2018 – A Year in Review
Now that 2018 is coming to a close, it’s time to take a few minutes to step back and reflect at the wonderful times we had.
2018 was a year in which, at The Autofocus we focused on doing variety of projects in various styles all over the world. We wanted to explore our style and hone in our post-production skills. So, you could say that our year was more heavily focused on photography more than it was on video creation.
The year started off with a project that wasn’t too car centric, but was still within the automotive sector. The Mercedes-Benz India service clinic campaign was photographed at one of their state of the art service facilities with six of Mercedes-Benz India’s finest Technical Assistants. The aim was to create imagery that the brand could use on all kinds of media promotions to stress the importance of the service clinics they’d be conducting all over the country in different cities.
Following up the service clinic project, Land Rover India got in touch with us to work on the launch event content for the Range Rover Velar.
Back again with Mercedes-Benz India for some 360 Degree Immersive content for the launch of the facelift S-Class limousine.
February was a busy month due to the Indian Auto Expo that happens once every two years. This year we were handling and creating the social media content for the Mercedes-Benz India booth. It was an eye opening experience to watch the team from Germany come down to the capital of India, set up the booth and have two run throughs before the rest were ready for the crazy busy press days.
One of the special parts of this year’s Auto expo was being given the opportunity to photograph the Mercedes-Benz EQ Concept car that has travelled the world and was now being showcased in India.
Our aim was to create some distinct imagery of the Concept EQ using light painting and compositing.
Right after the Indian Auto Expo we were called over to the Geneva Auto show by Rimac Automobili to create the launch film and after movie of the C_Two that was being showcased to the public for the first time.
Oliver Blume (Porsche CEO) and Mate Rimac (Rimac Founder) at the C_Two showcase at GiIMSSwiss 2018.
After Geneva we had sometime for a breather and worked on an “Autofocus Original” called – “What Heroes Drive,” where we tried to put together superheroes from the DC Universe and give them a ride based on our opinion and the stock imagery we had from various random shoots we had done in the last few years.
A fun project where we wanted to showcase out post-production skills and give a realistic twist to the Justice League superhero list.
In store for us next, was a road trip from LA to San Francisco in the new Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+ sedan. A Social Media project for Mercedes-Benz USA. The new E63S has to be one of the best cars I have driven and it definitely has a presence. The selenite grey magno color of the car is one of its most unique features, glossy yet matte, not to mention the lovely racket it makes when you go pedal to the metal in race mode.
Since we were in California, we did another project with Land Rover USA and the Velar around Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley and Mojave. To photograph this car in this landscape was a surreal experience. The Velar is a beautiful piece of engineering and capable in every Range Rover way. It felt at home in the Californian desert.
This new photo and video content will be shared on Land Rover USA’s social media channels in 2019.
Staying with the same brand, but this time with the Jaguar tag, we were back in India creating the launch film and images for The Art of Performance Tour. Jaguar India was pro-active about promoting it’s Art of Performance tours all over the country. We were asked to create a video of the cars going about their activities to showcase the performance aspect to the big cats to the customers.
Once again we were back with the three pointed star, with the AMG E 63 S on the retired Formula 1 circuit in India, the BIC. This time we were creating a launch film for the car, showcasing it’s unique yet awesome “Drift Mode.” This had to be one of our favourite films of the year, just because of how it was shot and the hardcore action it had.
We had only 6 hours between two days with the car to get all our shots sorted. A huge should out to the professional drivers that gave us perfect drifts in single takes.
In May we were back in the States with Mercedes-Benz for another social media project, but this time in the Big Apple, enjoying the onset of summer in a beautiful white with a blue canvas top S560 cabriolet.
From there I went to meet my team in London for one of the biggest projects of the year. MG Motors, will be launching in India in 2019 and for that they had asked us to join them for the MGLive gathering that takes place at Silverstone and then to photograph some of their old and new cars around some of the most iconic sights of the British capital.
The rest of June was focused on editing this project.
May was also when we were brought together with Fujifilm and their cameras. I got on board with Fujifilm’s latest mirrorless medium format camera and became an official X-Photographer in the Fujifilm family. This was the start to a wonderful association with one of the most well known brands in the imaging industry.
For the mid-summer we took a chance to escape to the hills with the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupé for a quick editorial project. Shimla in it’s full bloom, a hill station capital in the foothills of the Himalayas seemed like a perfect location to let the turbocharged V6 loose.
August and September were once again international projects in USA.
Mercedes-Benz USA had called us over for some more social media projects but this time with 2 cars back to back in the Atlanta area.
First up was the distinct AMG G63, but the latest rendition of this iconic car. We had a chance to work on some city and off-road shots for the same in the vicinity of Atlanta.
Shooting the AMG CLS53 in a city that we had never been to was a challenge but it did help up explore some wonderful spots in Atlanta to create some unique imagery of a very beautiful car.
With this project we got the opportunity to collaborate with post-production powerhouse Gloss Retouching (www.glossretouching.com) to create some really awesome shots of the all new 4 dour coupé from the german manufacturer.
Taking some time off after doing some back to back work brought us to Canada, where we had the opportunity to take a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara up from Vancouver to Whistler, Kamloops and back. To add to the drama of the imagery, it was raining throughout the road trip.
We were quite lucky to sneak in a few shots with a 1958 CT-33 Silver Star Jet
Teleport back to India for Mercedes-Benz’s GLC “More than meets the eye” campaign. We were asked to create a film and some photos for two refreshed variants of the GLC that were being launched during the Diwali season. The film was played on television and on all MB India’s social channels.
Another nigh highlight of 2018 was Zenvo Automotive selecting me for their “Through the lens” competition. Twelve photographers from different parts of the world were selected to come over to the Zenvo factory and take one of the cars out for a photoshoot to their location of choice.
I got the opportunity to take the TS1 GT to Copenhagen for some shots for the day. This car has such a unique design. Thanks to the management at Zenvo, we pulled off some risky locations without getting into trouble and caught some great light as the sun was going down that day.
A three image carousel was shared to the public for a vote to pick the best single exposure image and then the winning photo from each photographer’s shoot were put against each other for a larger voting to decided the “Zenvo Photo of the year.”
To our surprise, the image I took with the car and the moon won first place!
The last two months of the year ended up being quite busy with some wild projects.
We headed over to Dubai for a production with Lexus UAE to make one of the Middle East’s favourite cars look great – the Lexus LX570 Black Edition S.
A blacked out behemoth that demanded a lot of attention. Nonetheless, photographing this car in the desert city was a pleasure. Seeing it glide over the sand was a whole new experience.
A quick collaboration with the W Motors Fenyr Supersport for our portfolio was next.
I wanted to make sure that this would be one of our top post production projects, where we could utilize everything we had learned throughout the year and make a set that told a story.
The idea being to take the W Motors inspiration of the wolf and integrate that into the image set.
Here’s a teaser of the set.
Lastly, a project with Porsche India with one of their owners from South India that has driven is 911 Carrera more than a 100,00kms. We were fortunate enough for this video of ours to be picked up by Porsche Global for their “Timeless Machine” campaign.
For us, 2018 was seriously a year to remember and I’d like to send out a HUGE thank you to all the awesome clients that made this year successful. It couldn’t have been done without your belief and support in us. It’s always great to be pushed out of our comfort zone to do different things and have those become successful.
Lastly I’d really like to thank my whole team, that has stood by me for every project, no matter what!
2019 is a brand new year and a great time to do some wonderful creative projects together.
Get in touch with us and we’d be happy to help and go out of our way to deliver the best and more!
Looking forward to an even more memorable 2019.