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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:


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And some of us:

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


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