Clint Davis Photography Blog | Commercial Photography Blog
Commercial and editorial photographer based out of Greenville, SC. My goal is to create, inspire, and never stop learning. I make sure anything with my name on it is something I would wear around my neck.
Meet the all-new XT4, Cadillac’s first-ever luxury compact SUV. New chassis, new engine, new segment for Cadillac. Considering these were touted as the first professional photos taken of the vehicle, I had to make sure they were sleek, classy, and eye-catching. The sly minds at Campbell Ewald had a vision of a dark grey XT4 framed by a similar dark background to highlight the new lines… but beyond that, they gave me full creative freedom to shoot and edit to my heart’s desire.
After months of pre-production to get all the pieces together and nail down a look, we started shooting at Midcoast Studio in Detroit. Once the first few tethered images popped up on the laptop and the happy clients were taking pictures of the monitor, it was game on for two full days of creative flexibility. To be safe, each angle was shot with more traditional studio lighting. But when those were taken care of, we cut off the lights and got freaky with singular spotlights and fluorescent tubes.
All images shot and retouched by Clint Davis.
Art Direction by Cassidy Zobl
Pre-production model shown. Actual production model may vary.
The shoot was held in Detroit under the roof of Midcoast Studio. For retouching flexibility, we lite the XT4 in a variety of methods. The winning look being a combination of hot lights and fluorescent reflections. Normally I’d opt for a medium format camera, but the 42mp Sony a7RIII proved to be more than robust enough for the pixel-perfect demands. Even with my batch of prime lenses in the bag, I shot 90% with the Sony 24-70 f/2.8 GM. When constantly reviewing images on site they were razor-sharp, so no need to swap lenses. Quite a feat from a relatively prosumer camera.
In the end, the images were used for the cover feature of the official Cadillac Magazine (the first non-car cover of the magazine), and also extended the licensing… so who knows where these images will pop up over the next few years.
BIG HUGE thanks to the team at Campbell Ewald for giving me creative freedom to churn out amazing images… turns out Cassidy, the Senior Art Director/Designer, is a ridiculous baker as well. Check out that Oreo cake!!! Yes, it was as delicious as it looks.
The front lines of grip and lighting goes to Detroit locals Andi Hedrick, Joseph Skipinski, and Adam Spencer. Top notch team that makes anything possible. Detroit, I’ll be back!
Once again a cool product from the innovative company Sphero is in front of the camera. Take a gander at the eye-catching programmable BOLT. This photo assignment came with a bit more challenges than Ollie mainly because the BOLT is encased in a clear sphere that naturally reflects absolutely everything.
After giving it a good try with a fully assembled out-of-the-box BOLT, I realized some X-ACTO surgery was needed to separately shoot the robotic innards and the encompassing clear sphere (don’t try this at home). Removing the sphere also made it infinitely easier to position the BOLT exactly where we needed. What’s special about the BOLT, among many things, is it has a programmable 8×8 light matrix. So, the people at Sphero requested an easily editable layered files to light up the matrix to any design they want. Funny how .gifs are more popular than ever before. Check out the final shots:
To minimize reflections, and have complete control with lighting the robitic innards, we carefully took apart the clear sphere. From there it was all about moving the flashes around to individually light each component. If you look carefully, you can see I tied fishing wire to the white wheels to keep the form correct. Without the pressure from the outer sphere, those wheels splayed outwards. The now hollow ball was used as an example to recreate a cleaner/sharper sphere… then adding back the Sphero logo of course. Take it all apart and piece it back together in Photoshop!
My friend Myles is pretty damn handy with an X-ACTO. Please DO NOT attempt to break apart the BOLT… it works much better, and is more fun, when it’s pieced together, haha. After a trip to the local hobby store, I built a tabletop studio with an overhead softbox. Worked like a charm.
Pictures are cool (biased), but you gotta see the video above to see how this thing rolls. Once again I’m proud to collab with such an innovative company as Sphero. Their products are always making me scratch my head with wonder. If you don’t remember, they are the brains behind the adorable (and functional) Star Wars BB-8… yes, the one from the actual movie (not just the one you can buy). I know I have to push the envelope a bit further when working with the Sphero gang.
Personally, few assignments inspire and excite me as much as 000 Magazine… a sentiment that is surely shared by the select few contributors to the no-compromise passion project helmed by Pete Stout. 000 is a robust publication that directly respects and reflects the contributing artists. When a magazine prints a giant dual-page spread of stitching detail of a normally obscure seat, it shows the level of devotion to the craft shared by the original designers themselves. When flipping through the immersive 20-30 oversized page features, it feels as if you’re there. And of course, the writing is equally as impressive with incredibly detailed research and expert insight. So, without surprise, I am deeply honored to grace the cover of issue 005.
In the humble hills of Durham, NC rests Road Scholars, one of the world’s most renown concours restorers specializing in Porsche. Two of their many prized possessions include a 1959 356 Carrera GT, and a 1959 356 Speedster GT. They may look modest by today’s standards, but these are the modern day bruts such as the 996 and 997 GT3. The writer Dan Proudfoot writes “For Porsche, these were important cars—built to win wherever they raced. One was shipped to Africa while the other was destined for America. The cars would cross continents and survive multiple owners, not all of them caring, before they were reunited under a single roof.”
To have these two decorated, world-traveled, raced, used & (properly) abused, now immaculately restored siblings reconnect under the same roof after 50+ years is astonishing. I felt it would be proper to place these timeless relics at an airport that still has the charm of yesteryear. As expected, all fortunate onlookers had nearly three hundred fifty-six questions that had to be asked.
Something brand new for this blog post. I blazed through all of the RAW unedited images from the shoot and simply recorded the screen. Bizarre to compress a feature months in the making into a 35 second clip! All images shot with a Sony A7RII and A6300. Play and pause, even I don’t know where the slide will land.
Giant thanks to Pete Stout for allowing me the privilege to shoot for 000 again. My road warrior buddy Durango for assisting, Road Scholars for letting me peek under the bonnets, and Gilliam McConnell Airfield for the majestic location. For more information on purchasing this specific issue, click here.