Intro: Between Ebbet and Adobe

Well this is weird…

Honestly it is. I think only a handful of people that will read this will know me and for others I hope you like what I bring to the table. My full name is Fraser William Gordon. I was born and brought up in Glasgow in what some of you may think after that weekend, sunny Scotland. Believe me, someone brought the weather up with them. Ever since I have been young I have been hooked on cars. This was without a shadow of a doubt the influence… … of my father as he used to be what can only be described as a racing driver, driving in various different disciplines throughout his career including Formula 2.

I know for sure when I got my first drifting fix. It was when I owned my Supra and I had started to become very good friends with Amran or as some of you will know him from the Driftworks forum, Pizzaboy. It was a cold winters morning when we headed up to what is the only place we have up here for drifting practice, Crail Raceway. I ventured up in my BPU’d Supra and Am headed up in his stunning PS13. When we got there we made our way to the oval and he took me out in the car. For those of you who have been out in Amran’s car with him behind the wheel, you will know that he is an extremely smooth driver not only when it comes to drifting but also when fast roading or track driving. I clearly remember it was an amazing feeling, the cross between out of control yet being completely in control, amazing. I think this is something that a lot of us can relate to.

So here is where I find myself now. I’m 23 years old, I got my first ever camera as a 21st birthday present (Canon 400d) and my job is a professional photographer who is throwing himself head first into videography. Im sure some of you will have seen my “This Is JDM Allstars” video which was, to me, surprising well received by the viewers. It’s when things like this happen that I know I am doing the right thing with my life. Daily I run a studio in Bearsden in Glasgow where I will shoot anything as long as I enjoy it. I am a firm believer when it comes to photography and videography that you have to enjoy what you are shooting. If you don’t get any enjoyment from what you are doing then why are you doing it? You won’t get the best results you can.  In fairness I think this applies to everything.

I really was chuffed when a slightly drained looking Al Clark asked me if i wanted to contribute my media onto the Driftworks front page. Maybe I just caught him at the right moment. Hopefully I won’t let the side down.

Between Ebbet and Adobe

Sometimes you just get whims. I’m sure everyone can relate to getting an idea and just wanting to pursue it. I think over the past week or so I have been inspired by a few things floating about in the media and also old photographs by Charles Ebbets, a master of black and white. In my opinion its amazing when you look back and see what the photographers in the 30′s were able to capture especially in comparison to photographers these days. Photographers these day all carry a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card when it comes to photography as even when you screw up a shot there is almost certainly going to be some way of saving the shot in post. The old photographers had raw skill and talent, being able to compose a shot and get it right the first time every time. I’m not saying that I’m not glad of the new technologies that we use as without them we really couldn’t capture half of the stunning images we are able to today. I think when it comes down to it for me I want to capture the shot first time and not have to fix or enhance the shots in post but, I’m not going to lie, I love editing. I love taking an image from a great image to something that you could hang on your wall, making it unique and stand out from the crowd.

I stumbled across Ebbet’s legendary shot for the umpteenth time again the other day. We all know the shot (see below) of the men in New York city, sitting on the bare girders thousands of feet high on what was due to be the Empire State building. Its amazing. No other word can describe it. Its shots like this that inspire me and should inspire others.

Since JAE and having my car finished I have been wanting to get some good pictures done of it and this all ended up tying in well with the fact that a friend of mine Daniel Bridle of Motor Mavens was in Edinburgh. So I made some phone calls to good friends of mine to get a small ground of high standard cars together for the Saturday. We headed over to pick up Daniel from his other half’s and proceeded to a great little location canal side in the centre of Edinburgh which I had never been to. The light was beautiful there and the new flats were stunning and to be honest I wouldn’t have minded one myself, canal side, quite area, private garages, whats not to love? I quickly got my Canon’s out the boot and grabbed a few snaps of the cars, shifting them around the area trying to grab the lights as it started to fall. Im not enthralled by all the shots I ended with but I had no preconceptions on what I was aiming for so in situations like that, even if I come away with just one shot that I’m happy with then I’m happy. You don’t have to nail a clean set of shots every time as I am a firm believer of quality over quantity every time.

couldn’t fault Saturday at all. The weather was perfect, the company was brilliant and it was great to catch up with Daniel again after not seeing him since the Sunderland round of JDM Allstars. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting Daniel I’ll do my best to describe him. Daniel is a raw talent, young, and full of fresh ideas. When you first meet him you can instantly tell he is switched on. When he is shooting you can really see that he is enjoying himself and is focused more on enjoying what is going on that trying to setup specific shots but works in a way similar to myself when he sees a shots, he grabs it, believing its best to capture something naturally while its happening than try and create a fake composition. Im a firm believer that its photographers like this, photographers than can truly grasp, understand and appreciate any given subject are the photographers that will produce the best work. You only have to look at Daniel’s work to understand what I mean. Without a doubt going places.

Saturday came and went and Sunday came in with streaming sunlight through the gaps in the bedroom window curtains. It really would have been rude of me not to venture up to the British Drift Championship final at Knockhill Racing circuit considering it was only 40 minutes away and the English contingent had travelled from far and wide. Me and Amran headed up mid afternoon as we just wanted to catch the final battles as the action is always the best. That and I didn’t fancy being peppered with flying gravel all day, just the afternoon. I can’t fault the day, the weather was great and it is always good catching up with faces you don’t get to see all the time.

When editing the pictures from Sunday I found myself wanting to just create a small set of clean black and white images. Black and white doesn’t lie. It doesn’t draw attention away but focuses on the subject at hand. It doesn’t matter if it was the 1930′s and it was the only option or if it is the modern world of todays DSLR’s black and white will always look good in virtually every situation and in some, looks best.

In this day and age, where anyone can walk into their local camera store and and pick him or herself up a DSLR and call themselves a pro, if you want to try and compete with the best in the business you have to look beyond that of what others are currently doing and sometimes borrow the simplicity of the past. I don’t pretend to be the best, far from it. I know there will always be someone better than me at any given thing that I do in life but without knowing this I would not have the drive to put them under pressure. Thanks for reading.

Fraser

My sites : Napier Designs & Stile-Auto.com

My Facebook: Fraser Gordon

19 thoughts on “Intro: Between Ebbet and Adobe

  1. Loving the work Fraser. Just curious as to what lens you used to get such nice depth of field on the S14 shot with the 32 in the background. Or have you been at Photoshop 🙂

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