Richard Thompson on Photographing a Pagani Huayra BC

When the top of the line car manufacturers look for people to call on in order to craft their new marketing materials for the newest and most technologically advanced cars off their assembly floor, they reach out to people like Richard Thompson, and that's exactly what Pagani Automobili did, for their newest and most advanced automobile yet.

The Pagani Huayra BC in all of it's Hypercar Glory. Photo used with permission from Richard Thompson

The Pagani Huayra BC, or Benny Caiola, the name sake in honor to the man that bought Horacio Pagani's first automobile, is Pagani's most technologically advanced car from their line up. With the newest suspension, drive train, and meticulously engineered construction, the final product achieves a perfect balance of weight, performance and comfort. Needless to say, when Richard Thompson took up the project it was no surprise that he reached for a similarly powerful camera unit from Phase One, and a myriad of incredibly powerful lenses. When asked about the opportunity, he commented that he was ecstatic, as he had worked with Pagani prior to this project he was very happy to receive word that he would completing yet another project for the esteemed company.

Known for it's dramatic styling and amazing performance, the Huayra BC is the most advanced car from the Pagani Line Up. Photo used with Permission from Richard Thompson

When it came to the concept and idea for this project, Richard stated that he wanted to channel a "dark urban feel," and shoot the project in New York, another head nod as it turns out; Mr. Benny Caiola was a prolific car collector from New York. Thus beginning the search to find a location that channeled New York that wasn't too modern in and of itself. Under a New York train line became an ideal location it seemed, other than many of the main lines run over active streets, and the project didn't allow for necessary permits needed to shut down an active road. In haste he reached out to his producer, Jake Mills, who was able to come up with some locations that accomplished the look that was desired for the project. The final location used was in fact under a train line, but was more of a pedestrian zone that could be easily utilized, with permission, for this project.

The Yellow Lines on the freshly paved road are more visible in the shot, providing a great complimentary color in the frame to the blue line running the full length of the body of the car. Photo used with Permission from Richard Thompson.

This location proved to be extremely beneficial for several reasons for this project. Firstly, being that the pavement the car would be placed on was freshly laid smooth black pavement with freshly painted yellow lines. The vibrant yellow lines proved to be most effective as complimentary colors in the frame, as the car's color scheme consisted of white, with blue accents and lots of black detailing. Secondly, the overhead rail that was desired for this project, was exceptionally long and straight at this particular point on the line, which helped create a long soft focal framing that really helped emphasize the sharp styling on the Huayra. Ultimately, and probably one of the most valuable aspects of this location, was that the sun passed directly overhead and in line with the rail, and the holes in the tracks provided some lit shapes on the ground and on the car to help cement the car into its environment. The shape of some of the sun spots also in some ways mimicked some shapes on the car, almost serving as a environmental motif for the finished photos.

The cutouts from the train tracks above showing the similar patterns to the brake vents on the front of the Huayra. Photo used with Permission form Richard Thompson

With a police escort, dozens of awestruck citizens, and a very handy Andrew Link (another very talented automotive photographer you should check out) in tow, Richard shot some amazing images that will forever immortalize the beauty that is the design and engineering of the Pagani Huayra BC for us to enjoy generations to come. Equipped with a pair of Profoto B1 Strobes and the amazing Phase One XF 100 MP System, Richard Crafted what I think can unanimously be called some of the most stunning automotive images to hit the web in a while.  

Andrew Link (right) operating as a human light stand holding the Profoto B1 for Richard Thompson (left). Photo credit goes to Michael Roscoe.

​If you would like to see more of Richard's work, I invite you to take a look at his website: Richard Thompson Photography.
Ryan Pramik's picture

Fstoppers Staff Writer, Ryan Pramik is a professional photographer and videographer that specializes in automotive work but crosses the line into other genres for work or for personal projects. Has several publications under his belt for automotive work as well as event coverage for the automotive genre as well as others.

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Interesting to see behind the scenes on a shoot involving a car and the amount of work that goes into it.

that spot looks familiar from the Dark Knight movie when Bruce Wayne is driving his Lamborgini

Wasn't The Dark Knight filmed in Chicago?

Yes, found this piece of information from IMDB: N Franklin Street, Chicago, Illinois, USA (Bruce Wayne drives Lamborghini)

thanks guys! I was just taking a shot in the dark there. It looks very similar to that scene.

Knocked it out of the park!

yes sir!!!!!!!!!!! damn! Nice work and i appreciate the BTS video!

I have always liked Richard's photography, but I'm not crazy about these shots. I find the background busy and reflections from the bridge/platform above to be distracting. I could see this location working really well for a bright solid color car, but I think another location would have suited this amazing car better.

Absolutely ridiculous!! Wow! Great work! I was about to say the camera is ridiculous, which it is, but his vision and execution in the end makes the results stunning

What's ridiculous about using a 100MP PhaseOne and Schneider optics to get as much detail as possible in a $2.5 million car with all the carbon fiber patterns and CNC machined parts throughout? I think your Canon 2Ti may be a bit under-capable.