"Our FOCUS for this edition is Pedro Dermaux After finding very few pictures online of the race team he managed, Pedro Dermaux decided to give photography a go himself. Influx: How did you get into photography? Pedro Dermaux: "It all "
FOCUS on Blake Currall
Meet Blake Currall
Our FOCUS for this edition is Blake Currall
Spending time with exotic machinery is what car photography is all about, and so Australian Blake Currall is an obvious FOCUS for us this month – from luxury and sports cars to everyday motors, Blake’s eye for detail makes sure they all shine. We chatted to Currall about his work.
Influx: How did you get into photography?
Currall: “Photography has always been a hobby of mine since I was young taking trips with my family, I always loved to just snap away. Although, as I’m an old bugger, back then it was all on film so a more cautious approach was needed. As I grew older I took a bit more of an interest in fine-tuning my techniques and getting into the editing/retouching side of things before getting some wedding gigs and starting to make some money from it. Odd jobs here and there while travelling the world helped to teach me new ways to shoot with different types of subjects until I somehow landed backside first into my current job as a photographer for the largest prestige auto dealer in Sydney.”
Influx: What kind of subjects do you like to shoot?
Currall: “Obviously my main passion is automotive photography, I’ve been a massive petrolhead for as long as I can remember, collecting toy cars, covering my walls with car posters (Lamborghini Countach and Porsche 959 were the first) before getting older and having the opportunity to race cars both in Australia and overseas. Now having the chance to do shoots with some of the most incredible cars on the planet on a daily basis, it’s an amazing experience and I’m very lucky to be where I am. Having said all that, after years of travelling the world I have always had a real love for landscape photography too.
“I’m always looking to learn new techniques and skills, so if that means taking on something completely different, I’m up for the challenge. I know I’m not on the same level as other photographers out there and ones you have featured here, but that’s what keeps me moving forward, always looking for tips and inspiration to improve the quality of my work and in turn, help my company into the future.”
Influx: Are there any images you’re particularly proud of?
Currall: “My favourites seem to change regularly, when I first started in this role the early shoots I did I was extremely proud of because I was getting to play with these amazing Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Aston Martins etc. but I look back now and I can pick them apart and know what I would do differently to improve them. I’m fortunate that my employers give me free reign with what I do for the most part. I am here to advertise the stock we have but apart from a few standard shots for each vehicle, I am free to explore different angles and details of these amazing cars to really set them apart from others that may be out there, which is a great way to keep motivated each day.
“I think I’m always evolving and refining what I do so hopefully each new shoot will look better to my eyes than the last. There have been some standout moments though, working with an incredibly rare 1929 Bentley 8 was a lot of fun, a Miura Homage Lamborghini Aventador (1 of 50 in the world) and on occasions swapping 4 wheels for 2 and doing some motorcycle shoots has been a great way to keep things interesting.
“Through working with this company I’ve always been extremely lucky to work with Olympic swimming legend Ian Thorpe and some of the world’s best jockeys, while also covering events such as track days and the World Cup Polo event held in Sydney a few months back. So to answer your question, yes…”
Influx: How do you feel about camera phones?
Currall: “I’m blown away by the image quality that modern-day camera phones can produce. I’ve recently purchased a Google Pixel 2 XL and honestly, some of the images I take on that thing can stand up to what can be taken in the studio with my kit and lighting setup, it’s amazing how far they’ve come. There are still plenty of instances where a professional setup is going to get you a better result, especially on the commercial side of things, but that gap is closing each year and with the dearth of editing software available to professionals and amateurs alike, it’s becoming a lot easier for anyone to produce stunning imagery. I always have my phone with me, so it’s super handy having something you can just quickly take out of your pocket and start snapping, knowing that you’re still going to have some incredible shots being taken.”
Influx: Is there a particular vehicle you’d love to shoot one day?
Currall: “One of the downsides to being based in Australia is the lack of vehicles that come from the factory in left-hand drive only, as they are unable to be registered for road use down here unless they are of a certain age. Because of that, we don’t get the chance to see the real top end of the hypercar market, no Bugatti, no Pagani, no McLaren P1, no LaFerrari etc.
“The chance to spend some time with a Pagani Huayra would be top of the list, just down to the sheer complexity and engineering involved with its design. There are so many great angles and design flourishes on that car, I think you’d find something new to shoot each time you looked at it. I am a bit of a sucker for old American muscle cars too, so it’d be a lot of fun to set up a shoot with some old Hemi Cudas and Challengers etc. Also, where I work can be a little restrictive with the location I have, so the ability to scout for locations and change things up a bit is really appealing to me and something I hope to do more of in the future.”
Influx: What makes a good photo?
Currall: “Composition and lighting are right up there. Get either of those wrong, even just slightly, and it can turn a great image into an ordinary one. I’ve learnt that over the last 12-18 months of being in this position, seeing things from a different perspective and adjusting things slightly, learning new editing techniques and just becoming more adept at what I do.
“As I mentioned earlier, I know I still have a long way to go to be at the level I’d like to be at. I look at photographers such as Arnaud Taquet, GF WIlliams, Easton Chang and my good friend and subject of one of your features Tom Kurek, that’s where I look for inspiration. Trying to learn from the best in the business. At the end of the day, if you’ve got a good eye and can bring a new perspective on a subject, you’re off to a good start. You don’t need thousands of dollars worth of gear, although that can help, just keep persisting and refining and the good shots will come.”
Influx: What advice would you give yourself if you could travel back ten years?
Currall: “Invest in BitCoin! Buy Google shares! Honestly, I’d just tell myself to get out and go after what I want to do and not wait for it to come to me. I got lucky finding this job that I currently have but I am kicking myself a bit that I’m now in my late 30s and only just getting into what I’ve always wanted to do. So that would be the main gist of it, to really knuckle down with learning photo editing, practising techniques and just get my name out there, utilise social media and don’t be afraid to take some chances.
“Either that, or just develop an app called Snapchat and retire as a multibillionaire.”
More of Blake Currall’s work can be found on Instagram.
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