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Simon Puschmann

Car photography in action

 
"Of course not every shot will be perfect under such conditions, but thanks to a great team and the precise autofocus of the XF, the result was more than satisfactory."

Simon Puschmann provides images for the big players in the automobile industry. To achieve the right results, the automotive expert from Hamburg has relied for many years on the high quality and performance features of Phase One systems.

Shots in which the car and background are captured at the same time have become a rarity. One-shot recordings instead of composites, real action instead of computer-simulated dynamics - for car photographers such as Simon Puschmann, such shots are a very welcome change with special creative potential.

Shortly before nightfall on an abandoned track in Catalonia, Spain, the race car has taken its starting position. Next to the 385 horsepower car, there is a black pickup truck serving as a camera car. Simon Puschmann, wearing a safety harness, is sitting on its notchback, holding a Phase One XF in his hands. At 80 kph, right before the banked curve, Puschmann looks through the waist-level finder of the camera at the race car, frames it from the front at an angle using the docked 45 mm Phase One lens, and releases the shutter.

This turned out to be the magic shot. The black-and-yellow race car appears to be glued to the road, the body is razor-sharp, and the motion-blurred rims and road convey speed. “Car-to-car shoots definitely yield more dynamic images,” he says. “To capture authentic dynamics with motion blur, you need to be driving at least 70 kph and shoot with relatively long exposure times all the way down to 1/30th of a second. Of course not every shot will be perfect under such conditions, but thanks to a great team and the precise autofocus of the XF, the result was more than satisfactory.”

"With Phase One, I have found the system that best supports my professional requirements and my creative ideas with respect to handling, workflow, and most importantly, image quality."

In addition to the newly-developed HAP-1 Honeybee autofocus, with its special sensor architecture and the new processor, Puschmann also benefited from the new mechanics of the XF Camera System, which allows for a significantly reduced shutter delay - making it the most responsive Phase One camera ever. “The increase in speed, and the high yield of sharp images has once again pulled me towards Phase One,” says Puschmann. While Puschmann has relied on Phase One Medium Format Camera Systems for five years, this shoot was his first time using the XF.

“The possibility to swap the prism finder for a waist-level finder is simply brilliant. Especially for car-to-car shots, where I mostly shoot at a height of only 30 to 50 cm, it makes it much more comfortable for me to capture the optimal perspective.” Puschmann also expressed his satisfaction with the XF's touchscreen operation. “The user interface was new for me. On the very first day of production, I had to jump in the deep end. But as with virtually all Phase One solutions, this one also turned out to be intuitive and extremely well thought out,” says Puschmann. The automotive specialist chose the Phase One IQ250. “The customer wanted some racing-themed images with evening ambiance. Thanks to the IQ250, which, due to its noiseless CMOS sensor, delivers immaculate images up to ISO 800, this was no problem.” For the indoor pictures requested by the client, there was a lot more available light, so Puschmann opted for the IQ260 CCD back. He used a Phase One A-Series based on an Alpa 12 TC as the camera, which allows for adjusting perspective distortion using the parallel shift of the digital back and/or camera lens. According to Puschmann, this was a winning combination.

The production is just one of countless examples this car photographer from Hamburg has carried out all over the world for large car brands. His Phase One Camera Systems are always ready to go. “When I first started my career, I worked with medium format systems by other manufacturers, but time and again I was limited by either the quality or application-related aspects. Of course nowadays, you can fix a lot in post-production,” says Puschmann, who uses Capture One, and manages without digital assistants. Nevertheless, he is convinced that the more that is achieved directly in the camera during the shoot makes for better and more authentic results. As Puschmann puts it, “With Phase One, I have found the system that best supports my professional requirements and my creative ideas with respect to handling, workflow, and most importantly, image quality.”

 

About Simon Puschmann

Simon Puschmann, born in 1968, completed several internships with photographers and advertising agencies, studied at Lette Verein Berlin, and worked as an assistant with various advertising photographers before starting his own studio in 1992. After spending three years (2006-2009) in Massachusetts, USA, he returned to Hamburg, and travels all over the world for his clients (Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Mercedes Benz, Toyota, Volkswagen). Now a third of his customer base is from the USA – a trend that is increasing.

Visit Simon Puschmann's official website

 
 

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