VW’s blind pho­tog­ra­pher

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MO­TOR­ING STAFF

Wolfs­burg, Ger­many VOLK­SWA­GEN has turned to an avant-garde mar­ket­ing cam­paign to in­tro­duce an avant-garde car, by us­ing a blind pho­tog­ra­pher to shoot its new Ar­teon.

Blind Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher Pete Eck­ert was com­mis­sioned to cre­ate arty im­ages of the fast­back sedan, which is due to be launched in South Africa in the sec­ond half of next year and is one of the most in­ter­est­ing de­signs from Volk­swa­gen in re­cent years. Un­veiled at this year’s Geneva mo­tor show in March, it is the suc­ces­sor to the Volk­swa­gen CC.

The ten ex­tra­or­di­nary im­ages and a mak­ing-of clip can be viewed on our www. mo­tor­ing.co.za web­site.

“The new Ar­teon rep­re­sents ex­pres­sive, avant-garde de­sign. Pete Eck­ert has pre­sented this de­sign in a unique way,” says Xavier Chardon, Head of Mar­ket­ing of the Volk­swa­gen brand.

“The im­ages he has cre­ated are gen­uine works of art and have a very special at­mos­phere that only he can cre­ate. We have found Pete to be an im­pres­sive per­son­al­ity and would like to thank him for the fan­tas­tic co­op­er­a­tion.”

Eck­ert vi­su­al­izes the im­age he wants to cre­ate in his mind and uses his senses of sound, touch, and mem­ory to make a pho­to­graph. Shoot­ing the new Ar­teon was his first au­to­mo­tive project. In preparation for the pho­tos, he ob­tained de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on the special fea­tures and char­ac­ter­is­tics of the new car. On the set, he gained sen­sory im­pres­sions of the car by feel­ing and tap­ping in or­der to de­velop as pre­cise an im­pres­sion of the new car as pos­si­ble.

With the aid of an as­sis­tant, he then pro­duced his pho­to­graphs, known as “light paint­ings”. Eck­ert took the pho­to­graphs with an ana­logue cam­era in com­plete dark­ness, us­ing long ex­po­sure times and dou­ble ex­po­sures. This way, he pro­duced dy­namic ef­fects by mov­ing dif­fer­ent light sources.

Eck­ert, from Cal­i­for­nia, lost his sight when he was an adult as a re­sult of an ill­ness. His works have been widely pub­lished and hon­oured by a num­ber of awards. One of his mo­tifs ap­peared on a United Na­tions postage stamp. He says about him­self: “I am a vis­ual per­son. I just can’t see. You don’t need eyes to see beauty.”

“You don’t need eyes to see beauty,” says Pete Eck­ert.

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