Dogs In Cars: A Photography Book by Martin Usbourne 2

I was browsing around on Kickstarter and I came across this amazing photography book project.

First off, I realize this isn’t exactly a tech/gear post, but the photographs in this book really made me think about the gear and techniques the photographer must have used to achieve the results he did. The photos of dogs in cars are cinematic and moody — they reminded me of photographer Gregory Crewdson’s work.  In fact, the photographer cites Crewdson as one of his influences, as well as the painter Edward Hopper.

UK-based photographer Martin Usborne shot this project with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The photo he talks about in the “Making Of ‘Dogs in Cars’” video was shot with an 85mm f/1.2 prime lens at 1/20 @ f 7.1. For lighting, Usborne placed a large softbox on the roof of the building pointing just to the front of the car.  This lit the garage floor, wall, and front windshield. A second strobe was then used to light the dog through an acrylic sunroof on the car. And of course, lots of salami and cheese was used over the course of many, many shots in order to coax the right look from the dog.

The Kickstarter page features a brief Q&A with Usborne, and one of the questions he is asked is “How did you make these images?” His reply is:

These images are shot on location and the dog is placed in the car. That’s important to say.  A lot of people think these are incidental images. This isn’t the case… partly because its very hard to find dogs stuck in cars whilst you are carrying lights around and partly because these images are not meant to be documentary, but something more dreamlike and cinematic. They evoke a feeling. Lots of lights are used and the mood is carefully controlled.

Sometimes, seeing another photographer’s work and hearing how & why they chose to do it can motivate us to pick up our camera, rent some new gear, and experiment. If you want to be a backer for this project, don’t wait too long — It ends June 9th.