With the upcoming Concorso d’Eleganza, this week at the Villa d’Este in Italy, we look back at our photoshoot with A. Lange & Söhne roughly 1 year ago. For the 2015 edition of the Concorso d’Eleganza our photographer travelled to Munich, meeting up with the PR department for an A. Lange & Söhne press photoshoot. Being the main partner for the event since 2012, A. Lange & Söhne created an exclusive ‘Como Edition’ of the Lange 1 Time Zone for the winner in the category ‘best of show’. This special model features the name ‘Como’ on the city ring and a special hand-engraved case back, displaying the coat of arms of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
For this special project the idea was to visualize this 2015 Lange 1 Como edition together with a BMW Art Car from the BMW Museum in Munich. Prior to the actual press photoshoot we visualized and discussed several ideas. Although at that time it was still unsure which BMW Art Car would be available for the photoshoot.
After having created some roughly sketched visuals at first, more photorealistic stills were composed to create a better preview. This also helps foreseeing possible problems that may occur during a photoshoot. Will the watch remain stable on the fender?
So beforehand there was a global idea of what we would be going to create and how the setup would have to be. The focus would have to be on the watch, being the most important object in the images, yet the background would have to be recognisable. Maybe not to everybody, but the enthusiast would have to recognise the background subject straight away. So when the lights finally hit green for this project it was time to pack up the photo equipment and travel to Germany.
At the day of the shoot we meet up at the BMW Welt and find our way to the basement of the museum. Here we find three 70’s BMW art cars on display, that have actually been used on the race track. Side-by-side we see the Alexander Calder BMW 3.0CSL from 1975, Frank Stella’s coupé from 1976 and the 1977 320i designed by Roy Lichtenstein. Looking at the cars we decided to use Frank Stella’s car. With the requirements of a recognizable background, and making it recognizable to enthusiasts, this was the design that would fit the photoshoot best. After looking at the other cars closely they would possibly only have been recognizable to true connaisseurs in the complete set of photos.
Where you can do pretty much anything in a studio, shooting on location can make some shots quite difficult. Add museum grade cars that are in a fixed position and you will understand there are certain problems we had to work around. Not being able to move the cars, it was a challenge to get the right shots. Positioning yourself in-between less than half a meter of free space, add a tripod/camera combo and studio lighting to that and you’ll probably get an idea of what it was like.
During the day we worked our way from the global visualizations, based on the visuals discussed beforehand, to the final setups for each of the press images. Starting off with doing some test shots, trying some adjustments to see what works best. Sometimes it happens that you find a different angle that works better. This is followed by more testshots, minor adjustments, slightly different angles and working with all kinds of lighting setups. After a full day of shooting we finished just before the museum closed its doors, and went home with a bunch of images for editing.
The images have been used for various purposes like this press release on the news section of the official A. Lange & Söhne website.