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Automotive Perspectives : volume 1



Introduction: The purpose of this book is to give insight, inspiration, and reading pleasure to any viewer who chooses to pick up a copy. Including, but not limited to, those looking to push themselves within any form of media. First, let me introduce myself. My name is Tim Pointer, and I’m an automotive enthusiast. I’ve created the photography company known as Torque Spec and have been shooting automotive for about five years now. The company has done quite well, and I have many new experiences because of it. Everything in this book makes me vulnerable. I’m a college student with a tight budget, so there is often a lot of improvisation of more expensive photo gear. There are tips, tricks, and stories that are both good and bad experiences. I hope that you, the reader, can enjoy this book as I have enjoyed the process of making it. Just because my experiences went this way, doesn’t mean that this is a rule book. It’s all about creativity and doing what you love. I’m constantly pushing myself to become a better photographer, it is very likely you will see both weak and strong work published in here. All of which have been a learning experience for me over time. There is no specific chronological order for the photos and sets within this book. They are mixed in a way that make sense with the topic being covered.



Behind the Scenes

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Ratty or Not, Here I come

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No Hoodlums!

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Composition

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Gear

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Cleanup Crew

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Rule Number One

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Light in the Darkness

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The End Goals

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Mike Messineo : The Introduction B

week after posting to multiple sites and I was not

around custom built cars hardly exceeded a Need

getting responses from anybody at all. After

For Speed video game. I have had a love for cars

nearly giving up on my goals I received this

all of my life and I thought it would be an amazing

message from Mike,

efore my first photoshoot, my experiences

opportunity to start documenting the newly found adventures I was experiencing being surrounded by cars in the city. Jumping right into a new world of photography was not an easy task, and it didn’t just

“Hey dude, what type of shots are you trying to get? I’ve got a ratty drift s14 you could take pictures of, but if you want rolling shots,

happen overnight. Until my path crossed Mike.

I probably won’t be able to help you because the

As a graphic designer at a design school, I didn’t

cops bugging me”

car isn’t registered or insured and I don’t need the

know a single person that shared the same interest in the automotive industry that I had. I was on the

What a relief that was! Rough and beaten up or

quest to find a photogenic vehicle to produce

not, I was not about to pass up the opportunity

magazine quality photos just to say I did it. I decided

to photograph a car that has been involved in

it would be a good start to reach out into different

motorsports across the country! I didn’t know it

car groups around the state in hopes that someone

at the time, but this was an open door that led to

would respond to my creative calling.

a world that I have always belonged in.

It was a great difficulty to find someone that

If becoming an experienced photographer were just

wanted to take a risk for me to take photos as a

that easy and simple, this book would be rather dull

beginner. Nobody with a nice car wanted free

and short. It has been a long journey, and has never

pictures of their car, who knew. It was almost a

ceased to be difficult. In fact, the first shoot was terrifying and extremely difficult.

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Doubts filled my mind that I would not be able to produce photos that would match the expectations that Mike had. The true curveball arrived when we went to set up the first photo. The car

This is exactly what I feared. It was Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Firstly, I was terrified that we could even compose the car in a way that would turn out well in pictures. Knowing that the car wouldn’t start, I had no idea what to do. Mike drove a long way to do this photoshoot in the city. The snapping must go on. Without hesitation, the car was pushed from the trailer, and unloaded by hand. It was completely up to me to tell Mike’s crew exactly where to push this car to make it look good. Yikes! What I later would find out is that positioning a car is a strikingly hard task even with a car that is drivable! I did not want to

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Mike and his crew followed my every command to arrange the car for each photo.


overwork Mike’s crew and make them frustrated at

across the country on multiple occasions.

my expense. The trick with this setup was to shoot a lot of detail shots without having to move the car too much. In the end, it turned out great! I learned to prep myself for the difficulties that could arise and to not panic no matter the circumstances. Without Mike and his crew, my automotive photography experience could have crashed and burned in an instant. They were extremely understanding, and I could not have asked for a better evening of taking photos. Meeting Mike on this day, led to many more photographic opportunities that I had only dreamed of before. He has invited me to join his crew to go

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Brandon and Donovon the quest for location

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on, I can quickly decide if a particular car would

components of creating a successful set of

match it rather than wasting the time driving to

photos while shooting as a creator (rather than as

the location to find out that it’s not working. It’s

a documenter of an event) is to envision the end

beneficial so that I can plan which direction or

result. It is extremely important to have a plan

order to take the client in if I am doing multiple

long before you even meet with the owner

spots for one photoshoot. Sometimes Google

of the car.

Earth is a great option as well. You can view the

oving forward; one of the most important

• Where are you going to go?

street view, and have access from miles away.

• How many cars are you planning to shoot? • Do you have enough room? • Is there access to where you want to be? • Will the vehicle match the scenery to create a successful composition? • Will bystanding people affect the location? • Is there a certain time the location will or will not work? Never stop scouting for locations that could work for a future photoshoot. I don’t care if you’re birdwatching, going Jet Skiing, camping in the boonies, or taking your cat for a walk, it is extremely important to keep your eyes open and acknowledge places that could work. I strongly believe that specific locations match specific types or characteristics for different vehicles. Sometimes having a well contrasted background is good, but other times it can fail you harder than your freshman Biology professor. The car needs to settle in with the overall composition, or else it will make little-to-no sense. After discovering potential locations that would work, make sure that you document them. Find what works best for you to keep them organized. Personally, I take a picture of the location with my phone and add it into a document with the precise location on a map. Having a photo to rely

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When you’re shooting and in doubt, make

Wellp. There goes the light that I planned to

the best of what you’ve got in front of you.

use to help capture the cars. The good news was

As good as scouting is, I have had countless

that I had planned to shoot on a street that led

experiences where scouting the location first

to the next location. We were able to get a few

did not work for me. Location scouting is great;

photos in this location before we ran out of light

when it works. But sometimes scouting doesn’t

completely. On to the night time shots.

go as planned. You show up to the location and it just doesn’t work. When I met with Brandon

We had high expectations rolling up to the final

and Donovon to shoot their Subaru and Fiat,

location; an office building with a gorgeous brick

Murphy’s Law once again struck hard.

roundabout. I hopped out, set up the camera,

Brandon was running late. We were waiting much longer than anticipated and losing light quickly. I planned to shoot some night exposures, but I really didn’t expect to shoot more than one or two of each car. Thanks to scouting locations, I wasn’t worried about time because I knew exactly which direction we would be headed in. By the time Brandon

and arranged the cars just as I wanted. It was

showed up I knew that we could get around and

composed perfectly. Click. Exposure one. Too

be set up long before sunset. Location scouting

dark. Well duh, I had my shutter speed set to

made it easy on me... or so I thought.

1/15 of a second instead of 15 seconds. Oops!

I adjusted the exposure and activated the

The first location we went to was an abandoned

shutter again for the base exposure.

building with an industrial looking parking area that I had scouted earlier that week. Room for

Not even two seconds into the exposure, a

two cars, easy access, and several perspectives

security guard comes flying in with his dinky

for different compositions. It was perfect. What I

little yellow light on the top of his minivan.

hadn’t planned for was the warzone that showed up when we arrived. The building had been torn down – in full construction mode with barriers surrounding the entire premise.

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“What are you doing here!? You need to leave now.”


Location number three ruined. That’s two out

Onto the improvisation. Find a spot. Anywhere.

of the three locations that I had in mind for the

The worst possible scenario that could happen to

night. When in an instance like this, it is always

me; was happening. I got lucky. Less than a mile

more beneficial to cooperate rather than risk

from where we were we found a corner that was

the trouble and potential tickets that the

tucked away beside the freeway that would fit

clients could receive. Typically any form of law

both cars. It wasn’t ideal, but it was more about

enforcement or business owner does not care

the overall experience rather than the outcome

if you are taking photos after business hours as

of the photos. If everyone that is involved in the

long as you are being respectful to the property,

photoshoot is having a good time you did your

but this guy was not enthused by our presence.

job properly. Create relationships that will last longer than a click of a button.

It didn’t take long before my phone was open to look at the location notes I had gathered

Use location scouting as a helpful tool, but not

prior. I couldn’t let these guys go with only

something to rely on. You never know where

a couple photos of each of their cars when I

you will end up, but with the ability to scout for

promised at least 10-20 of each. The biggest

locations it will be easier to pinpoint workable

problem was that every location in my notes

locations on the move. Being able to imagine a

was not big enough for two cars, or they were

composition is a great skill to have and location

on the complete other side of town.

scouting is the number one way to improve it.

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Compositions with Chase H

aving a location that successfully matches with

One of my favorite series of photos comes from an

a vehicle is only the beginning. An appropriate

impromptu stop at a Nissan dealership in Holland,

composition of the entire scene is crucial to have

Michigan after shooting a car meet with Chase. What

a photo that sticks out in a good way. The car has

originally began as a stop to admire the brand new

to be arranged in a way that makes sense overall

metallic gray 370Z in the parking lot, became one

and will simply lead the viewer’s eye into the main

of my most brilliant compositions ever. I was able

focal point of the image.

to frame Chase’s 350Z in a way that matched the Nissan sign to execute a flawless composition.

Chase, a close friend that I have met through taking photos, is always intrigued when I take photos of his

On top of that, we were able to incorporate the

Nissan 350Z. He’s the kind of person that is always

370Z in a way that composed well with Chase’s

up to exploring with me in the search of the perfect

350Z. The difficulty here was that we could not

composition no matter the distance or the time of

move the 370 in any way because the dealership

day. When showing up to a location, I often pace

was closed for the weekend. However, that didn’t

around to envision the perfect framing for each

stop my vision to grasp ahold of the body lines

photo while he patiently awaits direction to arrange

on each equally beautiful Z car.

his car at the perfect angle.

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Though the background isn’t necessarily perfect in the frames facing away from the dealership, the arrangements come across successful because of the overall composition and framing of the two cars. Having a friend like Chase to constantly push me to further my skills on a daily basis is extremely beneficial so that I can stay up to date on my skills for any upcoming shoot. Some of the most fun I have ever had involved Chase and his car. From cruising at high speeds dangling out of his window taking photos, to composing his car in various locations. The friendship that grows stronger each time we hang out is worth more to me than a thousand perfectly composed photos of the most expensive car in the world. What’s even greater about Chase, is that my skills can constantly improve at his expense of time, and he is completely satisfied to allow me to do so.

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THE GEAR Being on a college budget can be difficult when it comes to owning expensive gear. Improvisation is sometimes a must. But there are a few crucially important items that are necessary for different types of automotive photoshoots and events that I do. This list is always evolving, so enjoy a glimpse at my current setup! Camera & accessories They say it’s not the camera, it’s the photographer, and I totally agree. I have been very fortunate to be able to test out some of the newest gear available from a resourceful friend I have met who works for an insurance company. When he gets cameras that insurance has been claimed, I get to test them out and make sure everything functions as it should before returning them. It is a great trade-off because I get to use the most up to date gear free at cost. Most of the time there are absolutely no issues with the cameras themselves. I do have an older model Nikon as my “just in case” camera with multiple

lenses when I don’t have access to the insurance claim cameras. What’s awesome is that my personal lenses work on the loaner cameras as well. One thing that adds to the expense of photography is all the extra accessories. Long exposures and night edits require the use of a tripod and/or artificial lighting. I use a LED light bar, and often times external flashes. Though when in a pinch, I’ll pull my iPhone flashlight out. With automotive photography, in my opinion, the most important piece to have is a circular polarizing filter. The filter attatches to your lens and allows for different reflections and glares to be controlled or reduced. When it comes to events, extra SD cards, batteries and a charger are a must-have. This list could truly go on and on, but it is most important to utilize the gear that you do have available, and not to worry about what you do or don’t have.

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Image Handling To produce great photos, post-editing software is a huge part of the process. I use Adobe Bridge, Photoshop, and Lightroom on my Macbook Pro. Depending on what type of edit needs to be done to each particular photo will determine what program I work in. When I shoot my photos, they process in RAW format. The huge files are I keep an external hard drive in case something were to happen to my computer. It is so critical to keep a backup of files at all times.

Promotion No matter where I go, it is important to promote

Safety

Torque Spec Photography. I always have a stack of

Shooting automotive events is a dangerous gig.

decals and business cards that I am ready to give

It takes less than a second for something to go

out to anyone. It’s really cool to be able to see my

wrong at the track. Because of this, it is important to

business being promoted with large decals on so

stay on your toes and bring along the appropriate

many cars competing across the nation. Having a

safety gear. A bright safety vest is a must if you plan

solid brand spreads the word efficiently. Everyone

to be in areas that you risk your life in. You need

is a potential client, and that’s why promotion is so

to be visible to drivers and staff. I also bring an

important. When it comes to digital photos, I make

appropriate rated helmet for myself so I can take

sure to watermark the images I post. This serves as a

car-to-car photos from the inside different racecars.

“word of mouth” technique to lead others to hire me

Remember, safety is more important than photos!

as their automotive photographer.

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photoshop? Sometimes it’s necessary

K

photo I took left lens spots all over the place. The other problem that I was having was the contradicting background elements that would distract the viewer from the focus of the photo.

evin, another close friend of mine, let me do a

This included telephone poles and wires, traffic

photographic debut on the first vehicle wrap he has

lights, street lights, a water tower, a billboard,

ever done. He wrapped his built Kia with 3M royal

and even garbage in the foreground.

purple. The color was awesome and it was a secret to everyone at the time. My job was to show off his

With that being said, post edit saved my life for

work in a way that promoted his company and made

this shoot, as it always does. My first step was to

his car look good.

clear out all the nasty lens spots. A soft healing brush did the trick for me with ease. The same tool

The part of the wrap that stuck out most to

was used to clear most of the telephone wires and

me was his gas cap. He layed a decal with his

garbage, but when it came to the bigger elements

company logo down before wrapping it in the

a little bit of creativity was necessary. In one of the

royal purple. The aesthetic touch of layering

photos, I decided to insert a new background of

made the overall craftsmanship of the Optima

trees and grass.

ten times better. I’m typically not a huge fan of composite photos

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I will be honest, I had a few issues I had to deal

because I find them to be a little bit too fake for my

with for this shoot. I had shot a drift event a few

liking. But when it’s necessary to clear some of the

days prior, and I didn’t double check my gear

background distractions, I find it acceptable. This

before heading out. My lenses were covered in

was my first time swapping background elements

rubber tire debris and absolutely filthy. Every

completely and submitting it to a client.


Simple things can be removed easily in Photoshop using the cloning tool, healing brush, or even content aware selections.

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When I look back at it now, I wish I would have

overall composition of the photo to make it better

done it differently. But for a first attempt I find it to

than where I finished it, but that’s learning.

be acceptable. As a tip to anyone out there “cleaning up” their

Photography is a constant and consistent learning

photos after a shoot, make sure to end the photo

curve that never ends. Keep pushing yourself, look

in a place that is still believable. If you clean up too

at your images and be a harsh critic. Notice what

much, sometimes it’s more noticeable that things

you can improve for the next shoot, and listen to

are missing than it would have been if they were

your instincts. Sometimes you can’t spend 6 hours

left alone. For Kevin’s shoot, I feel like I could have

on one edit, and you have to crank out quick “clean

gotten away with a better arrangement, crop, and

ups,” so manage your time wisely.

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Brian’s Evo When I arrange and perform a photoshoot for a

Lancer Evolution. (Or Evo for short) Brian had

client, I am doing them a favor. So in return, I ask for

never heard his car before from the outside, and

a favor from them. What do I ask? I ask for a ride in

he figured who better to trust than me? What an

their car. Whether it is around the block, or 20 laps

awesome time that was. I feel like if I requested to

on a track, it’s one of the only requests I have of

drive a car from a new client, it might be a stretch.

the client. I love it.

Especially for the 100 thousand plus dollar cars. But when I’m handed the keys, no way am I going

Sometimes, a ride in the client’s car is the smartest

to deny the opportunity to take a drive through the

thing to do when setting up a composition. If you

city with style.

have to get into a specific location to shoot, it helps because then you don’t have to figure out how to hide the car you drove. Often times, I will meet with the client in a place that I know I can leave my car, and ride in their car to every location. That way I can keep looking ahead on my phone at my notes while they drive. I can also keep my eyes out for a potential location that I’ve never seen before. While being beneficial to the shoot, it’s also extremely fun to ride in all sorts of cars. From race cars to exotics, I’ve seen and riden in it all. It’s great. It truly makes me look forward to each and every occasion. There are plenty of rides that stick out in my mind. But only one so far that has had me behind the wheel. That was in Brian’s Mitsubishi

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LIGHT PAINTING M

past winter. Brock and Mike got a kick out of it, and

many of my photos in this book- is light painting.

couldn’t believe how fun it was. I had them help me

This technique puts you in full control of the

light different areas in the barn so I could frame it.

y all-time favorite photo technique -as seen in

outcome of your photos. The camera only captures light, so if you wear dark clothes and have a good

When we shot the series, it was pitch black in the

control on your light source, you can walk right in

barn. That’s perfect. You want it to be dark overall

front of your camera without it ever capturing you.

so you can control exactly where the light lands by directing it where you need it to be. When the

It’s one of my favorite techniques because you don’t

exposure begins, shine everything that need to

have to have fancy studio equipment to get a feel of

be lit. It works best if you do it in one clean

professionalism. I will usually take several exposures

pass. There is also an interesting technique to

and light passes for one single image and merge

purposefully leave behind light trails to make

them all in photoshop. I bought a 32” light bar from

a design within the frame.

Harbor Freight, as seen pictured earlier in this book. It works great, but will sometimes leave streaky lines

The series got featured by FRAM filters, one of

from the LED lights. There’s ways to work around it

the Steele brothers’ sponsors. This set was my first

though. For the price you can’t pass it up.

“official” piece to be published within the industry. Light painting can be done by anyone, no matter

I used a light painting technique to photograph

the budget. Give it a shot, explore with it, and have

the Steele brothers’ in-progress drift car builds this

some fun!

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The B&W Shops T

here are times that you will not have any clients

asking for photos, and there will be no events in sight. That should NEVER give you a reason not to take photos of what you love. What I like to do, is go out with a purpose. Have an end goal. Know what you want to shoot, and do the best you can to accomplish your goals. Or, if you have a specific skill you want to practice, by all means, practice! Practice photos do not have to be hung in a gallery or shown to anyone at all. Keep them for you, and figure out how to improve your skills for when they’re needed most. For this specific set, it was nearing the end of fall, when cars were getting tucked away and owners were hard to find. But I set a goal. The plan was to explore some of the local automotive repair shops, and only process them in black and white. It took research, communication, and planning to be able to access the locations.

If you don’t ask to access a location because you think they will say no, you’ve already got the answer you were expecting. But if you request an appointment to be made, it is quite possible that they will agree to it. Provide a few pieces from your portfolio, and see what they think. Chances are, you’ll be able to get the shots you wanted.

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Events and Oppurtunities

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Meet and Greet

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Shooting the Speed

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Social Media

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Car Meets: O

ne of the best ways to meet new clients is at

local events and gatherings. Being able to converse with owners while photographing their cars makes them enthusiastic about arranging a time to set up a time for an individual shoot. There are difficulties when shooting meets including the quantity of cars, crowds, lighting, and location. Meets are a great way to promote what you do, but the coverage is not always as good as you would have liked. Depending on the meet, whether it is a car’s and coffee event or a set up car show, it may be extremely difficult to get more than one or two photos of each car. This means that you should not attempt to spend a long time at one individual car. No matter how great the one car you want to shoot is; everyone at the meet is a potential client. That doesn’t mean skip out on the shots you want though. Take the photos you want to take, and have everything else as extra coverage. A good rule of thumb is to be one of the first to arrive, and last to depart. This way, you can capture the moment of the cars pulling in and setting up, and the speed of them taking off while leaving. Sometimes photos from car meets have nothing to do with the cars. And that’s great. Try to capture the human interaction and admiration that the vehicles can bring to people and their families.

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A

s I mentioned earlier, Mike Messineo introduced

My favorite type of track day shots are panned

me into a new chapter of automotive photography;

photos. To be able to follow through with a car at a

Drifting. And drifting has led me into many different

slower shutter speed takes practice, but the results

branches of racing.

are phenomenal. The background gets streaky, and the motion can clearly be seen.

Racing is one of the most enjoyable forms of automotive events. You get to see cars in action

The other thing to be aware of is the proximity

pushing their limits around corners on tracks

between the cars and yourself. There usually isn’t

designed for speed.

hefty barriers to tuck behind for safety so you have to be on your toes at all times incase a car loses

Because of the change of scenery, there are many

control in your direction. Know where to stand to be

techniques to be aware of. You never know what

in a safe location and still get the photos you desire.

will happen, so you always have to be prepared. Dial in your camera settings for the type of shot you

What’s awesome is that a track has many perspective

are trying to accomplish long before you click the

points for amazing photos. Being media approved

shutter and be prepared for the unexpected. At

at an event gives you all access to the track, pits,

times, cars will fly into the grass and spit out a trail

and other blocked off areas that the typical attendee

of dirt. There’s no real way to prepare for this other

would not be able to get to. Take advantage of the

than shooting with the settings you already set up.

access and shoot the unseen perspectives.

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B

For those of you who do not know, I am a huge

extremely important. Social media has became an

Datsun/Nissan Z enthusiast. I have had a few project

extremely beneficial tool to communicate. I recently

cars myself, and because of this I’ve been able to

took a vacation halfway across the country to visit

keep in contact with people who are building cars

family. Because of social media, I was able to link

just like mine. It’s amazing to be able to make a quick

up with Micahl Keltner to see his Brock Racing

post online and get an instant response.

eing in contact with people across the world is

Enterprises tribute Datsun. Micahl told me about a cars and coffee event near Denver, Colorado and invited me to tag along.

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Feeling the roar of the Winter Racing L28 made the photographic journey even more worth it. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to shoot the car in any locations other than the cars and coffee meet; but as always, I did the best I could at improvising. I was handed an opportunity to photograph and experience a car I’ve only seen in pictures because of social media. Networking is important, and it can lead you places you never thought were possible. Though I’m not huge on the dramatic posts across social media, as a whole it can be very useful to communicate with other automotive enthusiasts.

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The Crazy Stories

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Frightening Drivers

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Caged Life Saved My Life

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The Gridlife Moon

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Perspective Fraud

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T

hroughout my photographic journey, I have never

I met the driver at a car meet, and he insisted we go

been scared to ride in vehicles with people that I

take night exposures of his car afterwards. I agreed,

met the day of the shoot. Though it usually goes

as I usually do, and hopped into his car.

quite well, there have been a few instances where I could definitely have lived without getting in the

He was driving a bit sketchily, and I was a little

passenger seat.

concerned. What I hadn’t realized was the amount he had been drinking prior. What made it worse,

As everyone knows, some people drive very scarily.

was that he pulled out a bottle of whiskey, and

But for some reason, there are always some drivers

downed the entire thing while flying down the

that try to impress me when we’re out shooting their

freeway. I don’t get scared by many things, but

car. It’s almost like they have to prove to me that

this was insane. I have never held onto my seatbelt

their car is fast or something. I’ve ridden in a lot of

harder in hopes that it would save my life from this

cars. I know what’s fast, but that doesn’t mean I will

crazed man.

judge any car differently due to speed. Experiencing different types of driving and abilities

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Some people are shaky and nervously try to

is awesome. But when you fear for your life, it really

exceed the speed limit. Then there are others that

makes you worry about the next time getting into

cannot shift for the life of them and make for a very

a “stranger’s” car. Attempt to assess the driver long

uncomfortable ride. Other times, the car feels like

before you get into a car with them. If they seem off,

it’s about to fall apart while riding in it. I won’t go

find a different way to the photo location. Your life

into pointing fingers or calling the owners out,

is worth more than a photo and an uncomfortable

but there is one story I will never forget.

experience with a frightening driver.


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D

While being at a complete sideways stop, I saw a

goal is to get as close to each other as possible

me. Then all of the sudden

rifting is extremely dangerous. When multiple

cars are going at the same time, (tandeming) the

late ‘80’s Mustang at full throttle coming square at

when sliding sideways. It’s a thrill to ride in a drift car and it’s even crazier to attempt to shoot out of one in motion. There is a rule that passengers (including media) are not allowed to stick their arms or bodies out of the car while drifting. And that’s for good reasons.

The five car tandem was very quickly limited to a two

The amount of skill that the drivers have to maintain

car tandem. The roll cage of the car I was in saved

a safe distance while matching the angle of the lead

me from being severely hurt. And luckily,

car is incredible.

I was following the rules keeping my arms inside the vehicle at all times. Because I saw the Mustang

However, driver skill isn’t always enough to avoid a

approaching, I was able to brace myself for the

mishap. In fact, I was able to experience one of these

impact.

mishaps this past summer while I was shooting car-to-car photos at Auto City Speedway.

Though I hate to see cars get totaled, being in a race car crash is something I can now check off my

I was riding in the third car of a five car tandem train.

bucket list. Before the end of the night, two of the

It didn’t matter which way we were sliding because

three damaged cars were back out on the track with

cars were both ahead and behind for me to see. The

new parts installed.

cars I was shooting were only an arms length away. Seeing the turnaround time and the abundance of While coming into the inner chicane, out of

help provided by everyone in the pits to get the cars

nowhere the lead car stalled. The second car was

back out was absolutely incredible. Everyone wants

able to avoid the lead car by turning into the dirt,

to help. Even though a crash was involved, it was an

and the driver of my car was able to stop in time

absolutely amazing experience to see a community

to avoid both of the front cars.

bond together.

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My favorite part about GridLife is seeing the different builds that come in from both the track

G

ridLife is an entire weekend of racing, partying,

and music. It is a necessary event to go to no matter how much you like cars. It’s incredibly fun and intense.

drivers and the campers. At nighttime, the track is cold but the concert stage goes live. While people are partying at the concert, I am out shooting the amazing night lighting on the cars. If there is one thing that I will never forget about GridLife it’s the moon. Unfortunately, I’m not talking about the moon in the sky.

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I often find my favorite GridLife compositions while

into people’s heads to try to purposefully ruin all

I walk around at night taking long exposures using

the photos I was taking.

any and all available light possible. It’s peaceful when you can walk around on your own schedule to

If you can’t see where this is going, let me tell you

take the shots. By the time that the concert ended

straight up. The GridLife moon was a full one and

crowds were returning to their campsites making it

it happened directly in front of my camera from an

a bit less than peaceful.

overly drunk man.

I’ve never seen a more crazed and drunk crowd of

Though the picture didn’t capture it, my

people in my entire life. People where stacking up

memory will forever have it. Here’s the photo

on golf carts doing wheelies, tipping porta potties,

that both cheeks are miraculously hidden in.

and being overly obnoxious. When the concert was

Oh boy, what a story.

going, I had no issues with people getting in the way. But as soon as it was over, it triggered

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O

ne situation I’ve frequently discovered is the

Though I’m not usually a mean or aggressive person

lack of creativity from other photographers that

with competitors, I felt it was a nice way to tell them

I’ve shot beside. I’ll sometimes get an “intruder”

off and have them notice what they were doing.

that likes to follow me wherever I set up. This isn’t just one person, it happens quite frequently with

If you’re shooting alongside other experienced

some beginners.

photographers. Please don’t be shy; ask for help and advice. But please be extremely respectful of where

I’m all about helping others while out

their lenses are pointed. Be creative, and search for

shooting. However, instead of being beside me

the perspectives that have not yet been found.

and respecting my overall space, it seems that the “intruder” always walks directly in front of where I am and stays put. I don’t want to shoot the back of someone else’s head, so I’ll move to a new location. Once I get to the new location, far or close by, the “intruder” sometimes will follow my exact footsteps to try to get the same perspective as me. There is no perspective police, but this gets old fast. I can recall a few instances that this happened and I decided to have a little bit of fun with it. I decided to go to the worst possible place, lay on the ground and act like the photos I was taking were the best I’ve ever taken in my life. The bait worked. The perspectives were complete garbage, but it was hilarious to see the “intruders” come over, and lay down next to me. I immediately got up while shaking my head and laughing at them in disbelief.

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The Eyes of the Client

I recently reached out to see if any of my previous clients had any photos of me taking pictures of their cars. To my surprise, people had photos saved of me; being the photographer. In contrast, the main focus is the photo I provided from that moment. It brought a smile to my face, and I had to include it as the final section of the book.

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Thank You To all of the family and friends who have supported me throughout my entire journey, both photographic and design based. I want to take a moment and have a special thank you to my mom and dad, who have always had my back and pushed me to do the things I never thought I would. To my brother Matt; the extra hand at events, and often times the ride to and from them. To Sara, for the never-ending patience and advice given to make me the best I can be. To my teacher Suzanne for giving me the amazing oppurtunity to express myself in the form of a publication that I will cherish forever. And to all of the friends I’ve met through cars and photography. You guys have truly been the best, and I am extremely grateful for you all. And to the reader, thank you for hanging in there and I hope you enjoyed this book!




Automotive Perspectives : volume 1

Tim Pointer


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