Reader Submissions: This Photography Student Told The History Of BMW Design In A Single Thesis

This Photography Student Told The History Of BMW Design In A Single Thesis

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
October 11, 2016
5 comments

Photography by Oliver Sold

Mercifully, when you’re older, school projects tend to have more meaning beyond popsicle sticks and glue. That’s certainly the case for Oliver Sold, a German photography student who decided to combine his passion for BMW design with his bachelor’s thesis. Called “The Fascination of Car Design—BMW Design in Detail,” the result is a clear progression from old to new—can you name all of the cars here?

To start, it’s interesting to see key BMW design elements morphing as they age, from the Hofmeister kink to the double kidney grille. But it’s also a study into both light and dark, with Sold highlighting certain details in order to create the best compositions possible.

“In my photographic work I’ve tried to extract these details, taking them out of their context, and creating a space for their own perfect shape,” he says. “By employing reduced (and at the same time)  distinctive light highlights, often combined with unfamiliar perspectives, I’d like to share my fascination with car design.”

Here’s his thesis, from old to new—try to not look at the caption before guessing which BMW it is.


1929–1941: 3/15 ‘Dixi’ and DA-3 Wartburg; 303; 327; 328

1952–1959: 501; 507; Isetta; 600; 700

1962–1977: 2800; 3.0 Csi; 2002

1972–1981: Turbo Concept Car; 5-Series (E12); 3-Series (E21); 6-Series (E24); M1

1982–1999: 3-Series (E30); 8-Series; 7-Series (E32); Z1

1998–2001: Z3 Coupe; M3 CSL; Z8; X Coupe Concept Car

Head to Oliver’s Instagram, Facebook, or website to keep up with his growing body of work.

Tags BMW/ History
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5 Comments on "This Photography Student Told The History Of BMW Design In A Single Thesis"

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Derek Richards
Derek Richards

Bravo! Great shots placed in a nicely considered concept…possibly setting a standard for things to come from other photogs….thanks for the piece Oliver and ‘licious.

Cooper Perros
Cooper Perros

I would Love to do a folio like that! A++!

Mau Ferrusca
Mau Ferrusca

Gorgeous. Great use of artificial lights to enhance angles and curves.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

When I first read the header I was pretty skeptical thinking to myself …. yeah right .

But after viewing the collection … not half bad at all . In fact its a pretty decent CliffNote overview of BMW’s design evolution since the 20’s . Yup . Pretty doggone decent if I do say so … and I do !

Martin Philippo
Martin Philippo

Fantastic photography indeed. Together in this collection they are much stronger than on their own. I love it.

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