In the corner of the last gallery area we visited on my recent trip to Mercedes-Benz World, we quite unexpectedly found, amongst a bunch of older cars, a McLaren MP4-22, better known as the 2007 McLaren-Mercedes Formula 1 car. It was parked out where, unlike the other F1 cars on show, we could walk all around it and get some more creative angles.
As you’d expect, I spent a bit of time with this car, bringing out all I could find in both single exposures and HDR shots, with my friend Catherine’s similar experience with a Force India F1 car a couple of years ago trying to provide inspiration.
The car was described is from McLaren’s perhaps best forgotten 2007 season, in which they were found guilty of obtaining confidential technical information from the Ferrari team.
The car has Lewis Hamilton’s name on the side, but it carries the number 22, which was his number for the 2008 season, not the 2007. However, the design details on the car don’t quite match images online for 2008’s MP4-23, but they don’t quite match the MP4-22 either. With mid-season upgrades I can’t be certain if this was a test car, one of the actual race cars, or a car from another season incorrectly labelled. Let’s just pretend it’s a real car since that sounds more impressive.
With the experience track in the background, I often chose to shoot HDR bracketed shots to get the details of the car as well as the colour of the background.
As is often the case, I like both of the images above for different reasons and so am posting both. The former is my favourite but I like the way the latter has more of the car and of the background.
When editing the images, for the most part I was aiming, as I often do, for realism in the finished images. Sometimes, however, I experimented with more stylistic processes.
I’m not sure if I prefer the second shot because of the more grungy look, or because the shot is cleaner with less people in it, or because the two compliment each other nicely.
I liked the grungy look enough to continue using it for a bit.
One of the challenges of shooting the car was the livery. It contained almost exactly the wrong shade of orange, something I wasn’t expecting as the markings have always looked red on TV. In some case above I’ve attempted to fix it, but it’s still very brightly orange.
Still, the lighting in this area was great and made for some nice shots. It was also nice to see a McLaren on show which I wasn’t expecting. I’d love to see McLaren do something similar to Mercedes-Benz World. They’re based just down the road from Mercedes-Benz World in Woking but they don’t open their factory up to visitors, sadly.
I took one last HDR exposure of the car as we wandered out of the area.
London in the Evening