The Beauty In Detail

A large part of my photographic work consists of discovering the small details on classic and modern cars and photographing them. Of course, this means that you have to get very close with the camera and you have to take a very close look at the car in front of you. Sometimes you only notice these often very lovingly designed details on a second look. That’s why I’m all the more pleased to discover them and put them in the right light.

The Beauty In Detail

It can be a door handle, a toggle switch on the dashboard, the attachment of the windscreen wiper, a display instrument, the frame of a door that attracts my attention. All sorts of things can show the beauty of a car’s design, even in contemporary vehicles you often find such small but subtle details.

“The details are not the details. They make the design.” This famous statement by Charles Eames, one of the trend-setting designers of the last century, holds a lot of truth. Because it is the little things that are decisive. Sometimes the function dictates the form, sometimes the zeitgeist decides the design.

The Beauty In Detail

What always particularly impresses me is the effort, care and inventiveness of the designers when creating a door handle or an ashtray, for example. In some cases, increased production costs were and are not taken into consideration; artistic standards are simply at the top of the agenda.

And that’s a good thing. While the “Bauhaus” motto “form follows function” was the credo of the time for architecture and furniture design in the 1920s, this did not prevail in automotive engineering or coachbuilding. The motto here was rather: more is more. In any case, it is clear that even the Bauhaus students could not do without ornamentation to give their products the necessary independence.


But back then it was also about independence and an unmistakable appearance of the car, and this time I don’t mean the brand logo.

“Coachbuilding is visual magic” Iakov Saoutchik once said. He was one of the leading coachbuilders of the last century. And if you go through the most famous designers, Nuccio Bertone, Sergio Pininfarina, Giorgio Giugiaro, Bruno Sacco and many others; they all had their own design language and if you knew their designs, it was easy to assign new cars to them.

The history of the automobile is also a history of design, sometimes contemporary, sometimes retrospective. But it can also be recognised very well in the small details. The attached pictures show only a very small selection of the beauty in detail. Find our more about our photographer Ralph Lüker.

DYK1825 Jaguar XK 150 Coupe 164 classic days 2023 freitag ralph lueker 0260 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 159 WAS5723 Kopie WAS5654 Kopie WAS5571 Kopie WAS5547 Kopie WAS5509 Kopie MIS9200 Kopie MIS9195 Kopie MIS9183 Kopie MIS8482 Kopie DYK3014 DYK2550 1 DYK2211 DYK2033 DYK1898

Gran Premio de Europa