos in this case), landscapes, interiors and details shots creating a sense of the environment, shots of the promo material and various elements of the event organising, social images, corporate PR type images for media, and even food if it makes part of the event. No wonder this type of things suits me like a glove.

When you’re shooting a BMW 5 –series, it promises to be stylishly fun. READ: great locations, great food, intelligent conversation. However, if you need to photograph 5 of these monsters being driven by journo’s putting it through it’s paces on a 300km, non-circular route, and you need to catch them from the front as they pass by, on 2 locations…, mathematics and logic will tell that we need to pass them on at least 2 occasions.

Problem: I’m driving a Chev Aveo 1.5 LS on the day. They are driving a selection of new BMW 5 series luxury saloons. They are not concerned about speed traps. Solution: know shortcuts. Know their route better than they do. Have fuel in your car.

We started the day at the airport, where the journalists were received from their various locations, then chauffeur driven (them, not us) to Dornier Estate is Stellenbosch, for a light lunch and introduction to the car and explanation of the route. Then the journo’s got the opportunity to drive the cars. Roundabout here we started speeding like crazy to get to the Du Toit’s Kloof Pass; first lookout. We did this with 30 minutes to spare. How – their route took them via Wellington and Malmesbury. If you do the math, you’ll realise they must’ve been driving a scary speeds to close the gap to only 30 minutes.While waiting we encountered this local and his wild friend:

20100520_0243 The wild friend was wearing nothing but a jock-strap and leisurely watching the world pass in front of his 4x4 mobile home. Ah well. Then, having photographed the first couple of Beemers passing by, we chased back to Franschhoek Pass, while the convoy went over the mountain, approaching Franschhoek from Villiersdorp. Here as well, we had some time to kill and shoot some imagery for our video, below.

After our Franschhoek stop, we chased to Helshoogte Pass, but arrived simultaneously with the BMW’s, which is pretty awesome, given our spec, but not early enough to shoot them coming up the mountain towards Delaire. At Delaire we made some more pretty images of the car, shot the technical presentation that followed, and had to decline an awesome dinner at the restaurant to get back home after a 12-hour shoot day. The next morning early we had another shoot, so we had to get some rest.

Herewith some moments and some final images:


20100520_0027   20100520_008820100520_0058 20100520_0132 20100520_0148 20100520_0147 20100520_016220100520_0198 20100520_0284 20100520_0339 20100520_0356  20100520_0369 20100520_0401 20100520_0438 20100520_0451  20100520_0408




And some of us:

20100520_0266 20100520_026920100520_0292

20100520_0274 20100520_0291

To come: shooting the brand new 2010 Chevrolet Spark 1.2 Press Pack and Launch. Watch this space.


Popular posts from this blog

Dangerous Photography Jobs is taken from the above article, with permission:Photography can be a case of life or death. It may sound absurd, but professional photographers often go to great lengths and compromise their safety in order to get the perfect picture. Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph Mount Everest or a mission to cover the Iraq war, many photographers risk their lives just to do their job. Here are 10 dangerous photography jobs: Extreme Weather Photography
Extreme weather photographers aren’t storm chasers, but they do have an eye for photographing hurricanes, tornados, thunderstorms and other severe weather in their most vulnerable state. As you can imagine, this job is nothing short of extreme. Extreme weather photographers have to get close to the storm when everyone else is running from it, which puts them at risk for injuries and often death. BASE Jumping & Skydiving Photography

Wiel - Hummer 3 - Hennie Bosman

When I was asked to shoot Shihan Hennie Bosman (highest qualified karateka outside of Japan in Kyokushin Karate, 8th Dan) and the Hummer 3 for a short feature, with no brief, except a location, I knew it was going to be interesting. I was basically told to do something action-orientated (Hennie has done stunt-work with the likes of Wesley Snipes and JC van Damme), and just go to x location and get back with pics ASAP.

With no budget for Propak 7IIB's, and the shoot being set-up for midday, I turned to my trusty polariser to get the mood and went ahead to just play with a very willing Hennie. Brett Hamilton, who wrote the feature, tagged along to hold a reflector, and to represent the mag and make sure I don't totally go wild. (He is a really able reflector holder and has earned the title of Le Gaffer)

After making Hennie do kicks from the bonnet of the car, jumping on the roof, awarding it a black-belt (I know...), screaming, making faces, driving the car through mud and having …

Portrait Shoot: Pierre van Heerden

So a number of years back I did a shoot of Pierre van Heerden, South African actor, musical performer, playwright and comedian, at my old studio. It was just for fun, really. I was exploring some portraiture ideas, for a project I was considering at the time. We had a great time shooting these, exploring some cool ideas as we spent the morning talking rubbish, laughing and drinking coffee.

Fast forward some years later, and he contacted me to do an update of the images, but this time for his book.

The images were meant for publicity purposes, his marketing material and such, but what I want to share here is just some of the expression shots we did once we had those in the bag. Working with an actor in stills is great, as they know their face, they know expressions and have a large selection of facial "skills" to employ for a portrait.

I would simply call out a bunch of emotions/expressions and he would comply each time.

The "30 second portrait" I made is an idea…