When leading motorsport photographer Shivraj Gohil was commissioned to create imagery for the launch of the high-profile off-road racing series Extreme E, he turned to SIGMA.
Shiv is artistic director at Spacesuit Media, an international photographic collective specialising in motorsport. Shiv is known throughout the motor racing world thanks to his eye for colour and his incredible portraiture. Fans, marketeers and racing drivers alike love his work (and three famous racing drivers have even hired him to photograph their weddings and engagement parties).
Extreme E is a brand new, high-profile racing category due to start in 2021. It will feature 600bhp all-electric all-terrain SUVs competing in the most incredible locations. For the first season, stages include the Amazon rainforest, the Saharan desert, the Arctic, an island in the Indian Ocean and the Himalayan mountains.
The man who designed the Odyssey 21 – the vehicle that all participants will use – is Theo Gouzin, the man also responsible for the spaceship-looking “Gen2” ABB Formula E racing car. Theo has been admirer of Shiv’s portfolio for years so Shiv was delighted to be called in to create the very first promotional images of the Odyssey 21.
“The set-up shots included action shots in France as the SUV ran across a rally-type course; studio shots to act as a teaser for the grand unveiling; and then the official launch of the Odyssey 21 prototype at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, including a run up the famous hill,” says Shiv. “I’m a Canon man but I love the products that Sigma offers. And I knew this shoot would call for something special, to separate the photos from all the other material that would be produced at Goodwood.”
Shiv’s kit bag already includes two SIGMA lenses; the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art and SIGMA 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art. But for such an important commission, Shiv wanted something new to help stamp out a unique visual identity from day one.
“That special something was the new SIGMA 105mm F1.4 DG HSM | ART lens,” says Shiv. “I was warned that I would fall in love with it – and I have.”
A loan of the lens to try it out led to some of Shiv’s favourite shots thus far in his motorsport photography career. “This lens allows you to achieve amazing bokeh effects that other lenses can’t recreate at that focal length. It really is a unique style.”
As well as incredible end results, Shiv found the SIGMA 105mm | Art lens great to use. “Focusing speeds are very fast regardless of lighting conditions,” he confirms. “The lens offers very good focus in low light conditions; I could keep the ISO level down much further than with other lenses to minimise grain. It does feel a little heavy but it’s better if you remove the tripod collar. And it comes ready to use, straight out of the box.”
Shiv’s Extreme E images have been used far and wide by all sorts of publications and the team there are extremely (pun intended) happy with the outcome.
“I like the lens so much that I’ve since bought it,” says Shiv. “That tells you all you need to know about SIGMA quality.”
You can see more images created by Shiv or Spacsuit Media on one of the following links: