Photos: Driver

by Beauchamp Art

Driver - 01


Photos of a drive back from King’s Lynn. These photos were taken as an accompaniment to the Driver; Passenger film.

The photos were taken with a fairly fast exposure, due to the instability and internal movement of the vehicle in motion, so required a high aperture and ISO to compensate (though I did not want the picture to be exceptionally grainy, so the ISO did not reach the upper limit of the camera).

I most of these images, in post-production some of the lighter areas of the black sections were brightened to expand the range of the mid-tones, but increased the contrast to the totally dark areas to create a clear contrast in the areas of moderate luminosity. The initial bright areas were also reduced to be more in line with the high end of the mid tones, then pulled the contrasts back up in the RGB adjustments.

After adjusting the brightness levels, where I desaturated the colour from the image to be able to best differential the monotone values, the colour was then reintroduced. They were then confided to a mostly teal and orange palette for most of the pictures (recently favoured in cinematic trailers and a number of large-scale films, to give a cinematic undercurrent to the pictures). This thereby  compliments the bright street lights and sky, but where red was the dominant colour alongside the blue tones, this was subtly enhanced, enabling a more consistent and aesthetically pleasing stylisation of the photographs that did not debate too creatively from the native tones.

Driver - 08

Although most of the images were taken in colour, due to the rich tonal contrast available in the low light compared to the fairly narrow colour range, a number of the pictures were taken in monochrome and kept that way to make the most in the differences in the property of the images, though overall most of pictures are studies of the light within the vehicle, with any images featuring areas outside of the car out of focus, obscured or otherwise blurred by the motion and/or exposure from taken the pictures whilst moving; contrasting the internal stillness and calm to the external motion.

This was intended to draw emphasise to the mediation of the external world by the vehicle, both in passage of light through seemingly perfect curving glass windows, but also a mediator of experience in the world. As McLuhan observed,“the car is that, more than any horse, it is an extension of man that turns the rider into a superman” [McLuhan, 1964: 221]. The car, in relation to the speed and power it produces along the road, enhances man’s ability to move beyond the power of their body, so must alter their perception of the world.

If “reciprocity can and does take place between embodied subjects and technological objects” [Farman, 2011: 65] then when the embodiment is distorted or enhanced, so must be the individual in their phenomenological relationship with the world around them, as without the body there is no experience. Although these images document a journey, it could be said that they do not attempt to address the issue of the transition between places, but rather focus on the fixity of the forms within a dynamic internal space, with an anthropocentric direction, examining the human within the car interior looking out, over the mechanical structures, engine or external environment.

Driver - 11


  • Farman, Jason (2011) Mobile Interface Theory: Embodied Space and Locative Media. 1st Edition. Routledge. London, UK.
  • McLuhan, Marshall (1964) Understanding Media. 1994 Edition. Routledge. UK