As this season comes to an end, it was only right to finish off the year with the Import Expo Season Closer held at the Better Living Centre in Toronto. I shot this event last year and have been looking forward to this show for another 364 days. The atmosphere and setup of the whole event is exactly what an indoor show should be and delivers an excellent experience for both competitors and spectators.
The beginning of the show is undoubtedly my favorite part of the event. The road into the loading area is surrounded by nice gardens in trees making for a beautiful backdrop for roll in photos and sets the tone for the competitors as they roll in. The entrance to the venue is a large bay door and gives a very cool look to the images as the cars pull in from the bright outside to the dim indoor setting. Most times, shooting and getting the look for these photos can be difficult due to the high dynamic range but for these I decided to work mostly with the properly exposed exterior and keep the indoors area looking dark or black to isolate the car.
For many photographers, indoor shows can be a challenge to shoot. Most indoor venues are filled with a dark yellow light that makes photography a huge pain. Luckily it seems like this venue has put some money into better lighting and I was able to shoot at a fairly low ISO for the majority of the event.
As far as the cars in attendance of the event, the show did not disappoint. Import Expo, to me, has always been a show made for all enthusiast. Inside the show you will find builds of all styles, stages, and backgrounds. From motor swapped Hondas touched inside and out to cars that are OEM+, all the way to lifted and modified Jeeps, this show brings them all together.
One of the most refreshing sights for me was the amount of well-done stance cars that were in the show. After travelling to the states for H2O this year, I was worried and had been feeling that the local scene didn’t have much to offer. I was proven wrong on this. Throughout the event you could find numerous cars sitting with fender to lip fitment on static suspension. Just a few of these cars are @aaron_static, @sauga9thgen, @fish_s15, @86senseii and @jake.brz just to name a few.
As the show drew to a close, the awards came and went with well deserved builders placing in their respective categories and roll out began. Through the entire venue all that you could hear was the starting of cars, bagged cars airing up and all of the static guys scraping as they pulled out of the bay doors and down the ramp. For my rollout shots I chose to take a similar approach to my roll in photos. I exposed for the indoor lighting and let the cars fall into a shadow or silhouette with just the headlights left to stand out in the aggressive figure that most of these cars have.
All in all, Import Expo put on another incredible show. This is one of the few shows all year that I haven’t heard complaining about judges after the show, there we no cops waiting at the exit to harass drivers, and all of the spectators had amazing cars to come and enjoy throughout the day, I would like to say a special thank you to the organizer Bret for having me out as media again this year and for another killer event.
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