A Sea of Red
Last year I was given the opportunity to photograph something very different from my usual subjects. As you will be no doubt aware one of my passions is low light photography, sunrise and sunset being my ultimate idea of a great image. But this was going to be so different, in fact something not everyone would ever get the chance to shoot up close and personal. Here we go then……. A FERRARI !
I was invited to a specialist studio called The Big White Space in Bradford. This studio is a professional photography studio situated in-between Bradford and Leeds. The M606, M62 and M1 motorways give quick access from Manchester and Sheffield. The studio is ready to go, all it needs is you and your camera. It is ideal for portfolio work, family portraits and specialist vehicle photography. Should you need any further information regarding the studio I will enclose a link at the bottom of the page.
I rolled up at the time designated to me really not knowing what to expect. I had done a little research in to the studio and its facilities and I was aware of the large white backdrop (hence the name) but seeing it up close really throws you out. If you have ever been in a photo studio with a white background then for starters just consider that; now multiply it by twenty. This backdrop is huge….its is actually classified as an 8m x 8m infinity cove. Let me tell you now, this is a very strange concept when you stand in the middle of the floor staring at the backdrop as you lose complete spacial awareness. I can imagine this is similar to how the Polar explorers feel when they have a complete “white-out” (A polar weather condition caused by a heavy cloud cover over the snow, in which the light coming from above is approximately equal to the light reflected from below, and which is characterized by absence of shadow, invisibility of the horizon, and discernibility of only very dark objects.) it really made you feel dizzy and unsteady on your feet.
The car was a Ferrari F430. The F430 is a sports car that was produced by the Italian automaker Ferrari from 2004 to 2009, as a successor to the F360 . It debuted at the 2004 Paris Motor Show. The car has a MSP of £119,500 in the United Kingdom. I have included some information from Wikipedia below, you can also go to the link here to obtain the same information.
The F430 features a 4.3L V8 petrol engine derived from a shared Ferrari/Maserati design. This new power plant was a significant departure for Ferrari, as all previous Ferrari V8s were descendants of the Dino racing program of the 1950s. This fifty-year development cycle came to an end with the entirely new 4.3L, the architecture of which is expected to replace the Dino-derived V12 in most other Ferrari cars. The engine’s output specifications are: 490 PS (360 kW; 483 hp) at 8500 rpm and 465 N·m (343 lb·ft) of torque at 5250 rpm, 80% of which is available below 3500rpm. Despite a 20% increase in displacement, engine weight grew by only 4 kg and engine dimensions were decreased, for easier packaging. The connecting rods, pistons and crankshaft were all entirely new, while the four-valve cylinder head, valves and intake trumpets were copied directly from Formula 1 engines, for ideal volumetric efficiency. The F430 has a top speed of 196 mph (315 km/h) and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.0 seconds, 0.3 seconds quicker than the old model.
The brakes on the F430 were designed in close cooperation with Brembo (who did the calipers and discs) and Bosch (who did the electronics package),resulting in a new cast-iron alloy for the discs. The new alloy includes molybdenum which has better heat dissipation performance. The F430 was also available with the optional Carbon fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) ceramic composite brake package. Ferrari claims the carbon ceramic brakes will not fade even after 300-360 laps at their test track.
The F430 featured the E-Diff, a computer-controlled limited slip active differential which can vary the distribution of torque based on inputs such as steering angle and lateral acceleration.
Other notable features include the first application of Ferrari’s manettino steering wheel-mounted control knob. Drivers can select from five different settings which modify the vehicle’s ESC system, “Skyhook” electronic suspension, transmission behavior, throttle response, and E-Diff. The feature is similar to Land Rover’s “Terrain Response” system. The Ferrari F430 was also released with exclusive Goodyear Eagle F1 GSD3 EMT tires, which have a V-shaped tread design, run-flat capability, and OneTRED technology.
In the US, the company requested an exemption from the airbag design requirements, which was eventually granted, allowing the car to continue to be sold in the US.
The F430 Spider is the convertible version based on the coupé. The F430 Spider is Ferrari’s 21st road going convertible. The Ferrari F430 Spider made its world premiere at the Geneva motor show. The car was designed by Pininfarina with aerodynamic simulation programs also used for Formula 1 cars. The roof panel automatically folds away inside a space above the engine bay. The conversion from a closed top to an open-air convertible is a two-stage folding-action. The interior of the Spider is identical to that of the coupé.
The F430 Challenge is the track version of the F430, designed for the Ferrari Challenge. The engine remained untouched but the vehicle’s weight was reduced, resulting in a top speed of 196 mph (315 km/h). The production model was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January, 2005.
Serving as the successor to the Challenge Stradale, the 430 Scuderia (scuderia meaning “stable of horses”, but also used in the context of motor racing teams, including Ferrari’s own) was unveiled by Michael Schumacher at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show. Aimed to compete with cars like the Porsche RS-models and the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera (superleggera meaning super light weight), it is lighter (by 100 kg/220 lb) and more powerful (515 PS (379 kW; 508 hp) at 8500 rpm) than the standard F430. Increased power comes from a revised intake, exhaust, and an ion-sensing knock-detection system that allows for a higher compression ratio. Thus the weight-to-power ratio is reduced from 2.96 kg/hp to 2.5 kg/hp. In addition to the weight saving measures, the Scuderia semi-automatic transmission gained improved “Superfast”, known as “Superfast2”, software for faster 60 millisecond shift-times. A new traction control system combined the F1-Trac traction and stability control with the E-Diff electronic differential. The Ferrari 430 Scuderia accelerates from 0-100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) in 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 198 miles per hour (319 km/h). Ferrari claims that around their test track, Fiorano Circuit, it is faster than a Ferrari Enzo.
Scuderia Spider 16M
To commemorate Ferrari’s 16th victory in the Formula 1 Constructor’s World Championship 2008, Ferrari unveiled the Scuderia Spider 16M at World Finals in Mugello. It is a convertible version of the 430 Scuderia.
- The engine produces 510 PS (375 kW; 503 hp) at 8500 rpm and 470 N·m (350 lb·ft) torque at 5250 rpm.
- The car has a dry weight of 1,340 kg (2,954 lb) (80 kg lighter than the F430 Spider) and a curb weight of 1,440 kg (3,175 lb).
- It accelerates from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 315 km/h (196 mph).
- Just 499 vehicles were released beginning early 2009.
I will have to admit that this is the first time I have ever done a photo shoot of a vehicle in a studio. Every other studio has been far too small to accommodate a very small car let alone an Italian sports car. The images of the car were to be accompanied by a selection of images of some female Asian models. These were provided and looked absolutely stunning in full Indian dress. An image of one of the models is shown below. I am sure you will agree when I say how fabulous they looked.
On to the Ferrari. What a beautiful car….the “Rosso”red paint looked like no other red I had ever seen up close and personal. Yeah I know, we have all seen Ferrari’s either in a street or in films on television but this was different. I felt I was one to one with this awesome piece of power. This car had been prepared specially for the photo shoot and it looked stunning. I kept looking at it and without sounding a little “geeky” all I could do was look at the curves of the body work. The whole shape was just fascinating. I kept looking, standing back and looking again. Most people would have gone straight for the interior to look at the beige leather seats, the smooth trim and all the gadgets on the dash; fair enough those looked good but the exterior was the winner for me.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks was the lighting. Not the flash, but the strip lighting that was illuminating the whole studio. It was impossible to switch them off and the downside was that they were reflecting in the paint work of the car. Photoshop or not, it’s quite a difficult task to remove them and make the image look reasonable. I pushed on and did my best under the circumstances.
Probably the most difficult task was coming up with different angles without being too repetitive. There are two sides to a car, plus a front, a back and a roof and with this plenty of opportunity for close-ups and tight crops. The shoot was all completed within a couple of hours. Overall, an absolutely fantastic experience and one I will never regret having the opportunity to take part in. A huge thanks to the Big White Space for all their help with equipments etc. Please take a look at the two small slide shows below. One is for the models that were working for the presentation and the other for the car itself. Hope you enjoy. As always, thank you for looking and all comments are welcome.
The Big White Space
Low Moor Business Park,
BD12 0NB, UK