I’m really happy to share this interview with you all because Lucas de Graaf is a perfect example of someone who has taken car spotting photography to the next level. His clean, stylish pictures allow us to experience the car spotting scene in Munich without actually being there. This clear passion for cars and the spotting lifestyle instantly resonated with me, and I knew I needed to reach out to the Dutchman with a camera to find out more.
Lucas’ pictures really convey his love for cars which is something many of us in the car spotting community can relate to. He has an amazing eye for angles, and I really like the composition of his images. I will be keeping an eye on his work in the years to come and look forward to what he will produce as he continues to perfect his craft. Enjoy the interview!
How long have you been a fan of cars?
Pretty hard to say, I found my true passion for cars a long time ago, but I guess it was always there from the moment I was born.
How did you first get into car photography?
I started out as a true beginner car spotter funnily enough. The first time I went spotting (unknowingly that this hobby actually existed around the world) was back in 2015 in Dubai at the famous boulevard called ‘The Walk’, where I used my Dad’s digital camera and just took snapshots of random sportscars as proof of ‘spotting’ them. Then, later on, a friend of mine started spotting and created an Instagram page, and so I got the idea for it, too, and uploaded the photos that I took in Dubai. To keep content flowing, I started spotting in Munich. Later on that same friend of mine bought a DSLR, and I saw the photos he took with it, and envious as I was of it, I went ahead and bought a Nikon D3200 (I can recommend this DSLR to a lot of people that want to start with photography) and a 50mm prime lens to go with it. The quality on my Instagram page improved over and over, my follower count increased, I became better and better at car photography, and I realised that I had a knack for it.
When looking at your Instagram account it doesn’t take long to realise how passionate you are about cars, car photography and car spotting. Share some of your thoughts on car spotting and why you enjoy it so much?
Because of my passion for cars, I always get excited when I see a very special car, and it seems that I am not the only one. Car spotting is actually like Pokemon, you gotta catch ’em all!
It is an addiction combined with the photography, you just have to cross all those cars off your ‘bucket list’, and at the same time, you want to get the best possible picture of it (the latter also being partly induced by the urge of increasing followers on Instagram and attracting car owners).
Your Instagram name (dutchwithacamera) suggests that you are from the Netherlands. Tell me about some of your favourite locations to spot cars?
I am Dutch, born and raised for five years in the Netherlands, but then moved to the area around Munich with my family. The only place I always go spotting is Munich itself, as there is the best chance of spotting something special.
How often do you go car spotting?
Last year, and the year before, I went a lot (almost every weekend), but since I moved to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in August 2017 (Bavarian Alps, border to Austria), it became a bit difficult to get to Munich, combined with the fact that I started working, too, so the number of times I went decreased. I’m still trying to go regularly and attend car meets and events also.
You have captured pictures of some rare and exotic vehicles. Are there any cars on your bucket list that you hope to photograph one day?
There are multiple cars that I would still want to spot (or even have a photo shoot with!), which would be: Ferrari 250 GTO, Bugatti Veyron, Bugatti EB110SS, Bugatti Chiron, Pagani Zonda Cinque (and many many other Zonda’s….), Mclaren F1/F1GTR(Longtail)/F1GT/F1GTRLM, there are still quite a lot of Koenigsegg’s that I want to spot, including the CC8S, Gumpert Apollo/Intensa Emotizione, to just name quite a few…. there is still so much left for me to spot. The cars I would want a photo shoot with most would be the 250 GTO, Zonda Cinque and the F1 GT.
What is your favourite car ever and why?
My favourite car ever is the Aston Martin DBS Carbon Black Edition. What defines this car is its sexy, badass and perfect design and its pure, raw sound. I discovered my love for it after driving a DBS that belongs to one of my best friends, which had the valves completely open from the bottom of the rev range (normally they go open at 5000rpm) and sounded really mental. Of course, people look strangely at me when I say that I would want a DBS instead of any hypercar/supercar or classic/oldtimer, but I do not need any of those, and I could die in peace if I ever were to own one.
What photography equipment and editing software do you like to use?
At the moment I use a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Sigma 50mm f1.4 ART, a Sigma 24-35mm f2.0 ART and a Mark II Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS. I love to use Adobe Lightroom Classic for editing my photos, and I also use Photoshop to retouch stuff and clean up my pictures.
Who is your favourite photographer?
I don’t really know any photographers outside the car photography scene sadly. But my favourite photographer is Alex Penfold, which should not come as a surprise to many.
Name a few of your favourite Instagram car photography accounts?
I would like to thank Lucas for taking the time to speak with me. Be sure to check out his Instagram page and give him a follow: @dutchwithacamera