Photographer Light-Paints Parked Cars to Stay Creative During Lockdown

Dave Cox is an automotive photographer based in Los Angeles who wanted to get his creative juices flowing while locked down at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What he came up with is a new project titled “#CARonaVirus.”

“I have been feeling super cooped up and a little uninspired during quarantine,” Cox says. “However while I was going out for walks, I noticed a bunch of cool old cars in my area. That is when a wave of creativity came over me.”

Under normal circumstances, Cox would connect with the cars’ owners and set up location shoots, but that’s not an option with California’s lockdown orders.

So, Cox decided to just shoot the cars where he found them parked.

“I’d go back out at night and light paint then where they sat, no staging, no agreeing, just shooting,” Cox says. “One exposure for the background and one for the car. Super quick and dirty but mega fun at the same time.”

Cox light-painting a parked car.

Here are some of the resulting photos along with some of Cox’s words about the photos:

“I found this Ford T-Bucket in a Whole Foods parking lot whilst on the way home from shooting another car!”
“While out for a walk I spotted @venicebry’s stunning Ford Falcon and this is what actually sparked my idea of making a series. When I returned at night with all my gear there was a cover over it. So the next day I left a note asking him if he would mind leaving the cover off for a while so I could light paint it. To my absolute amazement, he did! What a kind guy!”
“One night while for a stroll we found this amazing Ford truck just hidden down a side street. The patina on the paint was incredible. There was virtually no light down this street so I had to light paint the tree a bit too. 3 exposures, 1 for the background, 1 for the tree and 1 for the truck.”
“Talk about convenience. This Cadillac is literally a 2 minute walk from my apartment. I must have walked passed it a 100 times. I had to include it in this series.”
“This Coupe De Ville is absolute beaut. This came out exactly how I wanted it to do so. First attempt at light painting this with 1 pass and it came out perfect. One other exposure for the sky and that was it. Literally 40 seconds after setting up, I was tearing down the camera.”
“One of these days I’ll have a Chevrolet Chevelle SS outside my house. Love everything about this one. Also narrow streets with grass are quite nice to shoot on.”
“This Ford truck was actually the test shot for this series, I liked the way it came out and it was literally 2 minutes walk from my apartment.”
“I am utterly enamored by this Chevrolet truck! It is so clean and the ride height is perfect. There were people in the house behind the truck and I was sure they’d come out and ask me what I was doing, but no. Nothing, I would have at least liked to have told the owner what a nice truck they have. A single exposure for the sky and one for the truck. Minimal post work as well. Very quick and easy shoot.”
“Another immaculate Chevrolet I guess I have thing for trucks. Love this colour too, guess it isn’t original paint. Loads of available light here made it look like a painting.”

“It’s crazy fun and freeing going out with limited gear and just shooting what you find,” Cox says.

You can find more of the photographer’s work and follow along with the project on his Instagram.

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