2018 has been a busy old year with lots of events and commissions, so I thought I’d go back through my photos, and revisit a few of my favourites. A touch narcissistic I know, but it seems to have gone by in such a blur that it’s good to take stock sometimes.
So from a not-so-short list of 203 photos, I’ve chosen thirty of my absolute favourites and ranked them in some sort of preferential order. I’ve also tried to give a little bit of an insight into each one.
So without further ado, let’s get cracking…
#30: The one with the purple paint job
In hindsight, maybe I should have chosen something a bit more spectacular to kick things off, but I really wanted to include this shot so it snuck in at number 30.
Although it doesn’t possess any great artistic merit, I think this shot captures the DIY spirit (quite literally) of Retro Rides Gathering. If you’ve never experienced RRG, it’s the complete antithesis of most car shows; low-dollar, highly creative customisation is the order of the day, often using the most unlikely base car. In this case, a mid-90s Nissan Micra automatic and a pot of B&Q emulsion.
#29: The one where the early bird catches the bacon roll
I always try to get to an event as early as possible, to capture the moments before the mayhem and give added context to the photoset. This was taken at Goodwood Revival, just as the paddock was waking up and having breakfast in the gorgeous early morning sun.
It’s a shot of serenity and calm that provides a nice counterpoint to the hustle and bustle of later shots. And that light…
#28: The one that couldn’t be more Coventry if it tried
Back in June, I was commissioned by Classic Car Weekly to cover Motofest Coventry, an annual event where the entire city centre is surrendered to thousands of visiting classic cars.
I knew I’d need a ‘hero image’ for the article’s header so, as usual, I was constantly assessing how the event was shaping up and looking for that one special image that summed up the day.
This was an early contender, taken just as the first cars were arriving. It wasn’t the easiest shot to compose, as I wanted to cram as much Coventry into the shot as possible: the Grade II-listed Council House, the world-famous Cathedral and locally-built Armstrong Siddeley, all decorated by the blue sky and blooming flowers… A picture postcard of the city’s rich motoring heritage.
However, to get the shot meant folding myself in half in the muddy flowerbed so as not to disturb or destroy the flora, choking on exhaust fumes as I patiently (and painfully) waited for the right car to pass by.
Never let it be said that I don’t suffer for my art.
#27: The one with the fake lens flare
This year, I started to tinker with lens flare added in post-production. I can’t remember who or what inspired this approach, but experimentation and play is an integral part of the continued evolution and progression of a photographer.
There are some people who poo-poo the idea of enhancing imagery through post-production, but I’m not one of them. I’ll happily clone out distracting elements from my photos to give a cleaner look, and to me, this is just the next step on from that.
At the end of the day, this ain’t National Geographic. It’s just a car in a shed.
#26: The one where I lay it on the line
This one is all about that leading line; the white line that leads your eye into the image where it’s free to explore the detail of the car and the reactions of the passers-by.
A simple image, but no less interesting for it.