Recently I attended one of Coventry’s Conversations. The guest photography is one of the UK’s leading car photographers, Mike Valente.

Mike Valente has worked in his field for over 30 years now and stumbled into the photography business through a degree in 3D Design, went on to join BBC TV as a trainee designer in visual effects and after that went on to taking photographs of musicians for International Musician Magazine. Later he went on to work for What Car?  This is where his legacy began.

During the conversation Mike spoke of some of his favourite work and how he composes his images to include what he wants in his shot. He also explained the dangers of panning and getting the perfect action shot.

Mike’s passion for cars has no doubt boosted his career and has helped him to gain the title he has today. When asked what his best investment would be, Mike responded saying that lenses are always the best thing to buy. Cameras should be bought at an affordable price but lenses can fit most cameras and can generate all sorts of work. He also said “Look for a different way to work and a different technique; set yourself aside from everybody else,”

Interestingly, Although Mike Valente isn’t the youngest of photographers; he is clearly pro digital as well as analogue. He is also pro Photoshop and had a very clear appreciation for it in his work. “I try to do everything in camera, but changing lenses a lot means the sensor in the camera gets dirty. I have to spot that out on Photoshop” says Valente. “Sometimes you’ll want to tweak the colours if it’s a dull day, but you try and keep it as honest as possible. It becomes an illustration otherwise.”

To read some of the conversation go to: http://cutoday.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/cutoday-automotive-revered-professional-automotive-photographer-mike-valente-drops-in-for-cov-con/

Although an interesting talk, I don’t think Valente has any competition from me in his area of expertise. Car photography is a refined taste for somebody who has a passion about cars and, unfortunately, I don’t. However, although something I wouldn’t really consider going into, the images that Valente has composed and taken are really interesting. To me, I thought Mike was a really interesting person to listen to.

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