BLOG 2017

MERCEDES-BENZ 280SL CLASSIC CAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Auction house RM Sotheby’s are preparing for their first European auction for 2018, this will take place in Paris and one of the first cars that will be featured is the stunning 1968 280SL Pagoda Mercedes that I photographed last week...
21/11/2017
Mercedes-Benz introduced the 280 SL in December 1967 and continued in production through 23 February 1971, when the W 113 was replaced by its successor, the entirely new and substantially heavier R107 350 SL. Over the years, the W 113 evolved from a sports car into a comfortable grand tourer, and US models were by then usually equipped with the 4-speed automatic transmission and air conditioning. Manual transmission models came with the standard 4-speed or the optional ZF 5-speed, which was ordered only 882 times and thus is a highly sought-after original option today. In Europe, manual transmissions without air conditioning were still the predominant choice. Of the 23,885 280 SLs produced, more than half were sold in the US. The model I photographed had the 4 speed automatic transmission.

The classic car photography for RM Sotheby’s took place in Sutton Coldfield in the Midlands, as I drove to the garage where the car had been valeted the early morning Autumn sun crept through, this mixed with the pair of Profoto location lights worked really well to make the metallic paint work really stand out. It’s always tricky to find locations to set these valuable cars in, luckily the industrial estate around the corner from the valeted had a large empty unit, this provided space for us to move the car around and position the lights where I needed them. I used two cameras, one fitted with the 24-70mm for interior and detailed photos and then the 70-200mm telephoto for the exterior images, having plenty of space allowed me ot o move around freely and using the longer lens minimised any reflections. The car photos are now online at RM Sotheby’s website and it will be interesting to see what the car fetches in Paris on the 7th February next year.