In London’s Piccadilly Circus vehicles are caught reflecting advertising to show how modern life embraces consumerism as shown by photographer Nick Turpin in his latest series, “Autos.”
“Shiny new vehicles passing through the city are illuminated by huge bright screens of Coca Cola red, Samsung Orange and Xbox green,” says Nick. “The light on the bodywork is reminiscent of the ‘liquid light’ effect which is found in photography for car advertising.”
The aesthetic of an high-end commercial photography studio is certainly echoed by these documentary pictures snapped in the popular tourist spot. “The automobile bathed in the light of advertising is an appropriate metaphor for the omnipresence of advertising in a world where we are all sold to constantly and every one of us is classified into consumer types,” adds Nick.
To An Audience of City Sophisticates.
According to Nick, claiming to have an audience of what he calls “City Sophisticates, Lavish Lifestyles, and Career Climbers,” the largest advertising screen in Europe that overlooks Piccadilly Circus, was the reason Nick chose the location.
“Particularly since having children, I have become very aware of advertising and how it targets us whether we are walking in the street, driving on the road, sitting in the back of a taxi or even going to the toilet,” Nick continues. “It struck me that the light of advertising bathing everything in Piccadilly Circus was a wonderful metaphor for this omnipresence of advertising in our lives and set about finding a way to photograph it.”
The Perfect Subject.
The perfect subject, the most expensive purchase after a house, were the shiny new cars passing through the junction,which Nick quickly realised were a better subject to light the adverts rather than portraits of people. “Once I started making the pictures I also realised that the huge LED screen in Piccadilly was like the giant softboxes used in commercial car studios that gave that seductive liquid light look so commonly used to sell cars. …
“I also see nice parallels with Pop Art, the use of found logos, motifs and texts as well as the blocks of bright colour reminiscent of Lichtenstein paintings. Finally, I love the way that something so everyday and mundane can actually be so beautiful.”
What makes the pictures most abstract were the bits that Nick found most interesting, using a long lens to focus on them, and taking the photographs at night for added effect. “The cars stop at the traffic lights giving me about a minute to make a picture. I step out between the cars in order to find the right angle to capture the best reflections and then run back to the pavement when the lights turn to green,” he says.
“I have to shoot a lot in order to get a handful of successful frames, in that respect it is very similar to street photography which is the approach behind most of my work. The advertising changes every two weeks so I run regularly to see what new opportunities there are.”
Words by Elijah (Content Marketer).