April 2014. Two cars. Seven days. Four countries. Three photographers. 3,500 kilometers. One road trip. A drive through Europe in two Audis with friends, shooting along the way. For Audi AG social media.

Brief: April 2014. Two cars. Seven days. Four countries. Three photographers. 3,500 kilometers. One road trip.
Cars: 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus + 2014 Audi S3
Countries: Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland
Photographers: Webb Bland, Frederic Schlosser, Easton Chang
(The below are my images from the trip)
04/14/14. 6:38pm. Les Goudes, France.

One of our first stops after leaving Marseille, while Frederic Schlosser was busy shooting a composition from the other side, I made my way around the car and framed a shot of my own, featuring the still remnants of French coastal bunkers from the 40's, peppered across the rock in the background.
04/17/14. 5:47pm. San Donato, Italy.

Screaming up twisty, narrow mountain roads with Frederic in the R8 behind me, we stumbled upon some pretty amazing hidden gems of locations way, way off the beaten path. Nothing better than exploring and getting lost in an exotic location.
04/15/14. 11:32am. La Croix-Valmer, France.

Day 4, driving from our hotel in Toulon to Cogolin for the night, for an early start in Saint-Tropez the next morning. Frederic Schlosser and I pulled over in the S3 to join Easton Chang and go over the game plan, and while they were talking behind the cars, I snapped off this shot of a group of bicyclists silently streaming past.

04/15/14. 7:11pm. Cogolin, France.
I want to move to France.
04/16/14. 7:41am. Saint-Tropez, France.
Here is the young French couple whose quiet morning fishing in the pre-dawn Mediterranean light I ruined with the completely random introduction of five hundred and fifty horses slowly creeping down the sandy beach toward the pier upon which they'd set up camp. Crazy foreigners and their crazy cars always running around... :P
04/17/14. 7:03pm. San Donato, Italy.

Parked on the side of a dirt road overlooking ancient terraced landscaping, with the Mediterranean many hundreds of feet below me. Another view of 'The Shire', as people have started to call it!
04/14/14. 3:33pm. Marseille, France.

Perched atop the Garde Hill, with Notre-Dame de la Garde immediately behind us, we were presented with an unbelievable view of the city. This was the first stop of the whole trip, and really set the tone for what was in store- as you all know by now!

And also, who can disagree with the look of this car? Simply gorgeous.
04/15/14. 7:03pm. Cogolin, France.

The S3's turn for a stunning profile view. Another capture of the French vineyard at sunset. Getting here resulted in another full wash later that night, as I coated the car in dust driving to this spot- but I love exploring for a good shot. Well worth the extra work!
04/16/14. 6:44am. Saint-Tropez, France.
Despite driving around town for thirty minutes in pre-dawn darkness searching for a backdrop to use for sunrise, this was only one of two locations I felt were suitable, and since I was parked in a single lane alley, I had to rapidly hustle through this shot, hoping nobody would come around the corner at speed. Whew!
04/15/14. 7:51pm. Grimaud, France.

2014 Audi S3 parked under an eleventh-century castle's archway? Yes; of COURSE it had to happen.
04/14/14. 5:28pm. Calanque Blanche, Marseille, France.
Out first stop after ditching the busy streets and anxious security guards of Marseille in favor of something a little more open and free of clutter. Basically, the first shoot of the trip, and an incredibly beautiful view. And cued my initial feelings of "...well what if I just never left? That's an option, right? I could make a life for myself on the French Riviera..."
04/15/14. 8:28pm. Grimaud, France.

I was losing the sun fast and still wanted to get a shot of the S3 from within a vineyard, a composition that I'd pictured from the start, so as I was coming down from the perched village of Grimaud, I took a sharp detour onto a gravel service road, hopped out, ran to the middle of a vineyard, turned around and shot the frame, then ran back to the car and left. Just love those reflections. Stunning car.
04/16/14. 8:00am. Saint-Tropez, France.

There couldn't have been a more ideal location to shoot the R8 on. Except, when I slowly drove up to the dock, there were two young people quietly fishing together beside a camp grill, bundled up in blankets, their two cars parked beside them. I had two options; shoot next to the pier on the sand and don't disturb them... or pay them to move their cars so I could capture a once-in-a-lifetime backdrop. So I offered up €20 and they happily drove their cars back to the beach and let me shoot next to them while they finished up their breakfast.

If you're out there- sorry that I interrupted your morning, and thank you for the hospitality!
04/17/14. 2:33pm. Bussana, Italy.
After a few hours of aimless driving, hoping to find killer backdrops to shoot against, I headed up a hill to a bombed-out looking warehouse, but alas- it was gated off. Instead, I drove past this tiny little moped and scooter repair shop. Nobody spoke a word of English, but through hand gestures I was able to convey my question, and they happily let me pull into their space while they kept on working, occasionally throwing me a curious look while it appeared as if I was shooting their mopeds and ignoring the car. Foreground, I say!
4/14/14. 5:28pm. Les Goudes, France.

After arriving in Marseille the morning of our second day, we decided it would be too logistically challenging to shoot in the city, so we headed east out of the city, following a friendly gentleman on a sport bike who- against ALL odds- actually recognized who we were in traffic, and lead us around the city to various sites to shoot against. This was one of the first places we stopped on the whole trip, thirty minutes outside Marseille, in a little village enveloped by abandoned coastal defense batteries from WWII.
04/17/14. 7:03pm. San Donato, Italy.

After ditching the R8 on a backwoods mountain road, where the pavement suddenly stopped and gave way to a rutted gravel path through the overgrown trees, Frederic moved his gear to the S3 and directed me safely through the treacherous path. The road eventually joined pavement again, and we continued upwards, hopeful of finding a beautiful backdrop to capture the sunset against. I believe we succeeded.
04/16/14. 8:14am. Saint-Tropez, France.

After leaving the city in search for a seaside location to capture the sunrise, I stumbled upon this dock, large enough to park and maneuver a car on... the challenge was driving across the sandy beach in an R8 to get here. Worth it.
04/17/14. 7:25pm. San Donato, Italy.

Frederic and I headed out from our hotel around 10am this day- I chose the S3 and he piloted the R8- driving an hour west toward Monaco, in search of an interesting coastal village we'd seen the day before while driving to Genoa. We ultimately didn't find the spot, but that didn't stop us from finding a thousand smaller beautiful locations in the ten hours that we had the cars that day. This was in the evening, on the top of a mountain further inland. The sunset that evening... spectacular.
04/16/14. 6:23am. Saint-Tropez, France.

Since I spent the previous evening shooting sunset photos of the S3 in the vineyard, I didn't have any time to location scout downtown Saint-Tropez, but thankfully I found a pretty cool spot that offered a composition I'd been wanting to capture with the car. It was a little dead-end lane designated for bike parking only. I'll be the first to admit I got plenty of odd stares as locals parking their scooters wondered why on earth I was driving a bright red supercar back and forth little by little and hopping out and running up a staircase to check the vantage point.
04/15/14. 7:05pm. Cogolin, France.

While Frederic had the R8 with Easton, I took the S3 out for some sunset photos, and knew only one thing; I had to find a vineyard with a vista. I looked at the car's GPS with elevation data, pinpointed an area that looked like it was on the outskirts of town and on the top of a large hill, and headed out with an hour to spare, hoping for the best. The location I found was nothing short of perfect, and as the sun started setting, it made for some absolutely stunning scenery to work with.
04/16/14. 7:20am. Saint Tropez, France.

Woke up at 5:00am and took the R8 into the city searching for ideal backdrops for sunrise. Didn't find anything that moved me until after I'd left in dissatisfaction, taking a one-lane gravel road that hugged the Mediterranean and passed by a secret section of beach, complete with a pier wide enough to park on. My favorite location of the trip.
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