Category “Blog”

Chrysler Redefines

Sleek photography sold the American automotive industry to the public for generations; black & white, sizzling colors or captivating sex appeal images with a clear theme. Much of it honestly didn’t matter because the vehicle was pristine and the automotive industry was strong. Everything superficially seemed as it had for generations, so no one’s eyes were open to the storm brewing, let alone its long reaching implications.

The ensuing governmental bail out in late 2008 shattered the American confidence in one of our most historic industries. It indeed seemed impossible to ever rebuild the country’s faith. That is until a creative marketing campaign with powerful artistic photography turned the nation’s head back with a hopeful eye.

The Chrysler Corporation unveiled its 300 sedan series with a knockout Super Bowl commercial followed by equally powerful stills in different publications. In these images, the marketers paid homage to what has historically worked, but with one significant twist. Instead of selling a car to America, they chose to use the car to sell America. While viewing these images for the first time, some confusion ensued for the audience. The landscape and the people within it were the focal points, but even they lacked the shine of the classic stock images. This photography harnessed hard angles, unmovable lines, and monochromatic hues, all conveying stability and longevity. Detroit is the star and the car becomes merely the backdrop, but when it appears, it too commands the viewer’s attention

According to USA Today, the images

will be a breakthrough in terms of how you speak about luxury (in) this country. It doesn’t speak about luxury in terms of just aesthetic, but about luxury in terms (of) the spirit.” says Olivier Francois, CEO of the Chrysler brand.

The photography and the “Imported from Detroit” slogan work effectively together to help the American audience regain the sense that with hard work, all is possible. Detroit is a hard-working steel town that is represented by a formidable, steely vehicle. The connection is made through brilliant marketers partnering with just as ingenious photographers.

Car Stock Photos have always been essential to the automotive industry, but it has become evident that they have never meant just as much as they do now.

Please contact us for all of your rights managed stock photography needs.

Background work is important in car photography

When car stock photography’s working right, your eye is immediately drawn to the subject, right? The car. Sure, but sophisticated photography also considers the background. The setting. Maybe even the driver or passengers. It’s what sets the tone for what promoters want you to understand about the car.

Have a look at some photo galleries Car stock photos gallery list and you’ll see a range of cars in a range of settings.For instance, take a peek at the 2012 Jaguar XF, a sporty wagon. A silver model is pictured on a curvy, mountainous highway that’s winding toward an ocean. It’s a pretty backdrop, but it’s subtly giving viewers important information about the car itself.

It’s practical, with the capacity to store vacation gear, maybe even kids. It handles like well, a Jaguar and it probably gets decent mileage though if you’re buying a Jaguar, economy might not be your top priority.

The road’s blurred, too, which also underscores that you’re getting … well, a Jaguar, like we said. A few more frames offer a few more pieces of information. In one photo, the back is open, showing all that cargo space. And it’s parked in an attractive, upscale carport. A car like this, the photo seems to be saying, would sure be a nice addition to your driveway or look at Motor Trend’s gallery for the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover.

Everyone’s seen a Range Rover crashing through the African bush, but they clean up pretty well and look nice when you’re out on the town, the gallery tells us. The most prominently featured photo shows a smartly chromed charcoal-colored Rover in a distinctly urban setting, lights gleaming enticingly.

See? These aren’t just trucks for hauling tranquilized zebras. The dust rinses right off, and they make for trendy transportation.The details are critical in car photography — contact us if you want professionals who know about background work.

Car photo library for people who love cars, and good photos

It’s summertime, so there are car shows all over the place, and it’s possible to see some really sweet old cars, typically maintained by really sweet older guys. The photos, even in the press, aren’t usually all that sweet, they are just cars sitting on asphalt or grass, typically with high contrast light coming through trees, or some really bad HDR processing.

2012 Jaguar XKR-S Coupe Car Stock Photography

Low aggressive passenger side view of 2012 Jaguar XKR-S Coupe

Here’s one example of that. Nice car, but not that nice for any serious car photo library. Here’s another example, where classic cars get mixed in with fruit pies and much more. Sweet, for sure, but just not what you are interested in, for automotive marketing and advertising projects.

What is more interesting this summer is that we’re starting to see some beautiful pictures of high end cars that will be coming out in the fall. One that’s making lots of waves, for instance, is the new Austin Martin Vanquish. It’s a handsome looking car by any measure. Unfortunately for those of us in the United States, the car won’t arrive in retail until next year, but it will be available this fall in Europe.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 2WD Crew Cab

Rear three quarter view of 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 2WD Crew Cab

The new Vanquish will reach European dealerships in late 2012 with UK prices starting from £189,995, while first deliveries in the U.S. will begin in early 2013 with prices to start from US$279,995 MSRP.

We’ve also seen some tantalizing reports about a new Mercedes and a new Bentley. The Mercedes is a Mercedes-Benz’s 2014 CLA Class, and the Bentley is a Continental GT Speed. Both of them should have many more details coming out soon, but for now we’re just listening for press reports. Both will be fascinating additions to the high end marketplace.

 Aston Martin Vanquish Stock photography

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish 2+2 Coupe

 

At Buick, car photography helps define design

Car photography usually displays the subject, but at Buick, it’s helping define it. Consider the Buick Enclave, the luxury crossover that’s among the models helping Buick transform its brand for younger buyers who tend to put a premium on performance and style.

2013 Buick Enclave Stock Photography

Front three quarter view of a 2013 Buick Enclave

The 2013 Enclave, PaddockTalk.com reports, incorporates the design ideas of three Buick staff members who have a passion for photography — Alikhan Kuljanov, John Puskar and Craig Zinser, Though they pursue different types of photography, the three find their art applies naturally to helping shape automobiles.

Kuljanov, one of Buick’s lead creative designers, says he immediately thinks photography when he evaluates a car design, imagining how it would look through a lens.

Items I photograph, like a glass of cognac or a colorful autumn setting, for example, affect the warm colors we’ve brought to the Buick brand,” he tells PaddockTalk.

2011 Buick Regal CXL Sedan Stock Photography

Passenger side profile view of a 2011 Buick Regal CXL Sedan

Car design has always called for artistic eyes, but today’s tools have further blurred the line between function and form.

Technology has opened up new opportunities to manipulate images and create something truly unique,” Puskar explains in the article.

If designers can imagine it, they can create an image of it — and engineers can usually figure out a way to put it into production. Graceful design is part of Buick’s heritage, PaddockTalk’s article notes:

Blue translucent headlight rings, LED lighting inside and out, and soft-touch interior materials continue to stress the brand’s attention to detail,” the article says.

2013 Buick Verano stock photography

2013 Buick Verano 1ST Turbo Premium Group Sedan

Bringing all those individual elements together is what designers — and photographers — do. Contact us if we can help bring together your image.

Top Five Tips for Selecting Stock Photography

Whether you are designing an ad, re-designing a client website, creating an e-newsletter template, or laying out a new brochure, selecting the right stock photography can mean the difference between selling your product, or having people ignore it. People look and engage with picture first.

There are literally hundreds of stock photography sites available offering millions of photos. How can you narrow down your search and select the most unique image to get the most for your money?

 Chevrolet Corvette GS Coupe

One blue 2012 Chevrolet Corvette GS Coupe at a pit stop lane.

Have a firm concept in mind first.

It’s not a good idea to start a stock photo search looking for inspiration. The creative process should start with a concept. Then move on to looking for that perfect image. Doing it the other way around will literally be like searching for a needle in a haystack and will not yield the most creative result.

Think out of the box.

Just because you do not see the perfect image doesn’t mean stock photography can’t suit your needs. Consider adapting the image or combining more than one image. Can the photograph be altered to look more like an illustration or digitally rendered image? Customize your image statement by utilizing image editing tools. However, carefully research whether you have the “alteration and/or derivative” rights to change the stock photos you are purchasing before doing this.

Aston Martin Cygnet Micro Car

One bronze 2011 Aston Martin Cygnet Micro Car outdoors under a overpass.

Select “Rights Managed” images.

A key component to an effective campaign is uniqueness. Having a competitor use the same stock image can really set you back and ruin your hard work. If your projects budget has the cash go for exclusive rights for the feature stock photo. Okay, that’s a dream, right? Buying “Rights Managed” is next best, as RM can guarantee another company in the same industry and geographic location cannot purchase it. RM costs a bit more, but it’s better than walking around with virtual pie in the face. “Royalty Free” images are available with much fewer restrictions on how and where you use the stock photos. RF stock photos typically reduce your brand value and unique messaging. If it’s a photo that customers in your market vertical have already seen the investment in the campaign is drastically reduced in value. It probably goes without saying, but be sure you never use stock photos without obtaining a license agreement. In addition to having to kill your campaign you will also be exposed to heavy copyright infringement fines.

2013 Infiniti JX Stock Photo

Straight rear view of 2013 Infiniti JX Stock Photo

Don’t buy more than you need.

With Rights Managed stock photos, it’s tempting to ask for worldwide unlimited rights to save time later. Do you really need all that use included in the license? Most stock photo agencies will work with you to get the licensing you need now, and scale as the campaign grows. The Royalty Free stock photography business model is a pricing structure based on how large an image is. The larger the stock image, the more expensive. Although, you always need a high resolution image for print publications and you should never buy smaller than you need, it is wasteful to purchase an 16X20 inch image for a quarter page ad. Additionally, keep in mind all electronic media can adequately display images at only 72 dpi, so you do not need to purchase a large, high resolution image if you are only using it on a Web site.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid Stock Photography

Rear three quarter view of a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

Consider Brand Demographic.

if you are selling automotive accessories targeted to family vehicles with 30-40 year old soccer moms then don’t select photos a Scion tC with young affluent single males. The same applies in the opposite scenario.

Considering colors for stock car pics

Sometimes, the distinctions between producing European car stock photos and USA car stock photos are right there in black and white.

Europeans, an annual industry report says, prefer black cars. Americans, on the other hand, favor white.

The report comes from automotive paint supplier PPG, which says 26 percent of new cars sold last year in Europe were black, while 20 percent of the cars sold in the United States were white. Taking the middle road, Asian buyers — 25 percent of them, anyway — chose silver above all other colors.

Numbers like this might sound like another cupful of interesting water-cooler trivia, but it’s worthwhile information for car photographers as they consider details like settings for photo shoots, lighting and the tone their images take.

Color is one of the most basic means of human expression,” says PPG’s Jane E. Harrington, manager of color styling and automotive coatings. “The palette of colors being developed for the automotive segment is being influenced by culture, nature, fashion, interior design, media, auto shows, color popularity and new pigment technology.

Emphasizing the importance of the study’s findings, PPG’s research says that 48 percent of car buyers reported that they often base their decisions on color — and 77 percent say exterior color has helped them make their vehicle choices.

Well worth considering even though most imaging and design professionals could tell you that white, black and silver are not colors. If details are important to you, too, contact us.

Chevy’s SS is the stuff of USA car stock photos

Even today, when you think USA car stock photos, Chevy’s legendary line of 1960s muscle cars is likely to come to mind  and that’s exactly what General Motors is counting on as it reintroduces the SS brand for the 2014 model year.

“Before direct injection and electric motors, all that mattered was displacement,” Digital Trends reflects in a new post. “During the golden age of American performance cars, the 1960s, muscle cars with big V8s and rear-wheel drive ruled the streets. Chevrolet’s Super Sport, or SS, models, were among the best.”

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS Stock Photo

Low aggressive passenger side front three quarter view of 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Hoping to keep the legacy rolling, GM is introducing a new rear-wheel-drive, V-8-powered model that it’s calling the SS, or Super Sport, the company has announced. The four-door sedan should be in showrooms by late 2013. GM isn’t saying much beyond that, but all indications are that the car will take after the Pontiac G8 and Chevy’s Caprice PPV.

Nobody’s losing much sleep over fuel efficiency here — that wouldn’t be in keeping with the SS tradition, anyway. The engine, Motor Trend predicts, will likely be a small-block 6.2-liter V8 … producing at least 400 horsepower.

2008 Chevrolet Aveo 5 LS Stock Photo

Rear three quarter view of 2008 Chevrolet Aveo 5 LS

Photographs are yet to come, but Chevy hints that the car will look like its NASCAR racer and if the confident curves and sleek style that defined Chevy’s ’60s cars come into play, GM just might have another classic on its hands.

Contact us — we love the classics, too.

Car photography keeps up with new automotive abilities

As if the flying cars that wowed auto shows this spring weren’t enough, Google’s new computer-controlled cars are yet another example of why tech-savvy and imaginative car photography is so crucial to promotional campaigns.

Who doesn’t want to see a car fly?

The two new brands of cars that lift motorists from their driveways to their office parking lots, of course, pose new challenges for photographers and videographers. And it’s the same with the Google cars, which have been making news since Nevada became the first state to grant them legal access to public roads.

Google’s engineers, working in partnership with Stanford University, started with Toyota Priuses and modified them from there.

The cars, according to the UK’s Telegraph, “are controlled by computers processing a combination of mapping data, radar, laser sensors and video feeds.”

The company’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, has been a big supporter of the idea for the past few years, according to The Telegraph.

“It’s amazing to me that we let humans drive cars”, he said in a 2010 interview.

Who ever’s driving them, cars are getting much more sophisticated — and capable of things we used to see only in sci-fi films. Car photography, meantime, still needs to make the subject appealing, and to find fresh ways to show what these new automotive abilities mean.

We can’t wait to see what else the future looks like — contact us if you’d like to talk about where to go with your next campaign.

 

Make Sure Your Ad’s Car Photography Is Legal

Beware! Using some awesome car photography you found online in your next advertisement could cost you more than a pretty penny in legal fees.

Currently there is a watershed, photographic based, court case coming to a close that could have far reaching effects on images and rights of use. Daniel Morel, a freelance photographer, found himself in Haiti at the time of the island nation’s historical & powerful earthquake. His photos were among the first that the world saw of this epic disaster. Due to the country’s wide spread devastation, he was not able to securely upload his photos to his representatives, so he utilized a more public method… TwitPic.com … a service he linked to his Twitter account. Several news agencies came across these images and began flashing them across TV screens and publishing them in daily papers for days and even weeks after this tragic event. However, none of the news agencies sought Morel’s approval to disseminate his images or even gave him credit.

This caused Morel to bring suit against many powerful news organizations, among them Agence France Presse (AFP), ABC, CBS, CNN and Getty Images. Without getting into all the complicated legal terms of the case, the news organizations declared that they had not infringed upon Morel’s copyrights. They argued that Twitpic’s terms of service, which Morel had agreed to before uploading, provided them a license to distribute the images.

However last December, District Judge William H. Pauley refused to dismiss the case in favor of the new agencies and he went one step further by legally commenting that anything posted on Twitter or TwitPic cannot be freely re-used or distributed. His comments alone caused many of the new agencies to settle with the photographer while AFP and Getty chose to move forward with a summary judgment (a tactic seen by most, as attempt to allow more time for settlement talks).

It comes down to this; in previous cases the court only found violation if the digital photograph’s embedded metadata had been removed or alter (metadata is created when utilizing Photoshop or other similar applications). Yet, in this case, due to the use of Twitpic, there was no metadata. Judge Pauley took this into account and found that the information does not have to be embedded; it can be shown alongside the image. All 13 of the images Morel uploaded displayed the handle “photomorel” or “Morel”. The Court concluded that anyone would have recognized that meant Morel was the author of these images.

What does this mean for photographers? Simply put, the courts are catching up to the digital age and would-be online poachers should beware.

Contact us to learn more about Izmostock’s massive library of European and American car photography.

Shelby keeps its sense of humor on car photography

Fortunately, Shelby American has a sense of humor when it comes to car photography.

The legendary after-market performance automaker is poking a little fun at itself after USA Today recently detected some doctoring in images Shelby released to the press. The company later said the pictures were released by accident.

New images from Shelby, though, are no mistake. Whimsically manipulated photos  show the Las Vegas-based company’s 950-horsepower Shelby 1000 rumbling down a roller coaster track, parked on the deck of an aircraft carrier and jumping a row of cars … while disguised as a monster truck.

Considering Shelby’s legacy of blindingly fast cars, the doctored photos seemed believable to many. The pictures appeared to show the front wheels of the Shelby 1000 pulling off the ground — presumably from the car’s powerful torque.

But a closer look confirmed some altering of the image.

Shelby spokesman Scott Black, who initially told USA Today that the only photo manipulation he knew of was to correct for shadows, had to call the paper back after further fact-checking at the Las Vegas-based company’s offices.

That is a fake shot,” Black told USA Today. “That shot is not real. I am beyond embarrassed.” He explained that a photographer had done the manipulation but that he didn’t know why.

It’s a good reminder of why car photography requires the highest levels of skill, ethics and professionalism. Contact us if you’re serious about your campaigns.