The Renault Sandero Stepway – to Russia with gloves

The Renault Sandero Stepway – to Russia with gloves

Readers of these pages know by now that my philosophy is to shoot anything that moves – and most things that don’t. Have camera will travel is the motto of all good photographers. Surely!

Nevertheless, the harsh Russian winter with its -30 degrees C temperature is probably one of those locations I tend to avoid if possible – certainly till the land heats up to a barmy -15 degrees C!

Renault Sandero Stepway

So when I was asked to do a job shooting the latest Renault model for the Russian market – the Renault Sandero Stepway – the first items on my list of essentials were winter wear. Where had I put that trusty Ushanka trapper hat I’d bought in a Moscow flea market years ago, along with my ex-Soviet military Perchatki gloves? And where could I pick up a thick, wool-lined suede Dublenka for those sorties across the Steppe?

This was serious!

But as it turned out I needn’t have worried. Renault kindly allowed me to do all that unnecessary legwork in the comfort of my own studio. I was over the moon. Forget the Ushanka, Perchatkiand Dublenka, my studio temperature remains at a benign 21 degrees C all year round. It’s my space where I can don my favourite Wham-style shorts and ancient “Frankie says relax” t-shirts sans guilt.

Anyway, the job for Renault was to introduce their latest export model, the Renault Sandero Stepway, to the huge Russian market. Tobring to Russia an affordable and robust family saloon – for all the diverse Russian landscapes.

So your average Russians – let’s call them Boris and Magda – can deal with city gridlocks, while having the confidence to drive their Renault Sandero Stepway across the endless Russian Steppe or through the immense northern forests.

In short, the car had to be tough – and cheap.

Building the Sandero Stepway in CG

To help me start the work in the studio, Renault Russia sent over data so that I and my trusty team could build the car in CG. Indeed, none of the cars in the shots actually exist, they’re all CG; raw data nurtured into a Renault Sandero Stepway.

Once we had the data, we gave the cars all the usual lighting and texture to make them appear real. We even added a 360 degree configurator. This is where you have fun with the car by clicking the mouse to move it, clicking again to change the colours and also to look inside the car.

Paris and Wales backplates

To give the car that robust feel, we had to place the model in contrasting locations. So we had the requisite city and a forest shot. Unlike the Renault Sandero Stepway, with the location shots we used real places. For the urban scenes I used the backplate of a Paris cityscape I shot a few years ago, while the forest scene was shot in Wales.

Renualt Sandero Wales Forest

Renualt Sandero Wales Forest

Renualt Sandero Paris Cityscape

Renualt Sandero Paris Cityscape

The resulting series of shots highlighted the versatility and flexibility of the Renault Sandero Stepway for Boris and Magda. A decent hard working family car that won’t cost them the price of an Odessa Dacha.

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