A few weeks ago I contacted Jayhawk Motorsports. They invited me down to the shop where they built their racecars.
Upon arrival I was in awe. I never really wrapped my head around the fact that, indeed, these group of students at a college were building racecars within the University walls. And the idea of building in my head was just, “oh, they bought the parts then pieced together the correct components.” That couldn’t be further from the actual truth. These students were literally making molds and piecing together their own carbon fiber components, drawing, designing, and making the chassis, designing and building wheels, brakes, struts, EVERYTHING. with the exception of a the rubber tires and a few bolts and the Honda engine, everything was drawn, measured, and designed from the nothing to something. A bunch of students from ages 19-26 building a functional and competitive formula racecar.
After getting a tour around the shop they pretty much just let me do my thing. I walked around, noted different compositions in my mind as I walked around, then decided to come back later that night to photograph last year’s racecar when there was less people running about the shop.
I showed up later around midnight and to my surprise, or lack of for that matter, the engineering students were still there. I put my camera where I wanted and was just so surprised how little I actually had to arrange. The space was super tight. Tools and tables and parts scattered everywhere. But the racecar was placed in the only spot that fit, which happened to be perfect for my composition. On top of that, the Jayhawk Motorsports pirate flag was hanging at pretty much the perfect spot in the background to add context. I asked who put it up, and they simply said it didn’t fit anywhere else, so they wedged the flag pole between the pipes to keep it out of the way. Couldn’t have been any better. I took an ambient reading and sat there for a little thinking, “man, something feels off.”
“I know what it is.” It was the foreground that was bothering me. The background was so insanely busy, the middle ground where the car sat was clean enough to keep attention on the car, then the foreground was left bare. Felt really unbalanced. So I walked around the shop looking for some tools or something I could use to balance out my composition. Then I ran across a pile of older tires. I found my missing piece. I set that gold up, turned off a few lights, then painted away.
I painted the car, then put some light on the flag in the background and some on the tires in the foreground, then let the ambient do the rest of the work. Also, decided to hand remove (at the scene not in photoshop) the various carbinated drink bottles and some garbage floating around the scene. Definitely pay attention to what you include/exclude. You have 100% control of what goes into your image, it’s just the attention and willingness to change and arrange your scenery as it exists in the physical world that will dictate your end result. Anyway, as always, the GIF!
So stoked on how this image came out.