2017’s Salon Prive loomed larger than ever and this was our first year as their visual partners. This year the event kicked off with a tour of the countryside around Blenheim with stops for drinks and lunch at The Swan in Bibury and Slaughter’s Inn in Lower Slaughter respectively.
Tour day started out wet, immediately presenting the usual outdoor photography challenges. Wet cameras and lenses at the beginning of a long few days of shooting is a definite no no although we’re yet to find camera rain covers that you can actually see anything through…
We actually really enjoy the artistic aspect of rain on cars, it offers lots of opportunity for arty narrow depth of field shots of water droplets on bodywork but these aren’t particularly useful in terms of the photography brief on these events.
We last saw Bruce Lavachek's beloved Ferrari 500 TR on the lawn at Blenheim Palace, when he was invited back to enjoy Salon Prive a year on from winning Best in Show.
This car was restored by DK Engineering and David Cottingham went on to race it at Goodwood in 2015.
It was wonderful to have the opportunity to photograph this very beautiful vehicle in the infinity cove. James at DK Engineering arranged to have the car transported to us and we planned a full on day of photography and filming.
We started the day photographing from every angle using our Profoto flash kit and our industrial turntable in the infinity cove to enable us to create one of our trademark interactive hi res spins. The set up for this takes a great deal of time to ensure the lighting works without any reset as the car turns round. We took images from various heights and distances to make a choice of spins.
Rupert was in charge of filming and was using the Panasonic Varicam LT with a variety of lenses. He set up a black backdrop whilst leaving the car in the cove. This gives us the added benefit of being able to bounce light around whilst showing the car off against the black.
Being able to use the turntable to move the car around saves an awful of time and equipment rental! No dolly and track required for those turning shots when you can choose the speed and direction of turn with the touch of a button. Rupert was filming under tungsten light, even with the ongoing development of LED, there is nothing to beat the creamy highlights and complete gamma that tungsten offers - one of the few constant light sources that miss nothing on the colour spectrum and produces no flickering whatsoever at any frame rate.
The final part of the day was turned over to Boo Hunnisett and her extraordinary eye for detail.
One of the most important things on these sorts of shoots is preparation, not only of the camera gear and the details of the shoot but also of the vehicle you are shooting. It is worth mentioning that this Ferrari was delivered from DK Engineering with possibly the finest degree of valeting and detailing we've ever seen - you can see this particularly well from the engine shot below. Thanks DK Engineering!!