An electric-charged road trip
Polish photographer Tomek Makolski thrives on experimenting at every turn, with a particular focus on the minutiae – he sees this as a way of continually honing his craft. With a speciality in automotive photography, he was raring to go when pitched the opportunity to interpret the Porsche Taycan all-electric sports saloon through his own signature lens. He had already created a buzz in the car community with his uncanny life-size Lego 911 GT3 RS in Warsaw and a superimposed Lego 911 RSR on arid Dubai landscapes. Tomek’s convention-bending results often defy logic or explanation, with the beauty that no answer is needed for his work to captivate.
Tomek went off on a European road trip with a Taycan, every kilometre packing the potential to be a backdrop for his electrifying images. Setting off from Porsche HQ in Stuttgart in his striking Taycan in Frozen Berry, his route took him to Munich, down to Austria, through France and Monaco, leading to a final stint back along the coast to Marseille. Next? He did it all again, heading north towards Strasbourg, the full trip finally totting up a mammoth 3,000km. The dynamic duo of Tomek and the Taycan passed by rolling hills, industrial sites and futuristic hues to create a timeline of the years to come. The results are surreal at first glance yet are perhaps not so far-off or far-fetched as it may seem. What they certainly are is sumptuous. “It made me think about the future of mobility and the goal of the series became to show electric cars being that much more prevalent on the streets,” he says. While many of the locations were planned, he added some along the way – like Monaco – when struck with inspiration. “From there we decided to go to Marseille. I’d never been [before] and it was amazing – a truly eclectic mix of beautiful modern architecture and old buildings. It looked great, the light was stunning and the Taycan got so much attention there.”
The Taycan, especially in Frozen Berry, looks amazing – almost alien. I decided to multiply it in each location to increase that futuristic, almost sci-fi atmosphere
Creating Taycan doppelgängers
To reach Tomek’s goal of populating imaginary future streets with all-electric Taycan cars, the next step was enhancing his urban photography with bold and vibrant hues during the post-production process. Working with London creative studio, INK, the images were only subtly retouched in order to preserve the original setting as much as possible, merely enhancing his existing canvas. This perfect blend of a master behind the lens and post-production expertise resulted in the mesmerising, hyper-realistic photos you see before you.
As for the trick behind the duplication? It wasn’t down to CGI nor rendering, but purely Tomek’s dedication in physically capturing every shot. “The Taycan, especially in Frozen Berry, looks amazing – almost alien – so I decided to multiply it in each location to increase that futuristic, almost sci-fi atmosphere,” he says. This involved parking the car in every single position to keep his world as real as possible. INK then overlaid each one to produce the final look of populous roads tickled pink with electric Taycan after electric Taycan. He cites Spike Jonze’s 2013 sci-fi film Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix, as part inspiration. It’s not hard to see parallels between the two, with their futuristic subject matter, as well as the retro aesthetic of the 1970s and 1980s in colour palette, architecture and backdrops.
Dreaming of an electric car future
Driving 3,000km gives you a lot of thinking time. For Tomek, that led to an epiphany about our electric car future. Before embarking on the project, he was conflicted at the thought of a world without combustion engines. However, time spent at the wheel of the Taycan led to a volte-face. “I have to admit that I was really against electric cars but driving the Taycan somehow convinced me,” he reveals. “It’s really relaxing and quiet, but also very stable in fast corners. My dream garage now would be a Taycan 4S for daily commuting and a 911 GT3 for the weekends. I was unsure before, but now I’m excited about the future of mobility – even if a part of me will always be a petrolhead!”