1958 Chrysler 300D
……Like many of the objects Michael Furman has photographed over the years, photographing automobiles has become a symbol of his perfectionism and unrelenting attention to light and detail. The vision he has created over 30 years has placed him atop the world’s best car photographers.
He has worked and collaborated with many blue chip automotive companies that include; Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, BMW and General Motors to name a few. He has also photographed the Ralph Lauren automobile collection as part of an exhibition and book entitled, Speed, Style and Beauty, the Cars of the Ralph Lauren Collection, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and recently was interviewed by another famous car aficionado, Jay Leno.
TW recently contacted Mr. Furman to ask him a few questions about his successful career.
1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza
MICHAEL FURMAN INTERVIEW
TW: You are nationally known as a master of photographing inanimate objects for many years. What made you turn your attention specifically to motor vehicles?
MF: About 10 years into my pro career, I felt the need to specialize, and to do so with a subject that I always appreciated. In fact, I first picked up a camera as a young boy to photograph a car.
2. What is the most unique or rare car you have ever photographed?
Many of the cars we shoot are famous or one-of-a-kind. This past summer we shot one of the six Bugatti Royales while it was in California.
3. You are obviously passionate about your love for photographing cars. Is passion the key to your success?
My great passion is for light. and my subject is cars. I find the cars and their histories fascinating. Being passionate is critical to being successful at anything.
1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe
4. Do you have any interest in photographing vehicles in motion?
Not really, I have a hard enough time capturing them when they are static in the studio.
5. Do you think GM will regain its global leadership in the production of motor vehicles in 2010?
I think GM will return as a much better company, producing much better cars. It will probably take longer than just one year. They have a lot of work to do.
6. If money wasn’t a factor which car would you drive daily?
1951 Hudson Hornet
7. Which part on a car do you think was the most inventive post 1970s?
The addition of computers. It has allowed for extraordinary improvements in efficiency, safety and features.
8. Which car is Michael Furman driving these days for fun?
My Mini Cooper S.
9. What advice can you offer the student of photography on how to earn a living as a professional, like the Michael Furman’s of the world?
Be very dedicated to your craft. Do not accept “good enough” as your standard. Never be satisfied, and always realize that you could do better.
1941 Lincoln Continental Convertible
10. What is the most difficult task in photographing a car to meet your standards of creating a perfect image?
The control of the space in which we are shooting. The car is highly reflective, and therefore shows everything in the studio. Managing that problem is the only way to achieve quality work.
1957 Ferrari 625/250 TRC
….To learn more about Michael’s work, log on to www.MichaelFurman.com….