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Interview with Automotive Photographer Arun M Nair | Shutterstoppers <!– [if IE]>http://html5shiv.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js<![endif]–>

In this short interview, professional automotive photographer Arun Nair shares his views and perceptions about photography with us.

Hi Arun, please introduce yourself.

Hello guys, I am Arun M Nair, an automotive enthusiastic, rider and an automotive photographer from Kerala, India. I am working for Evo magazine and crankandpiston.

How did you get into automotive photography?

My love towards automotive itself is the key factor why I choose this career. I Graduated from St Albert College with a degree in animation,worked as freelancer photographer and script writer for private firm for one year. I started learning photography myself for the past one and a half years. After giving lots of thoughts, I decided to be an automotive photographer, because, for me, it is a combination of things i love to do, which is automotive journalism and photography.

How would you describe your style in this particular genre of photography?

Honestly, I don’t know if I have a style. All I want is to produce good imagery with my limited knowledge in photography.

Tell us the importance of post-production in automotive photography. Please share your basic workflow with us.

Post-production is a factor in automotive photography, but I won’t say it is the main factor. Here, subject itself is a large reflective body, and apart from shooting for advertisements, most of the time I use photoshop to clear all reflections from the body,and for adding visual effects like flares,smoke or fog. I always try to keep up a ratio of 70% photography and the rest 30 % post processing all the time. Sometimes, automotive photographers need to depend upon CGI as per clients’ needs. Usually I play with curves and levels, some high pass filter for sharpening, and color balance to enhance colors. That is my usual workflow

Who inspires you in automotive photography, and why?

From Webb bland and Easton chang, Frederic, Richard, Andrew Thompson to late Dhaval Dhairyawan (BBC Topgear India) has inspired me, and why? Because I started drawing when I was 10 from an automotive magazine, which was my foundation of creativity itself, and I believe some of these artists inspired me to do good shots too.

Could you please share some important automotive photography tips that a beginner should try?

Arun: I have been asked the same question quiet lot of time before. Since we are handling a large reflective subject, choose locations where we can shoot with fewer reflections. Try not to shoot at mid-day since the light is harsh and flat. Find some references about locations, and before shooting, try to do some rendering and make a story board of your frames. However, this is not needed if you are doing motor sport events. Also, get inspirations from movies, games anything which has automotive as subject. Try to recreate the sequence.

How is composition in automotive photography or any other commercial photography different from other genre?

It doesn’t differ from any genre basically. It’s just from my point of view. Sometimes, I follow the rules of third, and sometimes i just break them to try something new. It is all about experimenting with composition all the time. And most of the time, I shoot in basis of rules of third, color theory, and staging for a balanced visual weight throughout out the frame. I am not a fan of tight shots. I feel more comfortable when I give more negative space to the frame.

How do you decide on the final image? Does it depend on the client you are working with or is it entirely upto you?

So far clients just leave it to me, and so, it’s entirely upto me. But in certain cases, especially working with writers in a magazine, they have a certain theme in their mind. In such situations, we just have some chat, and come to conclusions with the help of references

A professional photographer takes photos for his clients while, an amateur does the same for himself. According to you how different are these two concepts?

From my point of view, the terms amateur and professional don’t have much difference at all. A professional is committed to more errors with his long-term of experiences and record them so that the next time he won’t commit them in result. This helps in a faster and better output. An amateur is the person who is about to start committing errors through his experiments, and the only difference is that an amateur has full freedom in his work to execute them in his wish. A professional, sometimes, has to say yes to some ideas from client even though he knows it isn’t going to be good.

Thank you for giving us this interview. What is your best advice to any aspiring automotive photographer?

If you have that love towards automotive and the talent to execute that love into a form of imagery and you have the beliefs in your skills, just chase your dreams and work hard.