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Thread: My BMW M3 CSL Picture Spectacular

  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by vantaam5 View Post
    Great pictures of an epic car,Anssi!!!!!
    The CSL is a fantastic car.
    Cheers,
    Raikku
    Thanks, Raikku! Nice to see you here!

    Anssi

  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by m5time View Post
    Thanks, Raikku! Nice to see you here!

    Anssi
    We should meet up when the weather is a bit better!


    Gotta have a look at that beauty myself

  3. #153
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    very nice man

  4. #154
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    2003 M3 CSL


    Chapter 6: The CSL Art Cars

    Season 2012 is coming to an end here in Finland. Because of the climate, many sports cars are driven only in the summer. I don’t even have winter tires for my CSL, so driving the car in winter would not only be stupid but also illegal.

    To be able to appreciate the car even better, I wanted to get familiar with its heritage. So far, BMW has produced only two CSL models. The first one was the legendary BMW (E9) 3.0 CSL. These cars are very rare, so when I heard there was an opportunity to see two examples at the same time, I was thrilled. The BMW Art Cars were coming to town.

    The world-famous Art Cars had been on display at the London Olympics, all 16 of them. (Yes I know there are actually 17 but the frozen one is so difficult to maintain that I am counting it out.) And from there, six of them were transported straight to the Port of Helsinki, here in Finland, and among the six were the two most interesting ones, the CSLs!

    Those of you who have read this entire thread already know that I am a bit crazy. And the rest will soon learn it as well. Just visiting the museum where the cars were going to be on display was obviously not enough for me. I literally waited in the bushes like paparazzi, and when the fancy transportation truck arrived, I took the first pictures of the cars, as BMW staff – all wearing white gloves - were pushing the cars into the museum.

    Well, to tell the whole truth, I did contact the museum days in advance and got press accreditation. So I had the right to be there. I immediately sold the pictures to a leading tabloid magazine, and it was the first to publish the scoop that the cars had arrived – with my pictures as proof.

    I ended up visiting the museum four times – all before the exhibition was even opened for the general public. BMW Finland and the EMMA museum staff were very nice and cooperative and I got some great pictures of the cars, pictures that were then published in many magazines here. It was really nice to be surrounded by people who not only understand BMWs and art, but also appreciate what a photographer can do for their business. Thank you!

    For me, this was an unforgettable experience, as I was able to get much more familiar with the cars than regular museum visitors. The cars on display here were (and are, until the end of this month)

    BMW 3.0 CSL (E9), Alexander Calder (1975)
    BMW 3.0 CSL (E9), Frank Stella (1976)
    BMW M1 (E26), Andy Warhol (1979)
    BMW M3 (E30), Michael Jagamara Nelson (1989)
    BMW M3 (E30), Ken Done (1989)
    BMW M3 (E36), Sandro Chia (1992)

    Even if the cars didn’t have any art on them, the exhibition would still have been worth a visit. I mean, how many times have I seen an M1 before? And was it even the same year I saw an E9 CSL? Well, here they both are side-by-side. It is great that the whole concept started from racing. These cars are not everyday cars. These cars are hard-core race cars. And THEN they were painted to become something even more.

    Have you tuned up your BMW to be very fast? I mean VERY fast? Compare it to this small piece of art from the year 1976, the Frank Stella CSL. It has 750hp and a top speed of 341km/h (212mph). Just looking at the insanely wide slick racing tires, I can easily imagine this car would destroy any modern street-legal BMW on the racetrack. This is art!

    The guys in white gloves, i.e. the BMW staff responsible for the transportation of the vehicles, told that the company policy is that the cars are not started anymore. The engines are still in there, but BMW does not plan on running them ever again. I really hope I misunderstood what they were saying. Because to me, this really takes away from the experience. It reduces these fearsome racers into just metal canvases without purpose. Of course they are still legends, but the thought of these very capable cars still being able to do laps on the racetrack is what makes them special. Watching old video footage is somehow not the same.

    Witnessing the brutal performance-oriented design of these classic CSL racers made me think about the E46 CSL. How much do these cars have in common? To be honest, my first feeling was that very little. In this thread I have been telling how fast, raw and uncomfortable the E46 CSL is. Well that is nothing compared to these race cars. Looks like my CSL has some very strong and healthy relatives!

    BMW 3.0 CSL (E9), artist Frank Stella (1976).


    The Frank Stella car sports some very intimidating wheels and tires. How much wheel lip is enough to make a car hot?


    BMW 3.0 CSL (E9), artist Alexander Calder (1975). This is the first Art Car.


    The CEO of BMW Finland had brought his son’s scale model Art Car with him. He was kind enough to let me photograph it, standing next to the real thing. I really like the way these pictures turned out.




    The museum staff was very helpful and they even let me do a private midnight shoot, so that I could play with the lights a bit more. And I did.


    BMW (E26) M1, artist Andy Warhol (1979). Yes I know this is not a CSL, but it was such a thrill to see this car that I had to include a picture of it here.


    BMW (E46) M3 CSL. Inspired by the awesome “official BMW car art”, I took my own car for a spin and painted a work of art myself! The car is light-painted with LED lights and the pattern reveals the wonderful shape of the engine hood, fenders and mirrors. Enjoy!


    The winter is long and there will be plenty of time to share more stories and pictures of the 2012 season. You are welcome to post any CSL-related questions, comments and picture requests in this thread! (I will be posting more M3 CSL interior pictures, as many people have been asking for those.)

    Thanks for reading!

    Anssi

    P.S. Because I admire the work that Earl Shepherd did to his Z4 M Coupe, I want to include a link here:
    http://www.myartcar.com/
    This car is simply amazing. BMW should accept this car as the official Art Car #18. At Bimmerforums you can learn more about it here:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1653043

  5. #155
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    lovely, thanks for sharing (again)
    TRM Coilovers 670F/895R | BBS LM | Corsa RSC36

  6. #156
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    Wow I love that car. Soooo awesome! (The art cars are very cool too)
    "Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something!"

  7. #157
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    Chapter 7: The Interior

    Forum members have been asking for more interior pictures so this post will have some.

    The summer driving season of 2012 is long gone. I have never categorized myself as a summer person, but this car has changed me. Now I realize that every day I am counting the days to when I can drive my CSL again. Legally, that day would be March 1st, since that is the day when summer tires are allowed again. However, there is so much snow here in Finland that I probably have to wait a lot longer. And the wait is killing me!

    So while I wait, I thought I’d make this post of my 2012 season. Most likely it won’t make the wait any less painful, but it brings back nice memories – and photographs.

    Getting seated in the CSL is starting to be routine already. Open the long door, put one foot on the floor mat, be careful not to scratch the carbon fiber door panel, fall into the bucket seat, wonder how the seat belt can be so uncomfortably far to the back.

    But there is one sensation that does not seem to fade away with time and that is the smell. Or actually, the lack of it. All other BMWs I have driven have had the smell of leather.

    A related observation is the acoustics. Standing still, the car is very quiet, the soft cloth is much more sound damping than leather. However the carbon fiber door surfaces are hard, so there is a very unique reverberation in the car.

    And then there is the incredible illusion of safety. The car feels rock solid and the seat allows very little freedom of movement. One gets the feeling that nothing bad can ever happen to the driver, there is a sense of being immortal.

    And it ALL changes the second you start the engine. Suddenly, the car is full of sound and noise. And you just know that if you are going to exploit the capabilities of the car to the max, you – a mere mortal - will be putting your life on the line!

    I still get a bit scared each time I roll the first meters in the car. And when I make the really sharp left to my driveway, the car jumps a bit. The turning radius and wheel angles don’t match 100% so some tension is created in the turn. In regular cars, the difference is absorbed by high profile tires and gentle tire slip. But with the CSL, there is so little flexibility and so much grip that the tension just keeps on accumulating until it is violently released, making the car jump into a slightly different position. Reminds me of how earthquakes quickly release the tension that has slowly built up over decades. The character of the car would be very different without the Cup tires.

    An inviting picture of the interior of the car. There is something bright white in the part under the throttle pedal. I thought it looked a bit distracting in this picture and I actually did consider changing the shooting angle so that it would not be visible. But then I thought that if BMW put it there then it must serve some purpose so here it is. Does anyone know the function of this white part? Since everything else is grey and black, the iconic red needles in the instrument panel are also very prominent.


    The carbon fiber door panels are beautiful. This picture illustrates the complex shape of the panel. I have no idea how bad the loudspeakers might be, because I have only used the sound system twice. To be honest, I should have bought a car that does not have it at all. But I wanted air-conditioning, and cars that come with air-conditioning typically also have the sound system. (For best racetrack performance, the CSL could be specified without any sound system or air-conditioning.)


    There are lots of interior pictures of the M3 CSL in internet. But there are very few good ones. The reason for that became clear when I attempted to take one. The cloth simply does not photograph well. It took me one hour of work to comb the cloth so that it looks (relatively) neat in this picture.


    And the same thing from the other side.


    Although they are not very comfortable, the CSL does have back seats for two people. I love it that BMW has also included beautiful carbon fiber side panels there. Those panels are at risk every time the front seat belts are unbuckled, because if the belt is let go, it will hit the panel when it retracts. Seat backs fold down for extra trunk storage capacity. This is a surprising feature, but very useful for a photographer like myself, since photography equipment needs lots of space.


    Here is a picture that you will not see every day. I would love to understand the design parameters that have resulted in a shape like this. Most likely, this part of the car must meet very demanding structural rigidity requirements. To look at the solution is awe-inspiring. German engineering!


    And here is the hook on the door. The hook fits into the pit in the previous picture, providing extra stability in the case of a side collision. I think. I hope I never get to see these parts in action.


    After all those interior shots, it is nice to end with an elegant exterior picture. I found the perfect place to park my M3.


    How many days is it until summer 2013?

    Anssi

  8. #158
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    My god man, how often do you drive your car? It looks like you took it home from the assembly line and have left it since!
    Awesome photography, and great angles, I imagine it's very seldom most of us will get to see the CSL in such detail.

    Avusblau 1994 Euro M3 --> Journal Here
    Lagunagrün 1991 331iS-->Journal Here

  9. #159
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    This is my favourite thread! :-)

    Thanks for sharing!

    I am also counting the days to drive mine... (I drive it from time to time during the winter though)

    Regards,
    Alex
    ///Alex

  10. #160
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    Nov 2005
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    Chicago
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    '03.5 CB M3/6MT Coupe
    I first saw this thread before purchasing my E46 M3 and now that I have gotten a chance to appreciate the car, I can only imagine the difference between a regular M3 and a CSL.

    Someday when it's possible to import one to the US... I will make it happen.
    Current: '03.5 M3 | Past: '99 M3 '98 328i


  11. #161
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    Jan 2012
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    Belgium
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    2004 M3 CSL
    Your CSL is really immaculate, and pics are magnificent !!!

    Like you, my CSL is in hibernation mode here in belgium, i am counting the day till spring time.
    I thought I was manic with my CSL but I think I found someone that was even more than me.

    Thanks for sharing and can't wait to see more pics in the future...
    Last edited by m3power2; 02-14-2013 at 03:58 AM.

  12. #162
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    Yes
    Very clean CSL, looks great.

  13. #163
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    E46 M3, E61 35d
    You made me want to own one just to have also a melissa
    That is a very special car. Take good care of it. Congrats on the ride.

  14. #164
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    2003 M3 CSL



    Chapter 8: Night Cruising and Crazy Light-painting

    Finnish summer nights are perfect for cruising. The beautiful “golden hour” light must have gotten its name somewhere else, because here in Finland it lasts all night. During June and July, it does not get dark at all. Between sunset and sunrise there is hours of inviting playtime. Somehow, sleeping is not a competitive alternative. We Finns sleep during winter. In the summer, we are too busy.

    This summer we did not get to see many noctilucent clouds. There was one night when there was potential for a spectacular display of NLC, but regular clouds came in front and spoiled the show. In fact, I only saw the clouds once and took this photo of them:



    This year is going to be a very active year for aurora borealis (the northern lights) and I am hoping to see them (and photograph them) as south as Helsinki. I subscribe to an aurora borealis alert service, so I get an alert in my cell phone when there is substantial activity. A BMW M3 CSL illuminated by northern lights – that is the photograph I want to take!

    At midnight, the streets are empty. Many car enthusiasts hear them calling, and it is not unusual to see high-performance tuning cars. For example, I was well and truly out-accelerated by a four-door BMW E30 320i (1987). Later the owner told me his car has twice the horsepower that my CSL has! The city streets are just so incredibly inviting during the light summer nights that I created this photograph as a tribute to the City of Helsinki:



    The text is actually over 4 meters (13ft) high, and it is drawn with my latest creation: a computer-controlled LED light rig. Now I can draw whatever shapes I want. So the text is really there in the picture, drawn during a long exposure of 57 seconds, and there is no digital manipulation or Photoshop.

    With the LED rig, I can draw abstract art like this:



    Or I can draw text and logos. I really wish BMW AG would get interested in this; I would love to draw them a commercial picture using this technology!



    This picture has already appeared in this thread before, but here it is again, just to show how wonderful the powerdome shape of the M3 hood is, when it is illuminated with the LEDs:



    Those warm summer nights are also an opportunity to explore the city. The Port of Helsinki was moved to a new location, so the old port is being completely transformed and it will have homes for 20,000 people. The entire area is now under construction and from the point of view of urban photography, it is a treasure! I shot probably 10 days there during the summer of 2012. Some samples here:

    The Bridge, shot with a tilt & shift lens to create the “miniature effect”. (I was standing on the roof of the building that you can see in the center of the “Come Drive My Streets Tonight” picture.)



    Melissa. And no Photoshop! She is amazing.



    A futuristic underpass made of steel



    Same location as above, but from a more beautiful angle. She is Pauliina.



    And one more LED art picture to finish. No digital picture manipulation or Photoshop! I took this on 26 October 2012, right after midnight, and four hours later it started to snow and the winter came.



    Thanks for reading!

    Anssi

  15. #165
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    Stunning camera work. Is it difficult photographing the auroras?

    Avusblau 1994 Euro M3 --> Journal Here
    Lagunagrün 1991 331iS-->Journal Here

  16. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3MPowered View Post
    Stunning camera work. Is it difficult photographing the auroras?
    Thanks!

    Many photographers in northern Finland specialize in northern lights photography, so at least help is not far away! I have understood the main challenge is temperature, as clear winter nights can be very cold.

    I don't expect a spectacular display of aurora borealis here in southern Finland, but I am still hoping to see at least a glimpse. The last time I saw wonderful lights this south was in the year 1992. I took part in a training exercise of the Finnish Army, and none of our radio-based communication systems worked that night, due to a strong geomagnetic storm. I still remember the sky was all red and green.

    Anssi

  17. #167
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    Hello Melissa and Paulina!!! luv the car tho!

    1997 BMW ///M3 Hellrot
    "60% of the time, it works everytime"


  18. #168
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    That is some SERIOUS light painting man. Looks incredible. The CSL is a beauty, keep doing what your doing this thread is WIN.
    - Hans - Mauritiusblau Metallic - Ultimate Klasse - Progress Thread: LINK



  19. #169
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    Any fans of the classic LBD (Little Black Dress) here?


    She is Anna:



    She is Pauliina:



    And she is Natalie:



    BMW + LBD = perfect combination!


    Anssi

  20. #170
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    This car is so clean, it's ridiculous, properly stunning.
    Say 'hi' to Anna for me.
    Madeiraviolett Bf.C club member #003

  21. #171
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    More pics please!
    ‘98 BMW M3 3.2 SMG Cabrio • Alpinweiß III auf Schwarz • Deutschland-ausführung
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  22. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by MParallel View Post
    More pics please!
    What would you like to see? I am taking requests!

    The photography season of 2013 is not over yet. September is one of the best months!

    Anssi

  23. #173
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    Amazing shots!!!!

  24. #174
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    Loved it from day 1 and its gotten exponentially better since then. Great work. The light painting with text is really something else... I mean I find it really, really amazing...

    How does it work exactly? Long LED strip computer controlled then just tell the computer program what image you want then you walk slowly holding the LED strip or something? Or put it on an RC car and drive at steady speed? Just trying to wrap my head around it, lol! I also really love the tilt-shift photo you have, tilt-shift is so fun!

  25. #175
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    Yes, BimmerBreaker, that is exactly how it is done.

    For example, I could take a screenshot of the Bimmerforums logo, upload it to my LED control module, and then wait for dark. In the darkness, I would walk with the LED strip and it would reproduce the logo in the sky. Well, at least the camera would see it that way, as the exposure time is about 30 seconds.

    (Anybody from BMW North America reading this? I would love to draw you guys an ad. Think about it: your giant logo reflected on shiny BMWs!)

    The trick is that the walking speed has to be constant and and it has to be right. Otherwise, circles are not perfectly round anymore.

    I have been doing this for years so my walking is getting better and better. Sometimes, however, I may deliberately create "waves", like here:





    Notice the reflection on the center cap!

    Any ideas or requests? What should I draw next?

    Anssi

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