19
Sep
14

Aston Martin 3rd Series Mk2 Short Chassis from 1935

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Recently commercial automotive car photographer Tim Wallace was commissioned by Aston to shoot 4 beautiful classic Aston Martin models for a Heritage project
The first of these was the Aston Martin 3rd Series Mk2 Short Chassis from 1935. A truly beautiful example of the type of cars that Aston were producing over 70 years ago.

Introduced at the 1934 Olympia Auto Show, Aston Martin offered a new line, the Mark II, in both short and long forms. In its September 7, 1934 preview of the new series, ‘The Autocar’ magazine reported ‘the whole essence of the spirit behind the car is that it developed along lines of steady evolution. Modifications are made as found desirable by experience, and, in particular, as found worthwhile through experience gained in long-distance racing.’

The ‘evolution’ was very significant with body, chassis, and engine changes. The 1.5 liter 4-cylinder single overhead cam engine now developed 73 horsepower.
A total of 148 of the Mark II automobiles were produced.

car photography and car photography

Unveiled at the 1934 Motor show, the Aston Martin Mark II was, in effect, an improved Le Mans model. The 1.5-liter engine was tuned to produce 73 bhp, and the chassis was made stiffer to improve road holding. Two chassis lengths were available on the Mark II – a long form for saloons, tourers and drophead coupes, and a short form for 2 and 2/4 seater sports cars.

Two distinctive features of the Mark II are the thermostatically controlled radiator shutters and the cycle type front wings which turn with the steering.

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

11
Sep
14

Bringing the house down in Las Vegas :)

car photography and car photography

Photoshop World – Las Vegas 2014

Photoshop Las Vegas was the place to be this week as some of the worlds top photographers converged on Las Vegas to take part in the event which has now grown to be one of the biggest in the world !
Commercial car photographer Tim Wallace was amongst those invited to attend and give a selection of classes including a live car shoot within the convention centre at the Mandalay Bay Resort.

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

September 3rd to the 5th Las Vegas was the place to be this year with the annual Photoshop World Event which is sponsored by Adobe.
The event is truly massive and attracts people from quite literally all over the globe, with the driving force behind this show spectacular being KelbyOne.
Tim was been invited to be one of the key instructors at the event and was on stage over the three day event giving several seminars including performing an exciting ‘Live’ car shoot in front of the audience, talking about lighting, photography, photoshop and how to really work effectively with your clients and make a difference to your business.

car photography and car photography

Photoshop World Las Vegas with KelbyOne Find out more at the Official Photoshop World site and details for 2015 !

Photoshop World is the place to be if your want to learn from some of the top photographers in the World today, all under one roof in this spectacular event that offers 3 days of shows and on stage seminars, get to meet the instructors off stage, special events and parties in the evening and one of the worlds biggest Expo events all in the desert city on Las Vegas. “What happens in Vegas, usually ends up on YouTube!…”
Full event programmes that show the Expo event and also the different training ‘tracks’ for instructor seminar events across all three days will be available in the coming weeks and registration is now open through KelbyOne

Photoshop World is where creative people from all walks of life come to take part in affordable, hands-on learning that can’t be found anywhere else. Gaining valuable, real-world experience from innovative instructors, while building camaraderie amongst creatives with shared passions. From beginners to experts, teachers to students, hobbyists to professionals, this is place where everyone is invited to share, network and engage in a welcoming community.

Tim’s classes over the 3 days in Las Vegas

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

Tim’s History with KelbyOne

Tim has been a KelbyOne instructor for 3 years now and over in the US Scott Kelby described Tim as one of the most influential car photographers in the World today and Tim was invited to the US by Kelby and with their filming and production crew produced a set of one hour long video tutorials that cover the in-depth aspects of the lighting of cars in photography, Tim’s the approach to a shoot and the issues and solutions that can arise in different situations and working with just available light effectively. These video seminars are available online through KelbyOne.

The video seminars have since proved a huge success and have received some great feedback from the tens of thousands of professional and amateur based viewers Worldwide that have used them to help them understand items from new lighting techniques to how to look at a scene and work to build up for a more atmospheric photographic capture. The videos also look at working with just one light for those that wish to try out and experiment in this field but have limited equipment available as well as some dedicated photoshop retouching and digital processing classes. Tim is now a regular guest at Kelby and continues to build on the catalogue of training videos available through his dedicated area on the Kelby site where he is one of the featured instructors in the World alongside some of the biggest names in the photography today such as Joe McNally and Jay Maisel.
You can also find 2 in depth interviews lasting over 1 hour each with Tim talking about the business side of the industry from setting up and first things to think about, through to client strategies and effective quoting as well as a second 1 hour video interview where Tim talks about what inspires him today and talks through the journey that led him to where he is today.

Want to see Tim’s video seminars today?
Why not go across to KelbyOne where all Tim’s courses are available online and get yourself prepared for Vegas! Tim Wallace – KelbyOne Training Instructor

9 in-depth lighting, photography and technique video classes now available with over 10 hours of material to view

online photography training with Kelby training

The Experience of PSW

Tim - “This was my very first PSW event, Scott had previously invited me a few times to take part but workload ands such like prevented me attending in previous years, this year was totally different and it was great to get involved and be a part of this amazing event. Nothing really prepared me for the sheer scale of the whole event and the location in Las Vegas was within the convention centre of the Mandalay Bay Resort and oh boy what a resort! Mandalay Bay is not only possibly one of the biggest Resorts in Las Vegas but it really is like a little town within itself with everything to hand and was truly the perfect place to host something of this nature that was on such a grand scale.

The first morning we were ushered into our seats at the front of the hall used for the Key Note Opening speech were the instructors and partners are positioned and 15 minutes later the doors opened and the crowds quite literally broke through to get the best seats that they could, it was amazing the energy and enthusiasm of the crowds. The key note itself was a real pleasure to watch and following the official opening we prepared for the first of our classes to deliver that an hour later. I have spoken in many different countries over the years on lighting, photography and business but never to a US audience on this scale and I have to say that I really enjoyed it immensely. The crowds were both polite and very enthusiastic about all the seminars that went on over that 3 days period. The lighting class that I gave on the 2nd day went really well and its not often that you get to drive a sports car through a hotel, which is something that we had to do so that we could get it into place for the live shoot event :)
Following the feedback from that live shoot lighting class it has already been announced that from the high demand that in 2015 I will be back in Las Vegas to give more classes and the live shoot event will be making up part of the ‘pre con’ day which occurs the day before the official launch of PSW allowing a select number of instructors to give major time to a reduced and select class of people over a 4 to 5 hour period, this is something that I was very pleased to have been asked to do and it will be great to be able to really get into a lot more depth on the lighting class in 2015 because of this.

In the final day I delivered my class on ‘Inspired Business’, I knew that this may well be a popular class but nothing prepared me for the scale of that, on the morning of the event we were given one of the largest halls at the convention centre and turn out for that class was the biggest of the entire event for us, it was amazing and very touching indeed for me personally. At the end of each class those attending are asked to fill out a short feedback form allowing them to give their thoughts on the class, its effectiveness, delivery and such like. From the feedback off the Business class we were later told that it had received some of the very best feedback of any class during the entire event and from all the classes given over that 2014 event, as a result Scott Kelby himself made a request that at the 2015 we not only deliver this class again but by request of those attending, we also make it a much longer class and I am currently looking at putting that back to back across a double session for 2015.

Following the excellent and very kind feedback that we received from those that attended the classes over the three day period I was asked to give a speech at the closing ceremony on the final day so once again I was on stage but this time in front of the entire volume of those that had attended the 2014 PSW event. I have to admit I was slightly nervous as the event had I was told attracted over 26,000 people this year, giving it one the highest attendance records in all its history.

On a final note I would like to really say from my heart a huge thank you to the support staff of KelbyOne, these are the guys that work very long hours behind the scenes to make sure that instructors such as myself have everything that we need as well as looking after all the video and audio for each class and event. We made some amazing new friends with the team and I was touched that indeed some KelbyOne guys actually came to attend a few classes themselves between their own duties. The event itself was both physically demanding for those involved with busy days and many after show parties each night, all of which were utterly amazing :) and also gave people like myself a real chance to talk and meet those attending PSW.
Lastly I would say a huge thank you to the other instructors themselves, we met some amazing people on this journey and made some life long friends and we are already looking forward to 2015 PSW in Las Vegas so we can do it all again !”

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

30
Aug
14

Professional Photographer Magazine – Turning Pro Feature Living The Dream Feature

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This month commercial automotive car photographer Tim Wallace spoke with Charley Yates from Professional Photographer Magazine for a special feature article on ‘Living the dream’ where different photographers from a wide range of professional photographic fields were interviewed. Looking at what its like to strive to achieve that ‘dream job’ in the industry and stay in that position, hard work, luck, or pure talent?

commercial photographer tim wallace versionwallace

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

30
Aug
14

F2 Freelance Photographer Interview

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Commercial photographer Tim Wallace speaks with F2 Freelance Magazine about his recent experience shooting a personal project in Death Valley USA that went in a few short months from ‘personal work’ to a major exhibition in the UK

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

22
Aug
14

US Magazine Digital Photo Pro – Sept / Oct – The Pro Interview

William Sawalich spoke with UK based commercial photographer Tim Wallace for a major 8 page Pro feature that is out now in the Sept / Oct issue of Digital Photo Pro Magazine in the US, Tims work is also featured and makes up the magazines front cover for this edition.

Tim Wallace: Next Year’s Model
English photographer Tim Wallace reinvigorates the art of automotive photography, one luxury car at a time

car photography

Tim Wallace’s intense car photography is more about light than digital processing and, as he points out, lighting cars isn’t easy. “If you ever try to light a car, you’ll realize how difficult it is. Because they are actually just multi-angled reflective surfaces. The amount of times that I’ve thought, ‘My god, why didn’t I just do food? or people? or something that doesn’t reflect? I hate this!’ But it’s just the mere fact that it is quite difficult to do well, that it’s probably a very good thing for me, because it means there aren’t a million people doing the same thing as I do.”

car photography

Seven years ago, Tim Wallace decided he wanted to photograph luxury cars. So, the newly unemployed executive built a business plan and got to work, teaching himself lighting and digital imaging from the ground up. Today, he creates beautiful, emotive images for the most prestigious brands in the industry, including Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari and Lamborghini.

“I basically shoot the prestige car market,” Wallace says, “which, in essence, means my career is based on shooting cars you can’t afford, you don’t really need, but you desire. With very expensive sports cars and luxury cars, you don’t make that purchase based on fuel economy, space and ergonomics. It’s an inspirational, emotional purchase. And an emotional purchase requires a sort of emotional, dramatic image. If you were to look at an advert for something like a Renault people carrier or Toyota, that would be based very much on lifestyle, economy, things like how friendly it is to the environment, and it’s going to be a very different type of picture altogether.

“I get it right for my clients,” Wallace continues, “because I know their brands really well. I know that for Rolls-Royce, for instance, it’s not so much about the car, but about the materials, and the engineering and the quality of workmanship. It’s not a huge amount about the aesthetics of the car. Aston Martin is very much on power; their byword is: ‘Power, Beauty, Soul.’ It’s all about something that’s very inspirational, very emotional, very different.”

car photography

Wallace’s goal from the start has been to create images that are as much art as advertising. That, plus his clients’ need for inspirational imagery, has shaped his moody visual style. “Photographers should develop their own unique style,” Wallace says. “It’s absolutely crucial. My stuff is quite harsh, not in a tonality or anything like that, but I do like deep shadows; I like a lot of black space. I give my subjects a lot of space. I did a thing today, actually, the back of an Aston Martin DBS. You’ve got the DBS badge and the quarter light, and it’s a strip of light running down the paintwork, and then it illuminates the massive exhaust tailpipe at the bottom. And yet I’ve allowed about five or six feet on each side of it in total darkness. I’ve allowed it that space, and I’m hoping they don’t crop it too much.”

The seeds were sown for Wallace’s aesthetic during childhood, when he printed photographs for his grandfather. He wasn’t particularly interested in taking pictures, but he enjoyed printing, and he was very good at it. This led a teenage Wallace to land a darkroom job for a London newspaper, which eventually led to photography. It’s the printing, though, that’s still evident in his shadow-rich work today.

car photography

“Obviously, a lot of the stuff I did was black-and-white,” he says, “and even now, if I look at an image I’m going to shoot, I pretty much know in my head what I’m going to do before I do it. I reverse-engineer it. And I still think of it in black-and-white, grade 1, 2, 3 or 4, which is very unusual. I think it comes from printing. If you talk to anyone that has printed at a reasonable level, they get very obsessive about the blacks, ‘That’s not deep enough,’ or ‘It’s not warm enough.’ And I just think that less is more. When you’re doing cars, you don’t need everything brightly lit. It needs to be opulent, it needs to be slightly mysterious. And you don’t need to see the entire car, you don’t need to see the entire interior.

“Say you’re doing the interior of a Corvette,” Wallace continues. “It’s a sports car, it’s a luxury car and it’s a cockpit. It wants to be a dark, opulent, luxurious place with lots of toys. I don’t like to overlight things. When I’m doing the overall statics for the cars, I know a lot of guys will stick them in a studio and just stick them in front of an infinity cove. In the last 12 months, I’ve shot once in a studio. I just don’t think cars belong in studios. I’d rather shoot them out in the environment where they belong.”

Shooting on location, both indoors and out, Wallace attends to his lighting like an old-school studio pro. “I have done stuff in a factory, where cars are literally getting built around me,” he says, “and I’m in a clear bit of floor in the middle shooting a wheel or something. And people go, ‘Wow, did you take it off and did you have it in a studio?’ And I’m like, no, if I actually did a behind-the-scenes shot, you wouldn’t believe where I did it. It’s light. Light is an amazing thing. But you’ve got to understand what you can do with it. I basically taught myself how to light cars, and I’m still learning all the time.”

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To create his signature deep shadows with selective highlights, Wallace uses strip lights positioned close to the car. “A softbox is very soft light, and it spreads,” Wallace says. “Well, yeah, because inherently that’s what softboxes do. But what not many people realize is, you can change the properties of the light very easily by doing certain things. Everyone gets obsessed with the position of a light, but there are two other dimensions to light they don’t often think about. One is the power output. They think, ‘Well, if I just get the right exposure, then that’s the correct power output,’ which is fine, but obviously, there’s a sliding scale. You know, you can put that light on very low power and turn it into a wider aperture, and you’re still going to get the same exposure, but you’re going to get a different dynamic. And the other is the proximity of the light, how close the light is to the subject. For a lot of stuff I shoot, the light is very close, the power is very high and you get a very punchy light. You’ve still got an evenness, but you’ve got a harder light. And with a harder light and a much harsher exposure, you get natural depth, and shadows start to appear. And then you just expose for the highlights, and everything just naturally falls into very deep shadow, and what’s going to go between the highlights and the deep shadow is a very quick falloff, quite a dramatic falloff. And, yeah, some of it you can’t do on a DSLR because you can only sync at 1/250, so there’s the added bonus to shooting medium format in the fact that you can sync at 1/1000 at ƒ/32 and take your ISO down to 25, so you really can get the power pushing through.”

car photography

Wallace shoots exotic cars like the Aston Martins shown in this article, as well as collector cars like the classic American models here. He specialized from a business perspective. “There were a lot of guys shooting cars, and it was very much magazine-cover type stuff, but there was nobody really doing it very high-end, commercially. When I first started, people said, ‘You won’t succeed. You’ll fail within a year.’ They also said, ‘You’re too old,’ which was moderately amusing because I wasn’t even 40 then, and I think age has no bearing on anything. And thirdly, interestingly, they said, ‘You won’t succeed commercially because your stuff is too much like art, it’s too artistic.'” Wallace has proved them all wrong.

car photography

For outdoor shots, Wallace incorporates the sun into his lighting schemes. “Because I don’t shoot cars in studios,” Wallace says, “there’s one light in place straight away: the sun. You can either overpower it or you can think of it as your first light, and that’s what I tend to do. There are a lot of times when I shoot cars outside and I need to light them, but I don’t want them to look lit. So I’ve got to do it very subtly.”

One way to light discreetly is to hide the source reflections within the angles of the car. “You cannot have the sun going down with a Mustang in the foreground and not create deep shadows,” Wallace explains. “Now, if you light that car and get rid of these shadows, it looks like a lit car in front of a sunset, and it’s going to look pretty terrible. So you need to push extra light in, but not overpower it. If you take a standard Mustang, where the door comes up, it sort of curves, and where that curve ends, it flattens out and there’s a crease. That crease is where you can naturally hide a strip light. When you’re doing a lit shot outside with a car, the first thing you’ve got to do is lock yourself into position where you’re going to shoot from. Every single movement changes everything. Even just two or three centimeters either way, and you mess up all your lighting because the reflections start to change.”

Though Wallace much prefers in-camera work to postprocessing, he hears frequently that his lighting is impossible. “Postproduction isn’t crucial,” Wallace says.”Lighting is crucial. I would hope to say that 60 to 70 percent of what I create is due to the lighting. I was told by one guy, I showed him a shot, and he said, ‘It’s fantastic, but it’s obviously CGI.’ And I said, ‘No, it’s not, it’s one light.’ And he was like, ‘Impossible.’ He was a car photographer, and he said, ‘You can’t do that with one strip softbox. That must be heavily Photoshopped.’ And then it was half an hour after that when I used the same softbox on the quarter-light of an Audi at that seminar. And, just for him, I reproduced the shot. It took less than three minutes to light and shoot, and it came out literally exactly the same with no Photoshop whatsoever. He was like, ‘You can’t do that.’ But I’ve just shown you that you can. ‘Yeah, but you can’t put a light there because you’re not allowed to do that.’ But you can do whatever you want.

“When I’m in Vegas for Photoshop World,” he continues, “one of the things I’m going to do is a live car shoot on stage. I love it because, when I do my introduction talk and some of my work is up behind me on the big screen, I know in my heart of hearts that the majority of the people in the audience are going, ‘Yeah, I really like that, but a lot of it’s probably postproduction.’ And you can see them thinking this. And then you get into play maybe only two or three lights, but you use them well, and you tether it up to the screen, so everything you shoot comes to the screen and they can see it. And I purposely do the first shot with my back to them, so I can just hear. I wait the two seconds for the delay of it transferring through the tether, and then I hear the gasping sound behind me and think, ‘Yes, now you’re going to listen. Now I’ve got you in the bag.’ You can’t reproduce lighting in Photoshop. You can to a certain degree with some things, but you can’t get the same depth, the same feel. It’s like shooting something on film and developing it and creating a really nice black-and-white print. And then doing the same thing in digital and doing the postproduction and doing digital prints. They’re not the same. I don’t care what anybody says. They’re not the same. There’s a depth to it. And I think in a way, that’s why I shoot wide open a lot. Because with a lack of depth of field, you sort of get depth. It’s difficult to describe. There are a few people who say to me, they’ve seen stuff of mine quite big in print, and they say, ‘It’s almost like film.’ Yeah, I’m pleased to hear that.”

hasselblad car photography

TIM WALLACE’S GEAR

Tim Wallace considers great gear mandatory. He works with 35mm-style DSLRs and digital medium-format cameras, depending on the needs of the assignment. The Nikon D3S and D4S, as well as Hasselblad H3DII and H4 cameras with 39- and 50-megapixel digital backs, form the foundation of his kit.

When it comes to lens selection, the Hasselblad HC 50-110mm zoom is his go-to medium-format lens, and 28mm, 35mm and 80mm primes round out his bag. On the Nikons, he prefers a Nikon 24-70mm zoom, again complementing
it with Nikon 24mm, 50mm, 90mm macro, 200mm and 300mm primes.

Wallace’s choice in strobe lighting centers on Profoto and Elinchrom. He uses battery packs, such as the Elinchrom Ranger, when working in remote locations, and monoblock heads when access to electricity abounds. The strip-light softbox is his preferred light modifier.

Photography : ©Tim Wallace | AmbientLife
Interview : William Sawalich

17
Aug
14

Fashion Designer Yuliya Kyrpo new collection Inspired by the photography of AmbientLife

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Over the years many people have been ‘inspired’ by the shape and form that make Aston Martin so iconic throughout the ages, the photography of commercial car photographer Tim Wallace is renowned for how he captures these subtile shifts in shape and form to illuminate the grace and beauty of these automotive designs. Yuliya Kyrpo, a London based fashion designer and winner of ‘FDC Young Designer of the Year’ took some of Tim’s work with the models of Aston Martin and has used this to find her own inspiration in the creation of a collection of new exciting designs that imitate those subtitle shapes and forms.

Yuliya Kyrpo is Ukrainian born, based in London she is a bespoke tailoring designer and maker. Moving with her family to London at the age of 13, she successfully participated in various design competitions, being awarded FDC Young Designer of the Year in 2007, and awarded first place in METRO Re-Create competition by creating an origami dress out of 1000 paper cranes. Yuliya is a graduate of the infamous London College of Fashion where she discovered her passion for tailoring, structured silhouettes and everything luxurious. She lives and operates in London and is very much an up and coming name for the future within the fashion industry.

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

Yuliya -“I spent a vast amount of time researching the automotive industry and its high end luxury brands, the designs and the photography of those that were tasked with capturing their sheer beauty and elegance. I was seeking photography that really highlighted these shapes and forms, but in a gentle and creative way that could be reflected almost as art and could reflect my own strong personal vision for what I was seeking to achieve. There are many amazing photographers but no one captures the streamlined curves and fluidity of the cars as well as the work that I discovered from commercial car photographer Tim Wallace. Tim has a vast portfolio of work on his business site and I spent many hours studying his work and gaining my own inspiration from it to utilise some of the amazing shapes and curves that Tim is able to capture within his photography through his lighting and photography.”

“The concept for the final collection originates from the popular subject of female objectification with the intention to satirize the topic by making the clothes to look like engineered objects with ability to function and make women look powerful and confident to challenge ‘the male gaze’.
Inspired by streamlined silhouette and curves of cars, often used to personify female body and crafted using Savile Row tailoring techniques, the work epitomizes heritage and innovation through women’s bespoke tailored collection.”

You can enjoy more of Yuliya’s work and designs by visiting her main design site available online here

Tim - “I feel strongly that photography and the creation of work is an art form no matter what context it takes, commercial or design based, and it is a great honour for my own imagery to be utilised in such a way as Yuliya has. I am very pleased indeed that it has inspired her in such a way that it led to help in her own creation of this clothing and it is testiment itself in many ways that art and its form feeds its very nature and goes on to recreate itself in other forms. I wish Yuliya every success with her designs and her work for what I believe will be a very bright and exciting future within the fashion industry.”

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

Automotive Photography ©Tim Wallace | AmbientLife
Fashion Photography ©Roman Sheppard Dawson

14
Aug
14

The little car with the BIG heart – The Austin Mini Cooper S

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The MINI is one of those special cars that gets to define the vehicle class it belongs to. What makes it even more individual is that it got to be awarded the “European Car of the Century” award. This week car photographer Tim Wallace paid homage to the little car with the BIG heart by shooting a very lovely and original Austin Cooper S. The mini is without any doubt one of those car models that is so recognisable and loved all over the world.

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

TheMini is the small car icon of the 1960s. It was produced by BMC (British Motor Corporation) starting with 1959 and was the first car to get the front-wheel-drive. This space saving solution influenced all the manufacturers, as nowadays FWD is the most popular drive-train layout. The new MINI was launched in 2001 and got to replace the legend with updates for the 21st Century. The revolutionary design of the Mini was created by Sir Alec Issigonis (1906–1988), considered a visionary in industrial transportation. It was intended as an affordable vehicle in response to the oil crisis. Along its production period it was built at the Cowley plants in the United Kingdom, and afterwards in Australia, Belgium, Chile, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela. The first Mini, called the Mk I had three important updates: The Mk II, the Clubman, and the Mk III. Sportier versions were the Mini Mini Cooper and the Cooper”S”, that got to successful as rally cars. They even get to win the Monte Carlo Rally three times.

car photography and car photography

The Mini was designed as a result of the 1956 Suez Crisis, which reduced oil supplies, and forced the UK government saw to introduce petrol rationing. Obviously, the sales of large cars, with high fuel consumption dropped and the market for so called “bubble cars” boomed. BMC realized that they had to produce a small vehicle fast.
Issigonis, that was reputed as being very skilled in designing small vehicles was assigned to this task. Together with a small team of designers Issigonis got to produce the original prototype by October 1957. The new vehicle was using a conventional BMC four-cylinder water-cooled engine, but had the innovation of mounting it transversely with the the engine oil lubricated, four-speed transmission placed in the sump, and with FWD.

All of the small FWD cars developed since the 70s have used a similar configuration. Another innovation was the placement of the radiator at the left side of the car so that the engine-mounted fan could be retained, but with reversed pitch so it blew air into the natural low pressure area under the front wing. This saved a lot of vehicle length, but had the short coming of feeding the radiator with air that had been heated by passing over the engine.
Also the slinding windows in the doors allowed for storage pockets to be fitted in the space where a winding window mechanism would have been. A gossip says that Issigonis sized the resulting storage pocket to fit a bottle of his favorite gin. Another smart feature was the boot lid that had the hinges at the bottom, so that the car could be driven with it open to increase luggage space. The MK I models had a hinged number plate that dropped down to remain visible when the boot lid was open.

Another goal of the designers of that of keeping the manual labour costs as low as possible. The simple construction of the car included quirky welded seams that were visible on the outside of the car and also external door and boot hinges.

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

Tim – “For me personally the mini will always be a car that reminds me of my very early days driving, aged 19 I owned a Mini Cooper and absolutely loved that little car! It was not the smartest example of the model because back then money was tight and I even remember that to try and smarten it up a bit I gave it a new paint job, with a tin of black paint and a brush…lol.
The car never ever let me down and because it was so small and you sat so close to the ground in it, you really felt like you were doing about 100mph when really you’d be doing half that speed…. Corners at high speed were interesting and at times you did feel like you were in a space craft re-entering earths atmosphere, but the little car could really stick to the road and driving a Cooper was always a pleasure.”

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

The First Mini in production version shown to the press in April 1959, and by August several thousand vehicles had been produced ready for sales.

The name “Mini” was not used form the beginning of production. In early advertising material was used the name “SE7EN”. An already famous Morris model at that time was the Minor, which is Latin for “smaller”. So, for the even smaller car the decided to use the abbreviation for the Latin word “minimus”, which means “the smallest”.
In 1964 the MK I got a new suspension design using the “hydrolastic” system. This created a softer ride but was criticized by many for being too expensive and altering the handling of the car. Starting with 1971 the original rubber suspension was back again, and used until production end.

The sales were not very promising after the launch, but the Mini became a hit through the 60s, with a total of 1,190,000 Mk I’s produced. It is being rumored that the MK I wasn’t profitable for BMC, because it was sold at a lower price than the production costs, in order to be competitive on the market. Some even say that was due to an accounting error. A thing is for sure though, that the MK I got its own place into the culture of the 1960s.

In the late 60s Issigonis had been working for a replacement for the original Mini. That was supposed to be shorter and more powerful than the MK I, but due to management decisions at BMC it was not built. Instead of that the Mk II was released, featuring a redesigned front grille (which remained like that from that point) and also a larger rear window among other cosmetic changes. The Mk II Minis was produced in 429,000 pieces.
The MK II got famous by being the star of the 1969 film “The Italian Job”, that featured a car chase in three Minis are driven by a team of thieves. The movie got a remake in 2003 that used the new (BMW produced) MINI.

car photography and car photography

car photography and car photography

If you would like to learn more about lighting and how Tim works to achieve his photography then please join us online at KelbyOne where you can review and enjoy all of our online video classes, each of which is around a 1 hour in duration.

KelbyOne with Tim Wallace Checkout our online classes here at KelbyOne




Ambient Life Online

A selection of other online sites that offer a look into the work of UK Professional Photographer Tim Wallace.

www.ambientlife.co.uk


Photographer Tim Wallace is the driving force and creative thinking behind Ambient Life.
An award winning photographer he is probably best known for his commercial car and advertising work.

Tim works with many well known brands and clients such as Aston Martin, Land Rover and Kenwood in the US, and has recently been named as one of the ten photographers to be selected by Hasselblad for the quality of his work and creative vision to represent their new 'Pro Team' to be launched in 2010.

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