It’s a rare occasion when I head off to a commercial assignment without several cases of lighting gear and my Assistants in tow.  But when Cox Automotive asked me to head out to the Mannheim Auto Auction just south of Chicago to shoot their facilities, they were looking for a more editorial photography feel that comes with available light and I was all in.

 

Manheim is the highest volume operator of wholesale auto auctions in the world with 130 locations in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Cox Enterprises purchased Mannheim in 1968 and also owns a majority share of Auto Trader which is one of the world’s leading providers of online and print automotive consumer information.

 

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The plan was to focus on different areas within the facility that focus on preparing cars that have just been sold in the auction for consumer use.  From under the hood inspections to brake repairs and detailing, Cox Auto covers it all.

From a lighting standpoint, I got lucky.  The facility was in a huge warehouse with plenty of windows to pull in a good amount of daylight and though the lighting was primarily fluorescents, between the daylight balancing and the white walls, any interference from the typical muddy green cast of the fluorescents was cancelled out.

 

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To simulate the look that the creative team was going for in post-production, I applied some desaturation and bumped up the details using a few filters found in the Photoshop plug-in offered by Topaz Labs called Topaz Adjust which is worth checking out.  There are so many options from color casts to alternative film processing filters that you could easily spend an excess amount of time playing around with each image.

I’ll be looking forward to the next round with Cox Automotive when I’ll be heading to Indianapolis and Cincinnati to produce more editorial photography with a focus on the Auction floor.