I was at work at Austin Walsh Studio doing my usual thing on a rainy Wednesday morning. My boss, Austin Walsh, came in and said he has a pretty dope loaner car and tossed me the keys. He asked if I had any rainy car photos in mind and asked me to go for it. Well, I had no ideas, no locations, but if someone hands you a set of keys, you take the shit and run before they decide to say no.
The rental car that he received was a brand new 2016 Mercedes-Benz C300 4matic. Super beast of a car, super neutral slate paint job on this super dull and overcast rainy day. Recipe for visual awesomeness.
Everything looks better when its wet and rainy.
I had no idea where to go and basically just spent the first 20 minutes driving around. I saw this parking lot that had a super steep hill upward and decided to see what the view would look like.
Meh. The view was meh.
But it wasn’t terrible at all really. Probably the most ideal backdrop for such a rushed shoot. There were some lines to play with, the lighting/rain was making things extra awesome, and most importantly it was pretty free from other distractions.
Clean backdrops. Minimal clutter.
I hadn’t shot in the rain in a long time and I also haven’t shot on an overcast day in a long time. The light was extraordinarily soft and the rain blanketed everything with texture and magic. Everything looked so amazing to me but the most important factor about the overcast day is that every angle and every section of the world was completely open to use. I didn’t have to find a spot to dodge the craziness of the sun or find a place free of shadows. Everything was open. Everything was fair game.
EVERYTHING WAS FUCKING DOPE.
The rain added another level of interestingness and for the first time I decided I would photograph little details, badges, and emblems.
I decided it was time to move to the inside of the car. And again, because of the quality of light, every angle just worked and everything was so naturally evenly lit. The wet windshield and windows also added a nice texture and really set the tone for everything.
Strangely enough, my favorite part of this car outside of driving it, are the little details in the interior. It felt right. Both physically and aesthetically. The tiny Mercedes logo on the analog clock was probably the biggest part that I geeked out on.
At this point the rain was coming down a lot harder. I had no protection on my equipment and I didn’t realize how completely soaked and cold I was. My socks were soaked, my face was numb, my fingers weren’t being as nimble with the camera as when I first started. My body was shutting down.
Fuck you, body, I’m trying to take more photos.
At this point I couldn’t ignore anything else. But it was here that I saw my last composition. I’m a huge sucker for lines, boring perspectives, and having layered images as far as foreground, middleground, and background. And this last shot was the one shot I was looking for.
I wrapped up. Got my soaked camera and self back in the car, did a quick donut or two and got the fuck out.
Here’s to dope rental cars.
Here’s to dope overcast days.
Here’s to the rain.