Just More Evidence That an E46 M3 Still Looks Great Driving Hard

March 21 Feature Photo: An E46 M3 in its natural habitat. No, not a tow truck.

There is truly nothing better than an E46 M3 coupe, in a good color, screaming around a track in its signature buzz-sawish anger. My weekend job is to constantly document these machines and their owners caning around a track. Though usually, I’m not gifted with beautiful light for my typical front quarter panning shot.

March 21, 2021 Car Bibles Feature Photo Details

  • Car(s): 2004 BMW M3 (E46)
  • Location: Streets of Willow, Willow Springs Raceway, Rosamond, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (IG + Twitter @chrishasacamera)
  • Camera: Canon 7D Mark II w/ Canon 300mm f/2.8L + 1.4x Extender III

Usually, my job shooting for CaliPhotography at various race tracks in southern California involves a lot of harsh mid-day lighting, and smashing out regular ol’ action shots. I have to get decent shots of every single participant of a track day, so that the excellent sales staff can sell some photos to people. I don’t envy them. Mostly, I get to vibe to some music and zone out while my mortal body is possessed by the Photographer Hive Mind.

There was a random track day in August 2019 that I noticed was listed as a night track day. Usually, we start shooting at 9 a.m. and finish around 2 p.m.. For this day, we would start at 3 p.m. and finish at 8 p.m., well after dark. This caught my attention. Normally, it would be any normal (read: boring) day of shooting in the anti-picturesque Mojave desert, but now I was looking forward to having gorgeous sunset light.

This shot, I got just after sunset. There is still golden reflections from the dying sun, but tinges of purple and pink mixing with the Imola Red finish of the M3. I also got just the right amount of pan that resolves a lot of detail, but gently suggests speed through the spinning wheels and leaned-over body language of the Bimmer. Hope you enjoy it.

By the way – don’t forget to check out our comprehensive E46 M3 Car Bible if there’s anything at all you want to know about buying, modifying, and maintaining one of these!

As big as we could get it:

Just More Evidence That an E46 M3 Still Looks Great Driving Hard
Chris Rosales
Chris Rosales

Chris has owned 12 cars of questionable quality, is an experienced motorsports photographer, and a good all-around wrench. When he isn’t tinkering with his car in his home garage, you can catch Chris in the canyons around SoCal. He also hopelessly hankers for Euros, but he honestly knows he should get something Japanese, eventually. Contact the author here.