A Ride to Remember - Frame The Star Photography Challenge 2022
Frame the Star challenge is back! The unique automotive photography challenge turned on the heat this season. A celebration of the city-car interaction, the challenge aims to give photographers a space to be innovative and showcase their skills using the luxurious cars from Mercedes-Benz as the center of attraction. The third edition of the Frame the Star officially kicked off on 24th May 2022. Helmed by Mercedes-Benz, Better Photography and Overdrive, it invited photographers from across the country to creatively represent automobiles.
Phase 1 or the Online Challenge
In the first phase of the challenge, participants were asked to submit photographs of any four-wheeler of their choice, including public transport. The two themes were... 'The Car in the Urban Landscape', and, 'View from Inside the Car'. Phase one saw thousands of photographers submit their interpretations of the themes. Out of these, four finalists were selected and moved on to the next phase of the challenge – The Face Off.
The deserving finalists were: Purnendu Kodwani, Syed Danish, Mahesh Kumar and Pranav Prabhakar.
Phase 2 or the Face Off
In Phase 2, the finalists were joined by 12 specially invited photographers for an ultimate finale. Planned in two parts, the 16 participants faced off against each other – first in Mumbai (4-7 July 2022) and then in Chennai and Puducherry (22-26 July 2022). Their only objective, to creatively capture the unique features of the sleek Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine and the sporty Mercedes-Benz GLA 200. It was a race against time for the 16 photographers as they each aimed to bring out their distinct style in their images.
Stormy Showdown in Mumbai
Participants in action at Mumbai
The first leg of the Face-Off challenge was held in Mumbai and it started with a thunderous boom (quite literally!). It saw 8 participants brave the Mumbai streets, chaos, and tumultuous monsoons as they drove around the city to creatively showcase the two cars, Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Drenched, stuck in traffic, with limited assistance, and glances from the milling crowds, the eight photographers roamed the unknown lanes of the City of Dreams to weave story of the car and the city. From heritage lanes of South Bombay, and the urban forest of Aarey, to the windy cliffs of Malabar, and the busy piers of Bandra, each photographer brought a fresh perspective to the city-car interactions. While some highlighted the luxurious cars, others focused on how these cars interacted with the busy Mumbai streets.
Romancing Chennai and Pondicherry
Participants Shooting at Chennai & Pondicherry
After a rain-soaked first leg of the Frame The Star Challenge Face-off round in Mumbai, the Face Off challenge moved to its second leg in Chennai and Pondicherry. From the changing weather to blocked streets, curious bystanders to deliberate photobombers, the photographers rode through roads, both old and new, to creatively showcase the uniqueness of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine and Mercedes-Benz GLA and how they fit in various urban terrains. The photographers went through a journey of discovery as they drove through the east coast, remote towns, alongside beaches and lesser known but culturally rich sites. Some drifted, others took to the skies and few even broke stereotypes to frame the luxurious cars as they interacted with the cities of Chennai and Pondicherry.
The Big Reveal
After days of judging, deliberations and discussions, our judges Mr Mukesh Parpiani, photojournalist and head of Piramal Gallery, Krishna Madhvan Pillai, editor of Better Photography and Bertrand Dsouza, editor of Overdrive magazine have chosen the deserving images and photographers who won the challenge. The winner will get a chance to be part of an all-expense paid trip to AMG Winter Drive Experience in Europe and be part of a video assignment by Mercedes-Benz India. Two runner ups will also get a chance to work on a photography/video content assignment for one of the key products of the year for Mercedes-Benz India. Turn the pages to get a glimpse at the winner and runner ups of the Frame the Star 2022 edition!
Purnendu Kodwani @purnendu.deo
25 years, Bhopal
Commercial photographer and filmmaker, Purnendu is no stranger to creatively highlighting the most unique aspects of a subject. An artist to the core, he started photography to help provide for and market his band. As a finalist from Phase 1 of the challenge, Purnendu was excited to get creative with his favourite car brand.
"The challenge took me back to my photography roots, had me thinking on my feet and greatly inspired me... Mumbai has the finest architecture and is the hub of sports and luxury cars. I personally feel Mercedes gets along with the vibe of Mumbai's urbanscape."
The play of shadows and lights creates an ethereal image that highlights the features of the GLA. The raindrops on my camera lens also create a bokeh effect that adds to the stunning visuals of the car.
The pristine lattice pattern gave the car an inviting luster that I wanted to capture. I remember taking the multiple photographs in quick successions to get this shot.
The shot portrays homecoming. I wanted to capture the Mercedes-Benz and its showroom in the same frame to emphasise the elegant and avant-garde design of the car.
Jerin Joseph George @_born_2_capture
22 years, Alappuzha
Automotive Photographer Jerin was fascinated by cameras from an early age and started photography during eighth grade.He has experience working with various genres of photography and has a strong dedication to his vocation. His fascination for automobiles doubled his excitement for being part of the challenge. For him, Frame the Star is a platform where he could showcase his passion and perspective to a more diverse audience.
"I wanted to bring out the different terrains of Pondicherry and its serenity. It is quite reminiscent of the comfortable silence the Mercedes offers as it glides through the street."
This was not a planned shot. While browsing through the outskirts of the city, I happened upon this groove. The sunlight falling on the trees created a natural halo that gloriously highlighted the car.
I clicked this picture while I was on my way back to the hotel in the evening. The interior lights were turned on and I wanted to convey the soothing ambiance they created. As the car was in motion, I decided to set my shutter speed below 160 to achieve that feeling.
I fell in love with this old fort that faces the sea. Its perfect lines enhanced the long and linear body of the A Class, and I knew I had to take this shot. The natural contrast of colours was definitely an icing on the cake.
Manas Godara @manasgodara
23 years, Mumbai
Freelance cinematographer and photographer, Manas started photography while still in college. As a street photographer, he found the challenge to be fresh, exciting and unnerving at the same time. The challenge was an adventure for Manas, who captured unique frames and gave innovative perspectives to the cars.
"The cars from Mercedes-Benz are like beautiful beasts prowling on the city roads. Both the GLA and A-Class fit perfectly with the fancy buildings as well as the urban forest. Through my photographs, I wanted to capture the comfortable adventures they promise."
My first thought when I saw the GLA was that I want to take this car on an adventure. To convey that feeling, I went to the urban jungle of Aarey Colony. By the end, I was thoroughly drenched. The perfect splash I got on camera, made it all worth it.
I wanted to get the bridge, its smooth roads, the stormy sky and the Mercedes-Benz in one frame. The speed of the car worked to my advantage and I was able to get a perfect shot of the car in motion
The star is ready for the red carpet! The smoky bokeh effect behind the Mercedes-Benz felt as if a celebrity was making an entrance. The shot was so attractive, that I had to press the shutter.
DISTINCT STYLES, UNIQUE PERSPECTIVES
Sudden climate changes to roads unknown... these photographers put their creative foot forward to bring out the best of the Mercedes-Benz cars and its urban surrounding. Here's a glimpse of the images by the remaining challengers at Frame the Star...
31 years, Kolkata.
Wedding and people photographer.
The night lights of the city gave an ethereal glow to the Mercedes-Benz. The backdrop of the chess-patterned bridge, reminiscent of royalty, added to the grandeur of the A-Class, and I knew I had to frame this city car interaction.
42 years, Bengaluru.
Accredited sports photographer and published photojournalist.
This place was a discovery. The rarely used old bridge gave a rustic feel to the frame which set into perspective the modern splendour of the A-Class. The elevated modern bridge that I was perched on and the morning sky added to the serene atmosphere.
27 years, Badlapur.
Wildlife and Wedding Photographer.
The beautiful medley of Mumbai rains as it falls on the thunderous sea gave the perfect background to show the classic grandeur of the GLA. The towering skyscraper in the horizon just encapsulates everything that is Mumbai.
24 years, Delhi.
Finalist from Phase 1, Street photographer and physiotherapy student.
The shot signifies the connectivity of the city. The aesthetic array of lines framed by the window of the GLA portray the relationship Mercedes-Benz has with the City of Dreams.
35 years, Pune.
Software engineer by day, content creator by night.
The heavy overcast sky cast soft dim light on the car. The effect that the rays made as they filtered through the louvers perfectly illuminated the Mercedes-Benz logo. The car had got it's spotlight, and I got my perfect shot!
32 years, Mumbai.
Photographer and Filmmaker.
Riding in the Mercedes-Benz is like a celebration. And every celebration needs music! It was humbling to have these amazing players agree to pose under a downpour. Their presence added a human touch to the the royal car.
26 years, Kochi
Travel and Landscape Photographer.
At around dusk time, the rains had just let up. The sky shed alluring shades of blue over the sand and sea, a perfect compliment to the denim blue of the car. I highlighted these shades of blue by using polarising filter and rule of third photography composition.
35 years, Coimbatore
Civil Engineer, Interior Designer and Travel Landscape Photographer.
The beastly and majestic Mercedes-Benz creates an aura of power and mystery in the frame. I wanted to highlight this powerful aura and richness of the car in a low light shot.
28 years, Chandigarh.
Art/Conceptual Photographer and Photo Editor.
The luminous rays as as the clouds parted after a rain shower felt serendipitous as they fell on the GLA. The moment was so poetic it reminded of this quote by Rumi, "What you seek is seeking you."
63 years, Kolkata
Banking professional and photographer
The long winding roads set the perfect canvas for the GLA, which is like an art in motion. The famous Bandra-Worli Sea Link stands tall in the background and I wanted to capture these two icons in one frame.
41 years, Sindhudurg
Documentary, street and landscape photographer
I wanted to capture the raw beauty of the A-Class and chanced upon these dainty pink flowers. Their reflection on the window contrasted yet complemented the beauty of the car and I knew I had to get this shot.
27 years, Lucknow
The morning light blended together the old and the new. This frame is an amalgamation of elements that are representative of traditional Pondicherry, yet in harmony with the modern car.
31 years, Lonavala
Automotive Photographer and Filmmaker
I wanted to bring out the rugged, yet fun characteristics of the Mercedes-Benz, which is why I used the high shutter speed technique to get the water splash. The pop of green in the background and silhouetted sea-link also worked their magic to make the frame richer
Disclaimer: All photographs are the personal perspectives of the photographers participating in the Frame The Star Challenge. Mercedes-Benz, Better Photography, OVERDRIVE do not endorse or support any form of violation of traffic laws, littering, or the promotion of any any specific religion, or ethnicity, or of any associated symbols, within these photographs.