Editor – This is a piece we ran a year ago, but it is well worth showing off again! Ali’s pics are really great!
Virtual Motorpix works with a number of talented photographers to bring you fresh, unseen images. Alisdair Cusick has been a motoring photographer for a number of years and specialises in capturing Porsches and commercial vehicles, amongst others. Glen has often referred to Ali’s Truck pics as ‘sexy’, turning shots of dirty industrial machines into works of art. We asked Ali to tell us what he looks for to achieve his final shot, here’s what he told us…
“I’m well known for shooting a lot of Trucks – or Commercial Vehicles, as the current trend goes. From two axles to twelve or more, I’ve had to make them all look as good as possible, often with minimal time – if any – to prep a shoot.
“My images are all about light, and clients and art directors often comment that my shots ‘really pop’ compared to other photographers’ work. I like to light vehicles on location, and make shots that show the essence of the vehicle, with in-your-face closeness to the action. I’m often chosen for projects because I work very quickly, even with location lighting, and always as discretely as possible.
“Like this shot, of a Scania R620 (left), delivering a brand new CAT777 dumper. A cool million pounds worth of cargo, with a gross weight of well in excess of 100 Tons, needing a Police escort to clear roads of traffic. No time for a re-run, or extra pass for another go at ‘The Shot’. Here, I wanted to show the scale of the rig, and how it literally took over the road. Travelling in an escort vehicle, I had to run into position whilst the traffic was stopped a mile ahead, and shoot for as long as I could before the Scania ran me over. I lost my breath running back to the safety of the escort vehicle, but got the shot.
“Another angle I like is to put the truck in context. Here (right), a specialist casting was being delivered to a steelworks. A 5.30 start, and a well chosen bridge over the M4 left me just to press the shutter as the rig slowly rolled into position in the golden light of a sunrise, the raking light perfectly illuminating the extra length of the load.
“Conditions aren’t always perfectly chosen though, sometimes luck just isn’t on your side. This shot of a Renault Kerex (below) in a Welsh open cast mine was on a day when the weather was a photographer’s nightmare. Heavy rain turned to thick fog as I drove up the mountain entrance to the quarry, and the rain never stopped once. No time for lighting, just get dropped in position, and hit the ground running. However, what better conditions than to show the vehicles working relentlessly without modifications? A Land Rover 110 provided the shooting platform, meaning I could nearly keep the lens dry. Frozen rain droplets, thick mud and mist tell a better story than bright sunshine ever could.
“When more time is available, my lighting comes to the fore. Here (below), a Scania V8 proudly shows its famous ‘V’, with all eight cylinders carefully highlighted to command the viewer’s attention.
“Commercial vehicles are one of my passions. Always a challenge, and often with time pressures – they need to be moving to earn their keep. With a little thought, planning and an understanding of what the vehicle is about; great images can me made.”