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Even wegdromen… Slabbetje bij de hand?

Fotograaf Richard Thompson weet er nog het volgende over:

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working on what may well be the most unique (or craziest) photoshoot I’ve ever been involved in.

Collaborating with Los Angeles based designer Holger Schubert, we devised a photoshoot in support of a local children’s charity which Holger selected. The shoot took place in Holger’s exquisite Brentwood home, which has received acclaim in several publications and around the internet as the ultimate garage due to the fact the parking space is in his second story living room, and commands a sweeping panoramic view the whole way down to the Pacific. Ultimately the material is going to be produced into a book which we are working on now.

The shoot offered the opportunity to work with some remarkable cars, but the most remarkable part was the number of cars. Typically I work with one or two cars at a time, or five or six (at most) for a group shoot. This project called for me to shoot more than two dozen cars in the same space. By the time the project was over, more than 50 (!!!) cars had been photographed in the space by three different photographers, and on a variety of different camera systems. Thus the project became a study in efficiency and consistency.

Conceptually my ideas were weighted on creating images which stressed the interaction of the car with the environment, so my lighting technique was based on reduction rather than addition: I was able to modify available light by placing diffusion and flagging on the exterior of the house (it’s a bright space) rather than dragging a ton of lighting equipment in and overpowering the room with artificial light. This method also kept gear out of reflections, and saved a lot of time between setups. Not to mention how quickly things could’ve gotten out of hand with a lot of production equipment around so much exotic machinery.

For my own part 90% of the work was made on a PhaseOne system consisting of a 645DF+ body, IQ180 back, and Schneider Kreuznach leaf shutter glass provided by my friends at PhaseOne USA. I’ve used this system a handful of times for other work. The 80 megapixel resolution, 16-bit color depth, and brilliant touch screen interface are a potent and surprisingly easy to use combo given my past experience in the world of medium format digital. At one point Holger’s eight year old son got behind the camera and I had him shooting like a pro in a matter of minutes 🙂

Post production was a fairly straightforward process given attention paid to details on set. I opted for a cool grading scheme and retouched extraneous details (thermostat, lights, and speakers in ceiling) to enhance the minimalism of Holger’s house and promote the idea of the car + space as a surreal still life. Past experience in film and visual effects has taught me to solve problems practically as often as possible. The volume of cars we were working with made a lot of post-heavy techniques often seen in editorial or advertising work (like multi-frame composites or painting out loads of reflections) cost prohibitive. Having a pre-light day to modify the space and paying constant attention to set dressing dramatically reduced the amount of retouching required.