Interview with Patrik Karlsson from Kometfoto

Patrik Karlsson is a fantastic artist and photographer. He is most known for his amazing automotive pictures.
He has a passion for dragracing and muscle cars but he has photographed everything from car shows to rally.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

I grew up on the country side were my father had a workshop where we lived
I have always been interested in cars and I’ve worked on everything from lawn mowers to trucks. My education is in automotive repairs but currently i work as a carpenter. The photography is an interest that I’ve had since i was a child and has grown through the years.

I opened my business in 2012 to make it easier to work with other companies professionally.

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What made you decide to start a company and make a part of your living from taking photos?

My photography was taking way too much time, so i had to decide to either spend less time doing it or work harder. I was stuck at a crossroad so to speak. I decided to start my own company and it has worked a lot better then i anticipated. I get requests from all over Europe from magazines that want to write stories about cars i’ve taken pictures of. These kind of requests are always fun to get.

I’ve also got inquiries from different companies in USA about buying the rights to certain pictures and turning them into posters.
It’s fun to be asked but I’m not sure it is something i want to do.

What cameras have you used through your career?

My first camera was a 35mm compact from an unknown brand.I remember sitting in my room and looking out the window waiting for a cool American car to pass by. This was around 1974 and around this time American cars were quite common in Sweden, even as daily drivers.

When i reached school age i had a Kodak Instamatic with 110film
After that i had a canon 1000f 35mm camera that i used for a long time. A fantastic camera for its time.
The next camera i got was a canon 300d and after that i’ve worked my through the canon cameras (300,350,400 and so on) all the way up to the top of the line camera Canon 1d mk3.
The cameras i use now are 5d mk2, 5d mk3 and a 50d. Different cameras for different purposes.

If you could only use one lens for next years photo sessions, what would it be?

If i could only chose one lens it would have to be the 24-105mm f4.0 IS. That lens is incredibly versatile and not terrible at anything.
Choosing a prime lens like a 35mm or 50mm wouldn’t work for everything i shoot, but this zoom actually does. It even gives a really nice bokeh effect.

You have done quite a few photoshoots so far, do you have any favorite car?

My favorite one is probably Bullit, which is inspired by the movie from 1968 with Steve McQueen as the commissioner Frank Bullit. McQueen drove a Mustang GT-390 from 1968 and the badguy drove a Dodge Charger 1968. According to me and many other that was the first real cool car chase on a cinema screen. That these two cars are the coolest cars ever built is just a bonus.

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This is one of my favorite shots by Patrik, a fabulous Corvette in a colorful fall setting.

Your pictures have been published in several different magazines, have you had ever felt like “i’ve made it” ?

My first publication was probably the most fun, i got my pictures in the magazine but i also go the whole front cover.
Now i don’t think about those things as much but it’s always fun to see your picture on the cover of different magazines.

Do you have any tips for people that wish to shoot professionally?

The most important is do your thing and not to copy everyone else. If you are trying to copy others you will always be one step behind and i don’t see the point of that.

Preplan how you want the photo shoot to look and think a couple of extra minutes before taking the pictures and the result will be a lot better. Show your best shots online, that way they will spread a lot faster and people will contact you if they are interested in your style of taking pictures.

Anyone that has followed you for a while knows that you have a great passion for muscle cars and drag racing. Ever felt like you wanted to build your own car and race?

At the moment there is no time for racing. It is very possible that i will start racing one day because its a lot of fun and the atmosphere is fantastic among people in the pit.

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So you’re obviously a car guy, what is your dream car?

Tough question. Ford GT40 from the 60’s has both the looks and the speed. That is probably my dream car.
There are a lot of nice cars from the 60’s, for example the Renault Apline. But that would have to stay a classic car cause they had mostly good taste in design and handling.

Its always interesting to see what cars people own. So what cars do you have in your driveway/garage?

Got a few cars that I’m renovating and tuning. A Porsche 944 Turbo, which is a very underestimated car. I’ve also got a BMW 2002tii that I’ve turbo converted and got a stroker from M3 Evo3 to name a few.

My daily driver is a BMW 325i Touring from 2009, but there is a possibility i will get a Volvo Amazon as my daily. We will have to see how much time i have to fix it. It has been sitting in a barn for a couple of years now so it needs quite some work.

Lastly what events must we not miss before the season ends?

The season is basically over but Rally Sweden that starts the 7th of February is always a great event.

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Make sure you follow Patrik on Kometfoto’s facebook page. He posts absolutely fantastic photos almost daily.
Also check him out on Flickr to se more of his photos.

Below are a few of my favorite pictures that Patrik has taken.

 

 

 

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