In our first installment of the View Finder series we looked at a photo shoot of a perfect 1971 Lamborghini Miura. In that article I remarked on how incredible it is to shoot an older vehicle like a Miura. All the little details, all the intricately machined and assembled components not seen on today's cars.
This time we are taking you behind the scenes at a shoot for a brand new Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. This much younger sibling of the Miura may be from the same manufacturer and cut from the same cloth, but in actuality is a much different animal.
While the Miura was beautiful in every detail, the Gallardo is aggressive and emotional as a whole. Some will argue that it doesn't have as much soul, as much feeling as the Miura, and maybe it doesn't, but it inspires lust in a whole different way. This car truly lives up to the charging bull depicted on its hood. While cars keep getting more and more complex, the aesthetics seem to be regressing into simpler, smother, less complex shapes.
On the inside the Miura is extremely simple. No electronics to save unskilled drivers, no computers to monitor the engine and the environment to constantly adjust one to the other. On the outside however, the Miura is an amazing collection of complex curves and contours. I don't know if there is actually a single flat panel on the entire car. Lamborghini was not apologetic at all about the need for adding vents, lights and bumpers to the outside of the car. The designers in fact seemed proud of the need for the outlets on the hood as if showing off just how much heat that big V12 produces that it needs to spread it around the car. Not only did they scoop out the sculpted front fenders for the pop-up headlights, they even painted them black to add to the effect.
The Gallardo on the other hand is an exercise in simplicity. While this car is anything but understated, the intimidating character is translated in much less complex and less deliberate way. The Miura is the SWAT Team member in full body armor and the Gallardo is the Secret Service Agent in the black suit and glasses, they may look very different but you know the outcome will be the same if you mess with them.
Getting the car into the studio was the same exercise as with the Miura. No running cars in the studio and no tires rolling on the painted floor means everything happens on the wheel jacks. The first concern with the wheel jacks was whether they were up to the task of straddling the massive rear tires, luckily this is the baby Lambo and the rear tires measure a "mere" 295mm wide. They barely fit, I am not looking forward to trying to get the jacks on the Murcielago's 335 steamroller-esque monsters.
The pearl white paint almost glows under the studios lights, almost as if it is lighting up the space as much as the light box above it. In the studio is were a cars lines can really be appreciated. There are no reflections in the paint, no weird shadows or glares from the outside, just smooth uninterrupted light bathing the car. To see a car like this is like studying it in an art gallery or museum. Suddenly the shape of the car is sculpture, the lines are pure and the car can truly be judged as a vision and not as machine.
It didn't take nearly as long to position this car. With its flatter panels and in your face styling, everything is right in front of you. Shadows and highlights don't hid from you like on the Miura. You see how the light lays on the surface and it doesn't play any tricks on you.
Photographing the car still took the same amount of care. Senior Editor Rob Hallstrom was the matador with this bull, he has a little more down to business attitude about shooting than Editor Les Bidrawn. Both are excellent photographers but you get the feeling that Les shoots from the hip a little more than Rob. Rob came in with a plan; he knew what he was after and what it would take to get it done. Les is a little more free flowing, waiting to get the car in the studio to see what happens.