My dad loves his ’63 Split Window Corvette. For his Father’s Day gift this year, I asked him to let me do a photo session with his Corvette to showcase it and him in a cool setting with a lot of thought put into the lighting.
I know of an old industrial area in Akron that would be perfect for photographing the ‘Vette, having old, worn brick faces, lots of cracked and decaying buildings, but new pavement so as not to damage the car or tires. On Father’s Day, the weather was mostly cloudy, which was ideal for shooting photos of the Corvette because harsh sunlight would produce hot spots on the car and would hide the beautiful curves that make this car so amazing.
To see what other photographers have done with this car, I looked around Google and Bing image search for photos of 1963 Split Window Corvettes and was rather disappointed with what I saw. Very few photos showed up that had been professionally shot and edited. Most photos on image search were shot with no thought put into lighting or camera angle, and were also shot with point-and-shoot cameras with no post-processing even done.
I was surprised at that because this car ranks in the top 20 in the Most Collectable Car list.
The split rear window in the 1963 model was produced only that year. They eliminated it in the split in the 1964 model because it impairs visibility, and that makes the ’63 model even more collectable. This car is FAST. It has a 4-speed manual transmission and a small-block V8 engine with posi-traction. It lays rubber with ease and is impossibly fun to drive.
When shooting these photos, I got down very low to the ground to accentuate the lines of the fenders. Because it sits so low, if I shot from a standing position, all you’d see would be the top of the hood and roof.
I also wanted to show a different angle than would typically be seen when walking around the car, which produced photos that are more interesting to look at and engage the viewer. It worked because my dad commented many times how different the car looks in the photos and how pretty the lines are.
In the photos where my dad is behind the wheel, it was too dark inside of the car to properly show him behind the wheel, while properly exposing to show the car off. To fix that, I had a remotely-fired flash inside of the car reflecting off of the dashboard and onto his face, which gave us some really cool photos of him in the driver’s seat.
The last set of photos shows what this car can do when you lay into the throttle. He started at a dead stop and punched it while dumping the clutch. I set the camera on 6 frames-per-second burst mode and captured this awesome burnout. I made 14 frames of it into a GIF, which is epic.
Happy Father’s Day dad!