Saturday morning meant a stroll into town to run a few errands, and since 2 new lenses had arrived in the post over the last few days (a Sigma 30mm F1.4 and a Canon 100mm F2.8 macro) taking my camera with me seemed a perfectly reasonable thing to do. As I walked around Hitchin market my eye (or should that be stomach) was immediately attracted by a new snack van Toastielicious.Although I’m not a petrol-head, I’ve always liked interesting vehicles and really loved the straight angular lines and corrugated panels of this Citroen H type van which according to Wikipeadia has hardly changed appearance since production started in 1947.
My initial thoughts on seeing the van were to take some front-on shots, emphasizing the symmetry and strong angular lines, however I quickly picked-up on the way the turquoise-blue van stood out from the drab grey concrete of the market square especially on what was a particularly dull overcast morning, so made a mental note that I should look at colour popping this image.
After a few shots I noticed someone watching me and smiling. So I played a hunch, introduced myself to the owner and passed him a business card, before returning to take a few more close-up shots.
I particularly liked the frog eye headlights against the corrugated wing, so took a couple of shots of those including stepping back to take a wider shot showing one of the advertising boards in front of the van. I then worked around to the side of the van to show the contrasting yellow and red sign-writing and the brushed stainless steel serving area.
Unfortunately there wasn’t very much space between the market stalls, and since I’d specifically chosen to shoot with prime lenses, I couldn’t just zoom-out to get everything in. However dealing with these sorts of issues is all part of the challenge and I feel that “zooming with your feet”, makes you think that much harder about the composition and ultimately leads to better shot. Since I couldn’t get a 3/4 front shot I therefore moved round to take a 3/4 rear shot which allowed me to show the van amongst the bustle and colour of the market. For me I think the guy looking down admiringly at the van really adds to this image.
Once I got home and had a look at the images more closely I decided that these shots needed some specific processing – something reminiscent of the era when the van was built, but also to help link the images as a set – so I adjusted the tones to give the warm look of AGFA-Chrome slide film, and added vignettes to the images to add to the retro feel of the shots. All in all I’m happy with these images and it was great to have a specific subject to try my new lenses.
If you’d like me shoot some commercial images to promote your business please use the contact form (here), or alternatively why not have a look at the commercial property shoot I did for Studio 180 to see some more of my work.