Just a few years later. BMW i8 E-Copper

A couple of years ago, I had an opportunity to take the previous version of BMW i8 for a photoshoot. It was a very unexpected event, and thanks to my friend, I had access to a massive metal barn which I used for a couple of days as a photography studio. Well, since I had access to such a place, now I needed a car, and that’s how I really ended up with an i8 for a weekend. It was the perfect machine for experimental photography and a great practice subject. Great opportunity to try something new and learn, learn a lot. You can check out the results of that photoshoot here
The future is now. BMW i8


BMW i8 Photoshoot 2018

BMW splash

When I took the silver i8 back in 2018, it was one of the first times I had a chance to do a proper photoshoot on location with strobe lighting. Now, after a few years of experience, thanks to my good friend, 2020 brought me another opportunity to shoot the BMW i8 again. This time it was orange facelift version from early 2019. Except for a few tiny details, the car is pretty much the same as the old one; fun to drive and fast as always.

I was wondering if (and how) my skills improved after more than two years of shooting. The most important question was: can I create better quality automotive photography than before? Yet again, I had the car for a whole weekend, and spent a lot of time shooting in different locations, environments and time of the day. Starting from total darkness, through photoshoot in the City to frosty sunny morning somewhere in Berkshire nature.

splash automotive photography cars
BMW i8 splash photography cars

Splash photography is one of those things I always wanted to try. In the past I had often a very good excuse not to do it. In summer it meant staying late, and I’m an early-morning type of person. In winter, its cold, windy and it gets too dark too early (it doesn’t matter that darkness is what I need!). This time I had the right car and low temperature outside did not put me off, although, 3 degrees and cold water is not the most pleasant mix. I’ve only managed to do it for about 2 hours. Still, I’ve got three cool shots (there is more, but I’m sharing only the best with you) from that night and I definitely plan to do more splash photography in the future.

I’m happy with the results, and I love the halo effect on these pictures, where the car looks a little bit overwhelmed by the amount of water. It takes attention away from the edges and helps to focus on the vehicle itself. The main subject is the brightest and most prominent point of these pictures. Orange gives a nice contrast and vibe in this almost black & white setup.

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i8 details from a different angle

The next day (or night I should say), I focused on the details to create more of a car art photography rather than just pictures of yet another supercar. Moody light, beautiful details and all are disappearing into the darkness. Definitely my type of images. I was inspired by another automotive photographer who created a very interesting technique for his work. I needed a very small and soft light source to avoid overlighting the whole car and create a more natural transition into the dark edges. I didn’t want to buy yet another modifier for my light, not knowing if I will ever need it again. I ended up heavily customising one of my softboxes for this photoshoot to get a particular type of light to minimise the amount of PP needed.

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BMW did a stunning job with this car, and it is a simply beautiful machine and one of the best candidate for experimental photography. I tried different cars throughout the years, but I did not enjoy any of them as much as I did the i8. I’m not talking only about the outside appearance. The interior quality was always impressive, and this particular car has a lovely orange leather to match the body colour. Vertically opening doors are just a treat for photographers as it gives you complete access and you can take any shot you want.

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I have to leave the judgement if this photoshoot to you, but I believe the results are definitely better than the photoshoot from 2 years ago with the silver i8. I’m not even sure if these two are comparable, maybe only different? Although, I tried to take a couple of similar shots to see how my experience affects the final image and I believe these shots came out slightly better. They are definitely better from a technical point of view. Postprocessing took less and was easier to get the results I was hoping for thanks to a better light source and my modified softbox.

Whatever the result, the i8 is still my favourite “daily driver supercar”.

If you like what you see here, head to Buy Now section, and you can order these shots as a wall art print (posters, aluminium, acrylic…)

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Car wall art photography

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Car photography & retouching

Automotive photography is the core of what we do. Our history is full of commercial work for various companies, brands and private projects, and photography competitions. All of our work throughout the last ten years was focused on creating unique and inspiring photography with vehicles at the centre. Our clients often describe our work in words such as “simplicity”, “no compromises” and “born from darkness”, but we love the bright and colourful pictures too.

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