Awhile back in the land of Kansas City the winter temperatures decided that it had overstayed its welcome. And with the departure of insanely cold days comes the warmer weather and people take their car builds out of winter mode and put their summer wheels back on the salt free roads. And with all of this comes the first car meet I’ve attended this year, the Project G Racing get together over spring break.
While at the car meet I socialized with a few folks and near the end of the meet I convinced a young gentleman that it would benefit to him to come and meet me in dark, almost completely pitch black alleyway alone with his vehicle. This gentleman was Emmanuel Bayardo. I saw him roll into the meet with his 2004 Volkswagen Jetta and really fell in love. Staggered wheels clockin’ at 17×8.5 up front and 10’s in the back, and that red body color! I’m not too sure I’ve seen too many of these cars in this specific color floating. I asked him if I could photograph his car and he kindly agreed and asked me on where we should go.
The car meet was on the roof of a parking garage so I quickly looked off the edges and found the closest and darkest area I could find since I didn’t know the area at all and also because I didn’t want to waste E-Mman’s time just driving around trying to look for something. After spotting the first dark area I could see, we strolled down the way and I found my composition and started light painting away.
After the shot of the car I decided to ask if I could take a photo of the E-Mman himself. Sure enough he was game and I had a friend of mine, Brandon Jessip, help with the light setup. What I had Brandon do was similar to my portrait of Max Krubsack. I took the work light that I was using to paint the car and wrapped it around some thin white cloth to help diffuse and soften the light. Boom, son. Most expensive light setup on the market. Hella ghetto setup what you got on me?
Total cost: 30 bucks and a body.
After I got my shot, I just simply took another without Brandon holding the light and composited the final image to save me from sitting in front of the camera all day cloning things out.
Something about doing portraits of car folk with their cars I really love. When people see and / or photograph cars, the human element in it gets lost somewhere. I’m really hoping to do more of these to really tie in more of the process of what makes a car so special to someone or even a group of people. I ask Emmanuel about himself and he’s just a normal dude like the rest of us. Actually, probably more than that. He’s a family man, had a child seat in the back so he could mob deep with his offspring, and he started his own carpet laying business.
People forget that car people are just that, everyday people.
They’re not all street hooligans.
Anyway, I’m just rambling at this point. As always, with the light painting, here’s a .gif of my layers!
Here’s to the first of many car shows of this year.
Here’s to normal folk, driving amazing vehicles.