I first came across one of Dave’s pictures whilst browsing on Instagram and I knew I had stumbled upon something special. I took a closer look at his profile (@daveadams_daai) and was blown away by the quality of work displayed.
If you like classic cars and Motorsports, then you will quickly become a fan of Dave Adams. His pictures are crisp, tasteful and stylish. I especially admire the fact that his images never seem over-edited or forced, and he has an ability to shoot from angles that always complement the subject of the photo.
I got in touch with Dave to find out more about his love for cars, how he grew his photography to a professional level and much more. Enjoy!
How long have you been a fan of cars?
For as long as I can remember. My earliest memories all revolve around cars – matchbox ones on the living room carpet, the cars my parents drove, drawing them during classes when I should have been paying attention to the lessons etc.
How did you first get into car photography?
When I first started driving, I kept ending up at the local circuit (Oulton Park) on track days, but rather than taking part I was taking photos, using an old Minolta film camera. I then bought a Subaru Impreza, and through club days and events started running a website based purely on Subaru photos. This was pre-Instagram and Facebook days, when content online was either personal websites or message boards.
What inspired you to take your photography to a professional level?
This wasn’t intentional to begin with, I have always looked at photography as a hobby. However, the more time I spent doing it, the more I wanted to get better and improve, challenging myself to understand both the technical and artistic aspects of shooting cars. Today, with websites/platforms like Instagram, it’s possible to reach thousands of people who are interested in seeing high-quality content, and this, in turn, drives a requirement to produce the best images you can to stand out from the masses.
Your Instagram page focuses more on classic/vintage racing cars. Tell me where your passion for these vehicles was born?
In some ways its a Romanticism about a bygone era of racing, where the drivers are perceived to be real heroes. I’m not sure how true it is, but having missed that period of racing when it happened, events like the Goodwood Revival and Silverstone Classic enable me to step back in time and imagine what it must have been like to see these cars race in that period.
I find vintage and classic cars (before the advent of big aero developments) to mostly be things of beauty, with form and function working together in some form of harmony (especially in the GT classes). And to see these cars racing, with on-the-limit handling often translating to big power slides, you can’t help but be excited about them still being driven hard today, even with the values of some of these cars being in the many millions of pounds range.
I also love the openness of historic racing – rarely will you go to a classic event and find that you cannot get up close with the cars on display, in comparison to modern Motorsport with its privacy screens up around the garages preventing anyone seeing in.
Tell me about some of the most memorable UK Motorsport events you’ve attended?
By far my favourite event to attend is the Goodwood Revival in September. A combination of fantastic cars and the period clothes that most people wear make it a great event to photograph. I usually come away from Goodwood with a good haul of images, and have been lucky to come away each time with one or two photos I’m especially proud of. It’s not a cheap event to attend, but the content makes up for this especially when the morning light hits the paddocks and the crowds are yet to arrive.
How often do you go to Motorsport events?
This varies, but I usually attend around 10 events a year depending on other commitments.
What made you decide to start an Instagram account dedicated to car photography?
I have a Flickr account, from back when it was one of the only platforms doing photograph sharing on a large scale, with elements of today’s social media thrown in. However, they went through a transition period with Yahoo and seem to neglect developing the site to keep up with other platforms. At the time, my Flickr account was dedicated to car photography, so it was straightforward enough to move from Flickr to Instagram and maintain the same philosophy of being dedicated to my automotive and Motorsport work. Once you’ve spent some time on Instagram, you also learn that to maintain a reasonable following, keeping your content in the niche you are known for is beneficial. Followers do not like it if you suddenly start posting photos of your morning coffee if they are used to seeing photos of 1960’s GT cars for example.
Do you ever go car spotting or do you only take pictures at events and planned shoots?
No – I’ve never been particularly interested in car-spotting (or modern supercars for that matter).
What photography equipment and editing software do you like to use?
I use a Nikon camera, with a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 and Sigma 35mm F1.4 lenses. The 70-200mm does 95% of the work. For editing, Lightroom and Photoshop on a Windows Laptop. Lightroom for virtually everything, Photoshop for tidying up at the end.
Who is your favourite photographer?
That’s a tough question – I often pick up a book called Races, Faces, Places that is about the work of Michael Cooper, who photographed a lot of the cars I like in period. His work is journalistic in nature, but I like the candour of what he managed to capture.
Name a few of your favourite Instagram car photography accounts?
Instagram is a fantastic place to connect with photographers, many of whom I find inspirational. Off the top of my head;
Brian Walsh (@brianwalshphotos) has one of the most beautiful IG streams around, with colour grading prowess that blows me away everytime I see one of his images.
Richard Pardon (@richardpardon) is a master of producing stunning commercial images and I love his processing style.
Remi Dargegen (@remidargegenphotographies) has great consistency in his photographs, and also gets to shoot at some fantastic locations as well.
Where can our readers find out more about you and your photography?
I would like to thank Dave for taking the time to speak with me. Be sure to check out his website/Instagram page and give him a follow!