Each year Mercedes-Benz & smart South West challenges a group of keen photography students from the Plymouth College of Art to take on a new live commercial brief. This time, we set them the task of photographing two smart cars at the historical Royal William Yard in Plymouth.
The Challenge for Plymouth College of Art
On a misty winter’s morning in an abandoned warehouse at the back of Royal William Yard, a large greenscreen was set up. One half of the live brief was to photograph a smart fortwo against the greenscreen. The aim was to capture the car at its best angles and to superimpose a new background behind it. The Plymouth College of Arts students quickly got to work setting up the lighting and preparing the cameras for the shoot ahead.
A smart forfour was also on the scene, driven through the imposing yard to form another aspect of the brief. In an area steeped in military histor y and now home to an array of cafes and restaurants, it was clear that this was the perfect location to photograph our smart forfour; a true city car. Finding neat spaces to park in and utilising the symmetry of RWY, the students were able to perfectly capture the car.
A smart Live Brief
The two petrol smart cars, a fortwo and forfour, seemed the perfect choice for a social media focused brief. With guidance from the Subject Leader and Senior Lecturer Tim Grundy, as well as professional photographer Alex Bailey, the students looked for various ways to light and compose the cars using the equipment at hand. The brief was to photograph the cars in a setting that promoted the smart benefits and lifestyle, considering their audience and what makes them so unique.
“This was the second year running we have worked with Mercedes-Benz & smart South West, and the shoot was a fantastic learning opportunity for our students to work on a live brief. This time the brand very kindly provided us with two smart cars and our students got to spend the day experimenting with lighting, exercising their visual and technical skills” explains Tim.
The Next Phase
“This was the first time our students have explored this level of photographic production and the activity provided them with a challenging but rewarding learning opportunity.
“As we continue to develop our commercial photography degree, opportunities such as this provided by smart South West are hugely valuable to our curriculum and our students. We are very grateful for their support and look forward to developing the project further in 2020,” concludes Tim.
With phase one of the shoot over, the students will be challenged once more in phase two of the project taking place later this year. Keep an eye open for more exciting updates on this and the results of each shoot coming soon.
A smart fortwo and smart forfour
The smart car not only has a small footprint physically, but also environmentally. They have been designed to provide a convenient and easier way to drive about our cities and towns.