Los Angeles-based lifestyle photographer Rocco Ceselin has been working with 3rd & Army Apparel for some time now, each series being a new opportunity for him to really showcase his creative mind. The last one was centered around The American Dream and took place in the historic Los Angeles Stahl House. Keeping with the American theme, his most recent series comes to us from the emptied floor of the LA River, featuring old-school American hot rods.
3rd & Army wanted to recreate a series of features that Time magazine put out back in the 1950s, focusing on the vibrant hot rod culture that consisted of powerful, classic cars and their stylish drivers.
Rocco loves photographing outdoors on location and was excited to have another opportunity to work with 3rd & Army. The shoot took place in multiple locations, with classic car drivers gathered at each one.
When the locations were scouted, the river was all but dry. However, the shoot day came and water was covering almost the entire riverbed, forcing the crew to use the single small dry space available. Although they carried several lighting set-ups, Rocco and crew ended up using the headlights of the cars at the end of the day in order to keep everything organic and real. Rocco’s Canon 5D Mark III was able to shoot with high ISO, which, with the right filters, delivered a beautiful organic grain to eventually achieve the vintage look that he was going for.
Rocco and the 3rd & Army crew scouted each location carefully and met all of the drivers beforehand, who were very excited about the shoot concept. The images have been used in catalogs, on the 3rd & Army website and in social media. Rocco has received a lot of enthusiasm from customers, as well as the classic car aficionados. For Rocco, an Italy native, the entire American series has been a dream come true:
If you stop to think, the LA River location was the same location used to film one of the most memorable scenes in Grease plus several other blockbuster Hollywood movie productions. It was really a part of the American dream and I feel very lucky to have been in this amazing production.