Aerial photography for a living


As some of you might have cottoned on to, I work in automotive publishing*. As such, I wade my way through thousands of press releases. Most of them are completely pointless, some of them are interesting, and others again spark my interest. There is a lot of amazing photography that happens when trying to show cars from their best angles, for example.

When the World Cup was raging at its hardest a couple of months ago, I saw a photo something quite unlike the others. Basically, it was a single photo, taken from the air, of 400 Toyota Yaris cars (you may know them as Toyota Vitz or Belta, depending on where you live) parked in the shape of a St George’s cross.

Today, I stumbled across the blog of the photographer who did the photos… 


A day in the life of Jason Hawkes would be something quite particular! For this particular job, well, let’s quote him:

Instead of flying a flag from their cars, workers at the Toyota Burnaston factory in Derbyshire have made one from cars. A crack team of 40 yard drivers and workshop technicians spent two 12 hour shifts reversing, turning and parking 400 Toyota Yaris cars into a giant St George’s Cross. The flag measures 80m by 40m and is a big message from a small car. The flag can be seen from 1000ft in the air and from miles around.

I remember thinking to myself ‘what? 40 yard drivers spent two 12 hour shifts? So they wasted 960 man-hours on this? Even if they work at minimum wage (£5.50), that means they spent £5,280 to park the cars – that’s roughly the value of one of the cars!

Never mind, I’m not here to rant about automotive companies, I’ve got my day job for that. Far more interesting is Jason Hawkes’ account of the photo shoot, done with a Hasselblad Ixpress H1D-22.

Also, make sure you don’t miss Jason’s commercial web-site.

*) I’m the online editor for one of Future Publishing‘s automotive titles

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