Why I Photograph Cars

Other essays in this series

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment
to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal –a commitment to excellence-
that will enable you to attain the success you seek.
Mario Andretti

1 - Introduction
My primary photographic subject is landscape photography. I came to photograph cars not as a professional occupation, but because I wanted beautiful photographs of my personal cars for my own enjoyment.

In short, car photography was, and still is, a hobby. I enjoy photographing cars to change my mind from landscape photography. I find car photography to be fun and relaxing. I photograph my own cars, as well as cars that I like and cars in historical, racing or other interesting settings.

1961 Ford Starliner

2 – Why I photograph cars
We all have cars. Or we will all have cars. That is, unless we committed ourselves to public transportation for the rest of our lives, or resolved ourselves to using a bicycle, or decided that walking will be our only form of locomotion.

While we may own the cars we photograph, many of the cars we want to photograph are not owned by us. They are either too expensive, too unique, or simply not for sale. This is the case for race cars, in particular those being raced at the present time, because they are the sole property of the race teams. It is also the case for unique vehicles that belong to museums or to private collectors and of cars that are simply too pricy to purchase. Finally, regardless of our level of income, we simply cannot own all the cars we like. While some succeed at assembling a fascinating collection over many years, doing so is not commonplace. Furthermore, no matter how much we try, there will always be certain cars that stay away from ownership reach.

Because of this, for many car enthusiasts seeing cars in person and bringing back photographs of these cars is an important aspect of enjoying the vehicles we like. I should say ‘bringing back good photographs’ or better ‘bringing back great photographs. ‘ This is what this is all about. Owning a great photograph of a great car is almost as good as owning a great car. Not quite the same, I agree. You cannot drive the photograph, you cannot hear the scream of the engine when looking at an image and you do not have the scent of leather, oil and gas. But when you have seen and experienced the real car, a good photograph has the power of bringing this back to you when you look at the image. Why? Because a great photograph captures not just the look of the car. It also captures its soul.

A great photograph captures not only what the car looks like but also, and most importantly, how the car feels. It has the power of bringing back the emotions generated by the car. It represents what the car means to you, both on a factual and an emotional level. It also offers the opportunity of sharing your vision with others through your photographs, and of making them see and feel what you saw and felt.

3 - The eBook
I do car photography for my personal enjoyment, my primary photographic activity being landscape photography. However, this series of car photographs has been very well received and I have had a lot of questions about how I created them. I therefore created an eBook explaining how these photographs were created, to express my approach to car photography and to describe my vision.

Click here to order the Car Photography eBook

4 - The Folio and eFolio
I also decided to create an eFolio, an electronic version of a Folio, to present a selection of my favorite car photographs. Ninety photographs are featured in the eFolio. These ninety images represent my initial selection from hundreds, if not thousands, of car photographs.

Later this year I plan to release a Folio, a physical collection of 5x7 images printed on 8x10 fine art paper, accompanied by an artist statement, a biography and a colophon and presented in a die-cut Folio enclosure. This physical Folio will feature 15 car photographs. Therefore, from my eFolio initial selection of 90 images, I will have to remove 75 photographs to get to the final selection of 15 photographs that will be included in the Folio. This will be a tough process since I will have to eliminate about three fourth of the images featured in the eFolio.

Click here to order the Car Photography eFolio

Alain Briot
October 2012



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