Crafting the Ultimate Unboxing Experience - With a Camera

by Jeffrey Pang February 07, 2016

Crafting the Ultimate Unboxing Experience - With a Camera

When my anodizers sent me the color samples of the gorgeous finishes, I knew I needed to do something insane for the last release of 2015. I had finished a Skype call with my sister later that day and somehow I proposed one of my most foolish ideas ever. I wanted to take pictures in three different countries, each corresponding to the Navy, Bronze and AMS2488 of the Octavia release. The issue was that I only had one week before I needed to assemble, release, and ship to customers.

I somehow convinced myself it was possible so I started thinking of cities. Of course the most iconic structures in Europe were at almost opposite ends of the continent. I had to strategically book all my tickets to allow me just enough time to take the shot - then leave. But as most creative people know, it isn't so easy knowing when your artistic mind will flourish. And often forcing it makes it worse.

I boarded my budget friendly bus to my first stop, Paris - the Eiffel tower. The cloudy weather and exposed metal structure screamed cold hues so it felt natural to shoot the Navy Octavia first.

The large steel pylon couldn't be more iconic, but my excitement was short winded. News unexpectedly flooded my phone about a mass shooting - a terrorist attack. France announced it was on complete lock down. Talk about bad timing. With my flight leaving France to my next destination a few days later, I feared I would be trapped. But when I got to France everything had settled down a bit. Even then, I had a hard time just walking down the streets of Paris. Negative thoughts lingered in my head and it was just sort of - eerie. There was a lingering tension in the air. I didn't feel safe. 

I tried to focus on the task at hand. The next day I met up with a friend who helped me scout for a location. Military were littered all over the city which was a bit of a distraction. It took a few hours before we thought of climbing up the fountain way on the other side of the Eiffel tower. I played around with some lighting, and with some movie magic (water in a Nestea bottle) I snapped one of the three shots I needed. Sometimes you click the shutter and know "thats it, we can go home", it was that perfect. Its such a good feeling.

I had one more evening in Paris, so I had some snail and onion soup.

Then took a walk to this random art museum. Apparently there's a painting of a girl with no eyebrows inside, but I didn't look.

And when driving around in my friend's car, I got a beautiful sight. The Eiffel tower lit up in the French colors - commemorating those who lost their lives in the shooting just days before. A somber reminder of the serious situation at hand. I was eager to get the hell out of there.

Luckily my flight from ORLY wasn't canceled. I packed my bag and headed for my next stop - Rome. I always associated Rome with warm hues. The earth tones of the buildings and warm weather were a clear win with the equally warm Bronze glass dusted finish.

Rome was the very first place in Europe I ever visited so it was a bit nostalgic. The massive Colosseum proved to be a challenge to shoot though. With only prime lenses, I was limited to where and what I could shoot. I knew I wanted something wide and dramatic. In my head the shot seemed complicated but sometimes the location doesn't have to be.

I spent a few hours and circled the area 3 or 4 times trying to find a perfect spot. I even purchased a ticket to take a look inside the Colosseum with no luck. After about 5 hours of shooting with nothing to work with I found a rock. Literally a large rock on a hill. Probably the most ugly thing I saw that whole damn day but when I saw the initial shots I knew it was the spot. It got dark, so I decided to take a look at the rest of the beautiful city and take the shot the next day.

So I went for a walk. I walked passed this white building...

and this one with a big hole in the roof. 

 And this fountain with some naked men on it.

But in all seriousness, this place is gorgeous. Its even more beautiful the second time around - you notice the small details. The first time I was here it was more of a culture shock in the most positive way. But you learn to appreciate the little things the second time, especially the weather in November. I went back to the Colosseum the next day and took the shot. It was pretty easy as I already scouted my location and knew what kind of shot I wanted. The green vegetation was literally grass I picked off the side of the rock. Somewhat comical seeing how awesome the final image turned out. 

And with that I headed back to Prague (Well I stopped in Austria/Hungary to say hi to some yoyo friends). I knew I needed to do at least one image of the beautiful place I have been living in for the past 6 months. Octavia is also Czech name - so it just made sense. It felt good to be back, and it allowed me to save some time doing it here rather than a third city. 

To say this picture was a challenge would be an understatement. But as for how I took this one - Ill let your imagination run wild.





Jeffrey Pang
Jeffrey Pang


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