Missouri resident Andrew Thompson has a keen eye for a good picture, please enjoy some of his work and a short background on him and his inspiration.
“I have always been a sports-car guy, my first car was an RX-7, then came an MR-2, a Mitsubishi Starion ESiR, an MX-5 Miata, Honda S2000, Subaru WRX STi, and finally the Exige. One could argue that the Starion and STi were GT-cars, but they’re close enough. Truth is, the lighter and smaller it was, the better I liked it, as long as it had a manual gearbox and RWD.
I remember seeing photo’s of the S1 Elise in magazine coverage of the 1995 Frankfurt auto-show, and once I learned a little about the car, I knew it was in my future. I loved the idea of better performance through less weight instead of additional power, it’s obvious, but brilliantly against the popular notion. I remember some time later finding out that S1 would not make it to these shores, but that Sun International was importing them for a King’s ransom. What a dream, but I was in no financial position to get into the market at that time.
I got older, insurance went down, driving record got better, and so did financial status, and before I knew it I was in the market. Having sold cars before, I definitely wanted to buy used, as being a niche-market toy, the Elise/Exige takes a pretty heavy value dive right after purchase, so I waited patiently. During that time, which was the middle of 2008, the photography bug had gotten full hold of me, so I decided that Storm Titanium was the color I needed. This colour choice wasn’t my first, I would have much preferred Graphite Gray, or Bordeaux Red, but those colors didn’t show the lines as well under all types of conditions. Kinda’ weird now that I think about it, picking the colour for what was best for photography rather than what my eyes wanted to see every day, but she was my muse from the very beginning, and Storm Titanium isn’t so hard on the eyes either!
I watched the for-sale threads online like a hawk, and one day, there she was. I took a screen-capture of the ad, I even took a screen-capture of the sellers response that I had first dibs. What an experience that was. A few days later, January 22nd, 2009, my wife and I drove across 5 states to get her, and the next day she was mine.
I immediately set about doing some standard mods (HID’s, the standard shifter mods, motor-mount inserts, decat, etc.), nothing substantial in itself, but she’s quite a different animal with everything in place. Sometimes it makes me sad that I’ve never had her on a track, but I don’t have the money for it, and honestly, she’s just not that kind of girl to me. I have treated her with the utmost respect from day one, and will continue to do so.
I live in a small town in Missouri called Cape Girardeau, roughly 40,000 people. It’s funny, I spend hours driving around to find decent locations, or composing a photo in a specific way to make it “look” like a decent location, when in fact, it’s just the county park or whatever. People online are always remarking on it like “wow, I wish I had locations like that”. I just laugh…haha. The really bad part about it is that I’m alone, I had no help in learning, other than the Internet, and have no photographer friends around. I joined a group from the local University, but no one seems to be interested in doing what I’m doing. Also, the small town makes finding cool cars very difficult, which is why you only see a few in my gallery (Audi R8, Nissan GTR).
Like most everyone, I started with a point-and-shoot camera, just taking snapshots here and there. I got my first digital point-and-shoot back in 2001, when I got my S2000, and my first introduction to Photoshop at the same time. I happened upon a post on S2Ki where a guy was taking a normal photograph of an S2000, and changing the exterior to all kinds of wild things. He was adding flames, making it look like Knight Rider, or the Dukes of Hazzard, it really blew my mind. That was the beginning.
Things went on that way until, almost by chance, I got my first DSLR on December 29th of 2007. At that time I owned a Subaru WRX STi, and quickly gained quite a following (that I still enjoy today) on NASIOC for my photograph’s of the car. I really didn’t understand what all the fuss was about at first, I never saw myself as anything special with regards to photography, maybe just a bit different.
Anyway, getting the Lotus definitely put my photography into high-gear, and I have become known in many circles for my photo’s of the car. I think it’s probably because of my dark sense of photography, and my extensive use of shallow depth of field. Both have become my calling cards. Luckily, the car takes very well to both, so I can’t take full credit for presenting something this beautiful in a way that flatters it. To me, it came natural.
As far as a photography career, I’m an old man (40), with a family, a home, and kids, so I can’t fly off to exotic locations every weekend to photograph cars…even if I were good enough. I’m truly satisfied with the success I’ve had being so well known, but the icing on the cake would definitely be if Lotus used one of my photo’s. I have dreamed about it for a long time, but never considered it a reality until an industry insider on Dieselstation told me that several of my shots were on that level. Then I made speedhunters, and several other websites, and more industry people started asking questions. Truth is, I don’t see my style as very marketable, but what do I know?”
You can view more of Andrew’s work on his Flickr photostream and enjoy the gallery we’ve added below. Thank you to Andrew for allowing us to share his excellent pictures – Lotus, if you’d like to give him a job or use some of his work, please contact us and everyone, please share your thoughts in the comments below or on the forum.