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..or at least my idea of how to take a photo of a 166. if anybody has any other ideas you might share them here too :)

Anyhoo, i think the 166 is quite a beautiful car in the classic sense, but it can be difficult to capture this on camera. I suppose the idea of the car is that it's low and long and, well.. sleek...






In real life the light moves and changes as you move around any car, and then your brain puts it all together into a coherent shape. But with a photo you have to catch one moment of this movement that defines the car.

The first issue with the 166 is to capture the lick of light that moves along the side of the car.. if you miss this the car will look like a beached whale;



..the big slab of colour makes the car look fat, and the wheels tiny. Move around until you see light along here;




The next issue is the much-misunderstood nose..



In this photo the light along the side is there, but the front looks odd. A couple of things are happening here..

Firstly, the photo is taken from a distance and the perspective is flattened out a bit, which makes the windscreen and nose look wide and flat.

But also, the reflection of the branch on the bonnet exaggerates the crown on the bonnet, and this makes the nose look "droopy";



Furthermore the other reflections don't make it to the grill and headlights, so the flow from the grill back along the car is broken:




As opposed to this;



You can see that the lights no longer "droop" towards the outside, but move horizontally from the grill.. the whole car flows back from the grill .


The original 166 is an interesting car. Seemingly alfa spent a fortune developing the tiny headlights that would allow the pointy, low nose (which would be illegal today). It works best if the car is sitting down a little possibly, and the right wheels help the proportions too.. you'll notice that all the original wheels are "full" designs that look bigger than they are, though you still need to make sure tires are really black to get the effect. The chrome strip under the doors is also important in breaking up the bulk of the shape and keeping the whole thing flowing..




The facelift seems to emphasize different aspects of the cars design, giving a stronger, more muscular look.. it's quite cleverly done with bigger wheels, and little detailing like that section under the chrome strip being body coloured.

But with a hint of 4-door coupé to it I think the original is lovely in it's own way, and it's sad to see it often misunderstood .. :)
 

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Intersting,

one thing I have notice is that it looks better if you are sitting down, as if you are in another car on the road, when standing or walking by, it does not seem as impressive somehow. Try looking at the rear end to see what I mean, it gets better as you bend down.

I remember an interesting programme on C4 in the UK called Auto Erotica, and they looked at the various visual tricks the car designers use to flatter the shape of the car, of create an impression of solidity by avoiding sharp lines in the metal, gentle curves only as if the metal is too strong to be bent further. The first Punto was discussed IIRC as that is quite slab sided, but the way they bent the metal played tricks with the light to give a 'waisted' effect that made it look light. May be on Youtube.
 

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Stunning images Mick and love the photoshop job on the reg plate!!!
 

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:thumbs:

Stylish.

Saluti, Giordano.
 

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I still have a good ogle at your 166 Purple145, looks grand on the drive or road. Love the wheels.
 

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Brilliant thread - especially useful as I have just got a new camera :D
 
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