Commercial advertising and car photographer Tim Wallace works with clients across the globe such as Aston, Land Rover, Mercedes and Morgan. Well known within the automotive industry for his creativity and open approach he is regarded by many as one of today's leading car photographers with a unique and strong style of work that inspires not only his clients but also their customers, something that was reflected recently when he won both International Advertising Photographer of the Year and Photographer of the Year at the UK Motor Industry Awards.
This page is dedicated to the work and creative vision that Tim brings within the field of automotive car photography, looking at our work, our successes, and our history within this industry. Tim explains a little more about his approach towards car photography, his creative thinking path and gives a brief insight into what he offers our clients both within the UK and Internationally through his work. Car photography is in its nature a very involved medium of work that brings together many elements to create a final piece of commercial work, from finding the right location to bringing together the lighting and equipment logistics, and not least managing the actual product, the car, itself within that shoot.
Tim is probably most renowned and best known his commercial car and automotive photography, this is his specialist area within the industry. Cars exist all around us in the modern world and they represent a major part of our lives, the cars that Tim shoots commercially are more often than not are at the higher end of that spectrum based within the modern sports or prestige classic ranges. It is our goal not just to show you what a car looks like but to inspire the viewer to see beyond that and get a real sense of how a car makes you feel, to be quite literally inspired so that drives forward your desire to be within that scene yourself. This is something that photographer Tim Wallace is very passionate about and often his work is shot out on location rather than in a studio, giving you a real sense of not only the car as a personality but also the possibilities of what that car can create emotionally and as a personality in its own right. Each car and each range are different and in creating these images Tim approaches his shoots very much in the same way a photographer would approach a portrait, trying to capture the essence of what is being shot. This section therefore looks at some examples of this approach, looks a little at the behind the scenes thoughts of Tim and his work as well as offering links to some of the many interviews that Tim has given over the past few years for different magazines and publications around the world. We hope you enjoy looking through what we do and we hope that you yourself feel inspired by what you see.
"My view is that there are always two people in every photograph, the photographer and the viewer, everything else is irelevant..."
Aston Martin has been building cars the most beautiful and desirable cars in the world for 100 years and they knew our centenary demanded something special. There mission was to produce the greatest Aston Martin in history, the car to lead us into their second 100 years, a car with power and beauty, a new flagship model for Aston Martin into the future. With the most advanced engineering, the most beautiful design and the finest materials, they created the best Aston Martin ever, they created the the all all new carbon fibre 'Vanquish'.
This week car photographer Tim Wallace was tasked with the project of shooting this car for out UK client Aston to capture that beauty, the power and to visually afford it the grace of its design and the craftsmanship that has been poured into this new exciting model for 2013.
Tim - "This project was first spoke of very early in January this year and its one of those projects that you know will be very important. Aston Martin celebrate their 100th centenary year this year and there is a real feeling of drive and passion in the air not only to push forward the business but also to really pull all the stops out and create something really quite magical that will grab the Worlds audience by the scruff of the neck, shake it and say 'hey look at what we just did...' The Worlds best Aston Martin is a phrase I have heard a lot over the last few months but in truth its correct in the case of the new Vanquish, the car is quite honestly amazing both to look at and to drive and as a photographer its my role to try the very best I can to impart the feelings and emotions that I personally feel when I look at or indeed drive this car so that Aston's clients and customers can review the imagery and hopefully get a real sense of what this model has to offer and all the emotions that come through owning such a beautiful car.
We split the project over just two days, shooting first the detail of the car including engine, interior and design work on the body itself. This is something that I love to do and the lighting is very much key in this sort of work. The work was completed using Hasselblad medium format digital equipment and the lighting on this particular model was a challenge because of the highly reflective properties of the paint. Day 2 we shifted to a location that we had scouted a few days earlier to ensure that it was still suitable, and the car was delivered to me there under covered transporter to ensure that it was kept as clean as possible and also to detract from inviting too many bystanders during shooting. Over all it was a great project to be involved in and the work will be used in marketing and service material within Aston as well as being injected into the current Aston Martin 100yr Centenary Book that we are currently about 80% of the way through completing."
Other work and projects
Tim is the humble recipient of many awards including International Advertising Photographer of the Year, UK Motor Industry Photographer of the Year for his work with Aston Martin, Hasselblad Photographer of the month Europe, Professional Photographer of the Year as well as a respected giving professional seminars on the skill of lighting, photography and effective business practice both on stage and to a live audience for organisations such as Nikon and in recorded video format for such people as Kelby Training in the US where he has built up a catalogue of training videos available Worldwide. He has received Distinction Awards for his work from such professional boards as the RPS and is well respected both within the UK and internationally for both his approach to his work, his creativity, and his very down to earth approach to his clients and seminar audiences.
Pro Features, Articles and Interviews
Tim is often invited to talk about his work in the field of automotive car photography and we've included some links to some of the recent Pro features and interviews that Tim has given that may offer some interesting additional reading for those interested in this area of photography as well as Tim's approach to such topics as lighting, logistics, creating that all important atmosphere for the right shot.
Working with Hassleblad in Germany
Tim's work has been featured in the infamous 'Victor' Magazine where he was described as one of the most creative photographers in his field today, the magazine which is published Worldwide features each month what is considered to be the most cutting edge and best quality photography available at that time. It was a great honour to be shown in such a publication and indeed more so in the fact that Tim received over 16 pages for his work to be show, something that has not been achieved at that level by many before him and something that we at Ambient Life are very proud of.
A live and full copy of the magazine is available for you to view below or print out and read later.
Working with Profoto Sweden
Profoto is a major driving force in the manufacturer of professional lighting systems aimed at the professional photographer and recently they released a set of 3 of their 'Masters' interview's that they recently recorded with Ambient Life photographer Tim Wallace where he discusses his work, lighting and his feelings towards what makes a successful commercial image in todays market. The interviews are part of the 'Master Series' of films that Profoto produce featuring renowned professional photographers from around the World.
Tim Wallace – “Car and indeed any professional vehicle photography can be quite difficult, for me its all about shooting the image to fit the client, that maybe a shot that is powerful and aggressive or indeed one that gives a air of grace and beauty about the car, truck, or any vehicle type. In some ways I view each car as a person that has a personality, and the starting point is to understand what the design and overall purpose of the car is trying to put across, the job in hand then is too work out how best to get this message across. Aston Martin is a very good example of this, the modern Vanquish and DB9 are very sculptured and aggressive in their look compared to say the earlier DB5 and 6 therefore the shoot takes on a whole different feeling and the stage for this type of work maybe very different to that used on a more graceful classic style of car."
Tim Wallace is a professional commercial photographer working both in the UK and internationally and is probably best known for his automotive car and vehicle photography. Working with clients such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Morgan, Mercedes Benz and Aston Tim's work is often described as 'commercial' bordering on art, with a very distinctive style and attention to detail. With a passion for being both different and creative.
In the US Scott Kelby described Tim recently as one of the most influential photographers in the World today in car photography and Tim was invited back to the US by Kelby and worked with their filming and production crews to create several hour long video tutorials that covered the lighting of cars, the approach and took an indepth look at how Tim approaches his work. These proved to be a huge success both in the US and Europe and as such Tim returns to Kelby in the US on a yearly basis now to add further training course videos to his catalogue area on Kelby as one of their official training instructors.
These are available to view at Kelby Training online
Tim also works closely with his car industry clients such as Aston, Land Rover, Jaguar and most recently Morgan. Morgan approached Tim in early Spring with a desire to utilise Tim's unique shooting style to help them make the transition from the more standardised car photography through to a body of work with more passion and feeling to suit their changing demographic of customer and fully show the passion of their own new designs with such models as the Aero 8. Some of Tim's initial work was used for the Geneva Motor Show in 2010 to great reviews and some really positive feedback not only from customers of Morgan but from their manufacturing staff themselves, a real indicator of the passion involved in such projects from both sides of the table. Since Tim's involvement with Morgan the company has made some design and photographic changes to their website presence as well as launching new brochures, marketing and advertising campaigns and using Tim's photography at major events such as a recent design event in Milan where a 40ft print was used to set off their stand and bring some real feeling of drama to the location.
Tim was involved in the launch of the new concept from Morgan, the Eva GT, the car was shot by Tim following its launch in the US to provide marketing and brochure material as the company promote the car globally prior to the start of production.
The majority of the work was shot on location at the Morgan main factory in the UK and Tim worked closely with their designers and marketing division to ensure that during the two day shoot a large amount of diverse and powerful imagery was created. The car has attracted a huge amount of interest globally and Morgan have already taken thousands of calls with deposits already being paid by some with delivery being anticipated in 2012 for those first purchasers. It was crucial to shoot a wide spectrum of work not only close and high quality detail but also 'lifestyle' type work that Tim has become famous for with his dramatic use of the world around him that not only shows the car being shot but more importantly attempts to bring the viewer into the photography to understand how the car makes you feel, creating a desire and a passion within the customer equalled only by that of Morgan for what is to be a very significant car for the UK manufacturer over the next few years.
“The scene in which the car is positioned and photographed is very important, for example on a recent commission I photographed the new Ford GT, the model reborn of the classic GT40. This car could be shot in a studio as we indeed did on one of the days however the main commercial shots that were done were all taken in a run down industrial estate near to the clients location. We did get some strange looks bringing such a beautiful car into such an urban and rough location, however that was in some respects the whole point as the car was very much in the tradition of the GT40 which was in its time a legend and built very much as a ‘blue collar’ working class hero so the industrial scene suited it well and brought some passion into the work, set the mood if you like. Once the 'environment based shots were complete we shot a selection of action based work. This work is normally completed using car rigs and shooting from chase cars, however once again its not simply a case of getting a sharp image of the car moving, its important to keep the creative element alive and allowing some distance to the subject with careful exposure and framing can be just as powerful as coming in very close to the car at speed. On the completion of the days shooting our client was extremely happy with the results, and even went on to take print orders from their own customers outside the intended usage in marketing and brochure publications, this is something that we see a lot of with clients and indeed its a great yard stick to say that people feel inspired by what in effect is simply a advertisement image.
Lighting, the key in some cases to creating a great image. Most of the lighting that we use is field portable such as Elinchrom and ProFoto, this is essential to our work as heavy and unreliable generators add expense and time to a shoot often. We do receive a great deal of emails from photographers who want to emulate the work that Tim produces and lighting diagram requests are a frequent item in our inbox.
Tim- "Lighting is a very personal thing and in truth its simply not possible to copy a lighting set up and get the same result. The way that I approach lighting is very simple, in cases where you will have multiple lights in play it's important to 'light up' to the subject slowly, what I mean is do not over light the car, throwing huge belts of light at it from different directions, a lot of my work I like to look as if its not been lit at all, subtle so to speak. The best way to do this is to set up each light one at a time, do a test shot and when your happy with the result move onto the next and so on, also consider however that where lights contaminate into each others area's that meter readings may need to be re-evaluated as light intensity increases in these area's as you would expect. Also people in my view make little use of the best light source that they have, the sun!, it's very underrated and if you look back at the time of the great masters you'll note that many used to employ a lighting technique that meant lighting in the same direction as the sun instead of against it as many seem to now. The important thing is not to bury your head in 'how to' books on lighting but simply to get out there and shoot different things and try new setups yourself, this way you will build up what I call a lighting 'Rolodex' in your mind of what works and what doesn't in different situations.
There is no easy answer to lighting, it's simply a piece of the puzzle or indeed a piece of the photographers tool kit that makes his work look different to the next guy, a style, a mood, his technique, it's personal and it's what each photographer must develop for themselves to achieve development as a photographer"
"Being out there shooting is where things happen..."
We work very closely with our clients to ensure that we offer the best possible photographic output for their needs with virtually all of our work coming from recommendations from existing clients and through agencies that have worked with us on commissions.
The production of professional material for the workplace or showroom is another aspect of our work that features innovative design and visual impact, a recent example of this is a set of 8 12ft high banners to be used in a clients showroom promoting their modern approach to the product but also the heritage of the brand.
Tim Wallace - "It’s a little too easy to create an ‘acceptable’ image for quick gratification where a little thought and passion can easily make use of the digital medium to create a truly inspirational piece of work through careful thought, exposure, and lighting. A camera does not create a great photograph, the photographer does, 90% of the achievement lays in your imagination of what you want to create.
I shoot many on Professional Hassleblad H3 and H4 and also DSLR Nikon D3’s which I find are great for my type of work. I also use Elinchrom ‘Ranger’ portable studio lights, the kit is very robust and offers me powerful yet consistently correct studio quality light in quite literally any environment which is very important when you’ve got a deadline to meet. I tie this equipment together using Elinchroms ‘skyport’ radio trigger system as its gives me total flexibility and again is consistent and reliable under bad conditions, but I can’t stress enough that each situation in car photography is different and its not the equipment that makes the image, it’s the passion and imagination that is invested into it."
"Often with professional automotive car work it will involve some more ‘action’ based shots which I achieve using a professional car rig that can be easily deployed for use on most vehicles, this allows us to get some really dramatic photography that sits well for use in magazines, brochures and other area’s of client output. The rig can be used in a very versatile ways to capture elements of the car in motion as well as afford me the ability to be very fluid with my shots and open up possibilities for very unusual and eye catching photography that holds the viewers attention, a real must for many of my clients who believe in the power of strong imagery. For more overall car action work we often use chase cars to shoot from, and this is easily set up providing of course safety measures are in place and road access is available.”
Tim - "Our clients are building steadily each year and today we are very fortunate that they include some major corporate companies both in the UK, Europe and US. Like most business’s I’m always looking to tomorrow and the future, new opportunities and potential new clients that we can work with to help carry their branding message forward in a positive with creative photography. Recently we have seen a marked interest in non-automotive clients approaching us to shoot commercial for them, these have included luxury yachts and even airlines with the common driving factor being that they have been attracted by the style of our car photography and the drama that it often portrays and are seeking the same within their industry area's, this is a great challenge for us and I feel very proud that we have such a strong style and feel to our work that these sorts of approaches are made, for me style and indeed our own 'branding' through our photography is the key to successful growth longterm with the field of commercial photography."
As well as shooting performance and classic automotive cars Tim also works in the field of commercial vehicles such as trucks and vans. We were approached by Culina, one of Europe’s largest chilled and ambient food logistics companies. The company was under going a branding change following massive expansion and was seeking to have some dynamic and inspired photography done of their fleet. Tim met with the client and a plan was drawn up to shoot at several locations over a period of two days. We pride ourselves in the close relationship that Tim develops with our clients and this allows him to really achieve a strong idea of what the client is looking for. With Culina they had previously commissioned photography but felt that it was very much in the same order as a great deal of work in this field and were looking for something different, something inspirational. Following this successful project we also were invited to create a full library of marketing and brochure material for NFT, again the creative approach and high standard of photography won Ambient Life this contract and NFT were extremely happy with the end results and now feature these in all their corporate advertising as well as in framed prints around all their sites in the UK.
Work is undertaken using the latest high end Hasselblad digital photographic equipment allowing both accurate and efficient use of the material in may forms to suit an every changing market. These can include web outputs, magazine and brochure quality photography, as well as digital media presentations such as corporate DVD shows and promotional items.
Our aim is to provide a professional service that fits your needs. We supply digital images for commercial organisations throughout the UK and pride ourselves on not only supplying the imagery, but also any advice you might need to get the very best out of them. These services include creating branded work for client area's, as well as working to tight marketing and design briefs to ensure that the clients visions are met to the highest levels for use in company documents, websites, and advertising.
We always supply our clients with a full breakdown of rates and costs in quotations and will clearly explain all the available options that might best fit your requirements.
We are also happy to quote an "All-inclusive price" which includes all charges for shoot, process and supply of images for specific usage.
Full details are available on quotes as required, since we don't like hidden costs, we don't see why you should either!
We supply images in digital form on CD or DVD media. This is usually in the form of high resolution, colour balanced, files in TIFF format at resolution of 300dpi. JPEGs, other format files and other resolutions are of course available on request should you have that requirement. We will supply colour balanced JPEG format images web ready at 72dpi or 96dpi as a matter of course for web use on request.
Additional specialist image enhancement (CS5 / Capture One) is fully available to all our clients and is by prior arrangement and costs are dependant on the type of work to be undertaken and volumes involved.
This is charged on a reasonable hourly basis if required or can be booked at a reduced rate for the day.
Photographic prints are available as standard in a range of high quality finishes and also we are happy to undertake bespoke orders in a range of outputs from traditional, to modern acrylic sheets for wall mounting to offer that all important unique designer feel. All printing is professionally completed to the highest quality using 100 year fade resistant chemicals and not cheap low quality electronic printing processes.
We can also offer a hand framing service for that all important finished feel to photographic work that you may wish to display in your business or customer environment.
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"Be passionate about your product, be inspired by your customers"