Virtual Reality Meets the Real World on the California Coast

August 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


 

To round out the "before and after" shots from Alex's anniversary session (posted last week), today we are posting other work done with our model/cameraman this year; work from both planned and impromptu fashion sessions in the New York studio and in California in the late spring.  For the record, let it be noted that some of the images in the New York City studio portion of the gallery were captured by Alex's friend and model, Timothy, who is now also working as a production assistant and second camera man at shoots when Alex is not available (such as when he's in front of the camera).  Indeed, one of the iconic shots of the year so far was captured by Tim on his first time out with a studio camera.
 

The studio makes regular trips to the West Coast to work with models in California and Alex has assisted on many of these sessions since 2012.  On his 2015 trip we indulged his passion for cars.  (“Passion” is probably an understatement when describing Alex’s obsession with cars and racing.  This guy can name the make, model and year of every car on the road.  Seriously.  Every car.) 

With the respected California photographer, Mike Tossy, as our local guide, we poured into a sporty convertible and tooled down the legendary Highway 1, hugging California’s rugged coastline.  Surrounded by mountains tumbling into the sea, Alex was driving on one of the world’s most dramatic roadways.  We stopped to get location shots from Big Sur in the south to Pebble Beach on the Monterey Peninsula. 

As stunning as the scenery is on this road, and as thrilling as it may be to drive as it twists along the sides of jagged cliffs that plunge straight down a thousand feet into the pounding surf, the highlight for Alex came toward the end of the day as we were heading back to Carmel.  Mike directed us onto a winding road leading up into the hills above the ocean.  It was a perfect combination of twists, turns and bucolic California scenery to satisfy Alex’s inner race car driver.  Suddenly, unexpectedly—and certainly unplanned—the road ended at a highway.  And Alex gasped when he saw the sign across the road.  He was in front of the entrance to the famed Laguna Seca Raceway.

Alex was ready to pee in his pants just staring at the sign but assuming it was a private road and closed to the public on non-race days, Alex was reluctant to enter.  It took less than a half minute to convince him to give it a try, to drive through the open gates past vacant guard stations.   

Once inside, Alex was babbling with excitement.  We drove along access roads overlooking the two-and-a-quarter-mile-long race track that twists through the hills with eleven fabled turns and rises and falls of nearly 200 feet.  Alex seemed to know it all.  And although he was seeing it for the first time, he informed us that he knew every turn:  he’d been “racing on this track for years."  Years earlier as a teenager, he bought a race car simulation game for his PC.  Laguna Seca was one of several real world tracks realistically rendered in virtual reality in the game.

We had stopped to take some photos when Alex noticed a security van rapidly approaching us from down the road.  Thinking we were about to get busted we were ready to put away the cameras and climb back into our car.  But as the security officer’s vehicle approached us he didn’t show any signs of slowing down.  As he zipped past us he nodded and waved a welcome to Luguna Seca.  The cameras came back out and Alex was captured on the real world racetrack that he's "known" for years!

Click here to enter Alex's 2015 Gallery.  And you'll find even more images in the 2015 video presentation.

Click here to find All Things Alex at New Manhattan Studios.

And plan to come back soon to see the work with the California models that prompted the trip west.  You can use the button on the bottom left to subscribe to the RSS feed to get updates to the blog as they are posted (about twice a month). 


 

 

 


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