Tag Archives: cars

It’s been a while…

So in the past year or so since I last posted, life has moved pretty quickly in the Merritt household. I’ve shot a major in-store campaign for Sharpie pens, my wife gave birth to our second child Archibald, I’ve shot the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach for Bentley Motors, and I’ve even updated Hot Doug Sohn’s head shots for his new book coming out this summer. Obviously these are just the highlights but It’s been a wild ride. And now it’s time to post some images. I plan on doing this more and more this year as I explore some interesting new work, face new challenges behind the camera, and try to decipher where my career is headed. Also, I’ll tell you about the time a $20K piece of camera equipment died in the middle of a shoot with 3 main models and 35 extras dancing in a night club at 11:45am. Long story. Enjoy some car porn in the meantime.

Sincerely,
– Ian

driving rain

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

| currently listening to: I’m Not Surprised, Bats and Mice, Believe It Mammals, 2007 | LINK

the photography:
moving vehicles provide some of the more invigorating subjects for me as a photographer. capturing movement, power, chaos, and motion within a frame, then bottling and selling it as emotion is something i strive for. i love wheels, grilles, motion blur, screaming motors, rumbling exhaust pipes, road noise, whipping wind, and most of all, the constant hum of the highway below your car. i just can’t think of a more comfortable place to be than moving on a highway, griping a wheel, scanning the horizon, becoming one with the car, glancing at the stereo, grinning. there is something very american, very wild west, very cowboy about driving on the open highway. something intrinsically human about moving at speed with all the weight and power behind you, throttle in your control, brakes within reach, and just a large chunk of metal, rubber, plastic and glass between you and the wind.

i’m scared shitless to ride a motorcycle and to be honest, the safety of an automobile suits me just fine. i don’t need to feel the wind through my receding hairline, i just need to know it’s there if i open the window or let the top down.

here are 15 photos taken in succession while riding shotgun. incessant rain and the big rigs of the midwest were my primary focus for the day. i spent a good ten minutes with my body pressed against the inside of the door so as not to create camera shake at 200mm. one 18 wheeler plowing through the rain become my obsession. so i took as many photos as i could. these are the ones that came out.

they also look great animated.

the music:
bats and mice are a fantastic little band from nc. they rock and they roll. and i like them for it.

led by the charismatic Ben Davis, bats and mice are a traditional three piece that play post rock. there’s not much more i can say about them other than they may or may not be a band right now as it is the ultimate side project. they also may or may not be one of the best live acts around. playing off the dynamics of soft – loud, fast – slow, and complicated – less complicated, these boys bring it. they also can sing. and that goes a long way. virtuosic playing while singing in key helps a ton with selling cd’s when you’re a band that someone may have seen at end of a long night out or just ran into the show with only half a song left. these dudes would make it worth your while. for sure.

perfect rainy day music.

men and their toys

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 43mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 1250 – Focal Length: 42mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 30mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 54mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: 3.2 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 45mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 2000 – Focal Length: 57mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: 2.8 – ISO: 3200 – Focal Length: 38mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/5 sec – Aperture: 8.0 – ISO: 3200 – Focal Length: 42mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/4 sec – Aperture: 8.0 – ISO: 3200 – Focal Length: 58mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/8 sec – Aperture: 8.0 – ISO: 3200 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

| currently listening to: Porno Queen, Paris, Texas, Action Fans Help Us!, 2007 | LINK

the photography:
men and their toys. as a full fledged automotive journalist (i’ve adopted the title these days. it was only a matter of time) every time i go to work i see lots of fan boys, dreamers, droolers, wrenchers, car dorks, motor nerds, and gearheads. i even work with a couple of them. it’s awesome. certain automobiles create such a response from just about everyone who sees them. these cars are powerful enough as design pieces, engineering feats, and just plain aesthetic awesomeness, to evoke giddiness from even the most chill of people.

case in point: this series of photos depicting men in cars. at the core, both nathan and joe are car enthusiasts (although joe is a professional automotive journalist – i think i added that title to my name so that i could be in the same profession as joe). both men enjoy the roar of a V8, the centripetal pull of a tight corner at high speeds (with quality tires), and the joy of lighting up a rear wheel drive beast on a slick surface.

nathan is sitting in what amounts to a couple of million dollars worth of steel, rubber, glass, and leather that he subsequently does not own (nor will he ever i suspect). these cars are museum quality and there are very few examples in the world like them. nathan is as happy as a pig in shit.

joe, on the other hand, is hanging out with his infamous Fiat 2000 Spyder (infamous for once being owned by a famous brother from a famous car radio show). it’s in decent shape for a 30 year old car but it won’t be taking home any blue ribbons at the Concours D’Elegance at Pebble Beach next year. joe is as happy as a pig in shit.

how can this be? how can they both be happy when they are obviously in completely different situations with vastly different cars? well… pictured above are two men who like cars. nay… two men who love cars. if their roles were reversed, each man would still be smiling, still gripping the steering wheel with pleasure, and they would each be happy to be smelling a carburetor. cars capture our attention via all of our senses, feeling the rumble of the idle, seeing the sleek metal lines, hearing the engine, smelling the combustion of gasoline, tasting the exhaust, and smelling the leather. cars are powerful forces of happiness as much as they are sources of severe unhappiness (especially when they do not work).

that is why… in about a month or two i will be launching a new automotive photojournalism site for car enthusiasts who like pictures of cars. the site is titled Shinyside.net and it’s a labor of love of mine that hopefully will grow and prosper with every visitor. i’ll still be posting here (albeit more often) and my love affair with automobiles will be on display at that URL.

the site will be dedicated to vintage, rare, old daily drivers, and fun cars that pique my interest as a photographer. i’ll keep you posted as it’s gonna take a lot of work to get it off the ground.

SIDE NOTE: i love the second photo. it’s probably my favorite photo that has not only a person but also a car (since i take lots of photos of each individually, not so many together). thanks to nathan for helping out in documenting all those pretty sweet rides… and thanks to joe for letting me live my ferris bueller dream of rolling down lakeshore drive in a vintage italian whip sans top.

the music:
oh my, Paris, Texas is one poppy fun band to bounce along to. these wisconsinites land somewhere directly between Minus the Bear, and Hey Mercedes. their mix of pop punk, musicianship, and sing-songy chorus’ make for an enjoyable mash-up of fun.

i also love that on their label’s website that their sound is ‘non-emo’. it must have taken more than a few craptastic reviews pointing to their ’emo-ness’ for them to go so far as to call their music, ‘non-emo’.

love it. enjoy.

auto as art – object not subject

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 48mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 43mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 55mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 45mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 62mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 57mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 42mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 60mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Motr, Tans Am, Surrender to the Night, 1997, | LINK

the photography:
in many ways, a car is a car is a car. if it gets you from point A to point B without fail, it’s doing it’s job correctly. now, getting from point A to point B is determined by the driver and how the driver would like to or can afford to get from A to B. some cars are made for those with money and some cars are made for those with no money and even more cars are made so that you can look like you’ve got money. exterior designs and drivetrains are copped every day from manufacturer to manufacturer and lawsuits and lawyers help to keep original ideas original. but no matter how you slice it, no matter how many models are on the road in one given model year (347 last year, much less this year) every individual entity known as “the automobile” can be viewed as a work of art. even the craptastic ones.

it’s funny that i ended up where i am today as a professional photographer. a couple of twists of fate, a coffee table book that went no where (which is a total bummer because i really look at the entire experience as some of my best editorial work as a whole and collected), a design career that was just asking for a break (although i still do the occasional album cover so keep those requests coming), this guy who i sorta met once who was looking for an auto photographer, and one fatefully awesome working interview later and, ta-da. so what has the two years brought me? well, for one thing, i know that i can make almost any car look good enough to pass off as awesome when viewed at 350px x 269px @72dpi. say that one five times fast.

other than that… say, the basics of first gear? eh, ummm… i know what torque does but could i describe it to you? probably not without using the word ‘torque’. and i know how a 600 hp engine feels when you stomp on the gas really hard. but do i know what shocks and struts do exactly? not so much. what i HAVE learned is how the light will react off the hood of a car in the shade and at what angle i should park a car at any given moment in the day to get as much soft light to bounce off the dash. it’s the little things, right?

photos are of a car without a single photo of a decipherable badge (i do leave one hint…) or a Monroney sticker (the thing on the window at the dealer, and yes, it has a proper name). i decided to take some shots without the normal car pieces extruding thus ruining the photo, with the exception of the headlights and the taillights which, after a while, feel less and less car like and more and more just plain mechanical. no wheels, no dashboards, no engine, no sounds, no fury, no burning rubber. just metal lines after gooey metal lines… (and some leather and more metal)

the music:
what happens when you mix two crazy multi instrumentalist dudes, one incredible drummer, numerous midi triggers, a couple of keyboards, a vocoder, one heavy bass, one heavy guitar, and then to top it off you pour lighter fluid all over the cymbals and light them on fire? after the drummer hits them repeatedly to put out the flames, you get Trans Am. this song is one of their best. and this band still sits in my top 10 live acts of all time. amazing. i will drive to cleveland to see this band. that’s how much i love their music.

with all the crap indie-metal-synth-pop-vocoder-idiots out there (that’s right, i’m looking directly at you dan deacon), you can point to trans am as a ground breaking band. on their 2004 record, liberation, they even remixed george w bush speeches into one of the best anti-war songs ever created. these guys are boundary pushers. and sometimes they come up sounding lame and trite (don’t buy the record TA). but for the most part, these guys kill it. and they kill it every time.