It was exactly 70 years ago this week that Mercedes-Benz presented the most beautiful pair of sports cars of the time at the “International Motor Sports Show” in New York, the 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198) and the 190 SL (W121). I was barely 3 years old at the time and maybe that’s why I’ve grown so fond of the SL models – after all, I grew up with all 7 generations and all the derivatives up to the SLR Uhlenhaut. In the eighties, I used many of my free shoots to find the right style in automotive photography and so the SL became the reference model in the evolution of automotive photography. And when I was allowed to stage all the predecessors in the Leonberg studio for the launch of the R129 in 1988, the way was paved for an SL calendar and the most beautiful books came out of it, the current one is here.
But in the attached picture gallery there is not only the historic picture of the presentation in New York, the picture with the gullwing in front of the Manhattan backdrop seems particularly important to me. This motif was created in 2011 and photographed in real life in the Leonberg studio, and the vehicle is actually the original car from the 1954 New York Motor Show.
You can only tell from the picture number which years the individual pictures are from. After all, it was 25 years alone that I produced my annual 300 SL calendar. The two new pictures, the somewhat artificially staged gullwing and the couple, are particularly noteworthy. These two motifs were only taken this week – without real vehicles, without real light, without a camera, I didn’t even need a studio for them and hardly any working time. Neither mine nor that of the MediaMonks team, with whom I work very closely on all aspects of AI.
And the image production is environmentally friendly, conserves resources, no transport, hardly any electricity except for the computer, because both images are produced from AI, i.e. with artificial intelligence. The motifs are interesting, unseen and vivid, but without a story. There is no history for the vehicles, and you can’t even touch them. There is also no chassis number for which an owner could be contacted.
I will be showing more pictures of the 7 generations of SL history in the course of the year, including some produced with the help of generative AI. I will also communicate some background information on my way of working with AI. Until then, happy carnival time.
Sincerely, René Staud
Pioneer of Car Photography since 1966
Founder of STAUD STUDIOS 1973
Inventor of MAGICFLASH 1983
based c/o STAUD STUDIOS
D 71229 Leonberg
mobil +49 172 900 3333