Text: Martin Aguilar / Photos: Martin Aguilar | posted February 09, 2015 14:14
The basics of automotive photography as taught by Mazda
In the field of motoring journalism, articles wouldn't be complete without a photo. Simply put, photos make the stories come to life making it more interesting to read and interactive. With this, Mazda Philippines came up with a drive that veers away from the usual.
Dubbed as the Mazda Kodo drive challenge, the activity didn't involve achieving the fastest lap or yielding the lowest fuel consumption, instead we were to learn the basics of automotive photography.
Kodo is Mazda's design language that is currently seen in most of the company's vehicles offered in the market today. It is a design concept that aims to incorporate a living creature's motion into Mazda's models; in this case the inspiration was a cheetah. Kodo was conceptualized through the company's Shinari concept and was then succeeded by the Minagi and Takeri concepts, all of which inspired the designs of the Mazda CX-5, Mazda6 and Mazda3.
Participants were instructed to meet at Mazda's showroom in Pasig to know their respective vehicle assignments. The vehicles consist an array of Mazda CX-5, Mazda6 and Mazda3. Afterwards the group drove to Green Canyon resort in Clark, Pampanga. Since the drive was about capturing the company's Kodo design language, each participant was assigned his or her own digital camera. Moreover, Mazda has invited professional automotive photographers to give the participants a few workshops in their craft.
With limited knowledge in automotive photography, I was overwhelmed by the terms and techniques discussed during the lecture. Throughout the workshops, participants were told about the importance of having the right ISO, aperture and shutter speed in capturing a vehicle. In addition, participants also learned the importance of composition and the technical aspects of the photo. Techniques were shared such as the rule of thirds, the Dutch tilt as well as terms like under and over exposure.
To apply the things discussed during the workshop, Mazda has prepared a photo competition that consisted of three rounds: Basic Pose; Detail; and Kodo in Motion. Participants were divided into teams of three and given 45 minutes to shoot per round or category.
I tried my best to apply the things I've learned during the workshop. With a little amount of time given, participants rushed to capture their best photo for each category. Each team also worked together to capture the winning shot by giving tips and helpful advice to their teammates. As the sun was setting, teams worked their way back to the lecture hall and prepared to submit their best photos for each category. Surprisingly, the photos turned out to be good despite the lack of time.
Overall, the Mazda Kodo drive challenge allows each participant to understand and to appreciate the art of automotive photography. For me, Mazda's automotive photography workshop was well executed because it simplified the technicality of capturing a great photo, even for a complete amateur such as myself.