From Subaru Press [ 27/02/2005 ].
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Unknown to rally fans across the world, on a cold, damp and rainy morning in mid- February the brand new Subaru Impreza WRC2005 was being loaded into a truck at the Subaru World Rally Team Headquarters in Banbury, UK to be covertly moved to a top-secret studio 30 miles away. Un-loaded on arrival, the car went unnoticed as it was pushed into a photography studio normally reserved for high-profile fashion photography. The car was there in order for the team to obtain a selection of images ahead of its launch on 28 February
Once in the studio, the car was positioned in a huge white infinity curve, which instantly removed any idea of distance around it. “The infinity curve is like being inside an eggshell,” explained Rob Wyatt, the photographer. “It’s a wrap-a-round, white cove which tricks the eye and makes the area seem larger than it is.” Any grey areas on the white canvas were scrupulously touched up, while the Impreza was polished and preened under the studio’s huge lights, which illuminated its many new features.
Standing underneath four, hot 3,000-watt tungsten lights, which projected a continuous warm light onto the car, Rob explained how a rally car such as the Impreza WRC2005 needed to be photographed differently to road cars. “If you look at sales brochure images of road cars, they concentrate on uninterrupted, hard, crisp reflection lines along the body of the car, which are achieved using large reflectors. However, as the Subaru WRC features sponsor logos and additional bodywork features, such reflection lines would get confused so softer pools of light are bounced off the infinity curve onto the car instead. Any unwanted reflections can then be dulled using a light wax spray.”
The high-power tungsten lights were used as they allowed a long exposure time (four-seconds), which resulted in greater quality images, and they excellently highlighted the striking Subaru blue colour. “The Subaru blue is a great shade to photograph,” said Rob “It’s really vivid and works far better in images than many others colours we’ve seen previously.”
As images were to be taken of the front of the car, as well as the rear, side, front three quarters and rear three quarters, the car had to be moved between each shot on go-jaks, which were placed under each wheel and the lighting had to be adjusted accordingly. All the images were taken digitally meaning it was possible to complete all the pictures in one day. “We started using digital photography about five years ago and can now take double the number in the same amount of time. In the old days, we had to process a film, check the images and then scan them before giving them to the client, but now we don’t even have to wait for a Polaroid to develop between each shot, so it’s much better,” said Rob.
The Subaru Impreza WRC2005 will make its debut on the third round of the FIA World Rally Championship, the Mexico Rally, which runs from 11-13 March 2005.