car photography

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by anel, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. anel

    anel TPF Noob!

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    let's say we have a silver bmw and i wanna make it look as cool and sleek as possible- like in the ads, lots of reflection and sprakling..

    i am limited to 1 strobe with a pocket wizard- what can i do?
     
  2. outamyway

    outamyway TPF Noob!

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    You can leave your camera on a tripod, make your shot then reposition the strobe and make another shot (as many times as you want) then combine them in Photoshop.

    You can borrow a flash or 2 from friends to make your shot.

    You can possibly rent some good lighting from a local camera shop.

    Take the car to a well lit parking garage.
     
  3. anel

    anel TPF Noob!

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    parking garage? i was thinking more in line on top of a hill in the sunset..
    that repositioning sounds like a good idea but i doubt that it would look realistic in photoshop.
     
  4. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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  5. outamyway

    outamyway TPF Noob!

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    Well, ok, top of a hill at sunset does change things a bit. I shoot a lot of cars for our local VW/Audi/BMW/Porsche club so I've done them just about everywhere. I only suggested a parking garage because you didn't say what your idea was for a setting. Most garages have rows of lights that can add neat effects to the shot. Just watch your WB in there.

    Back to the sunset shot, your on camera flash can be diffused a bit to supplement the strobe too. Expose for the sunset in the first shot, then light the car for the 2nd-3rd shot. It can be combined fine in PP (people do it all the time for HDR and multiple exposure shots). Just don't move the camera.
     
  6. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    This wouldn't work because you are not pointing the strobe head directly at the car. You'd want reflected diffuse light to do most of your work and that would require using very large light sources (bigger than the car). If you were to use smaller light sources and try to combine the images in PS, I have a feeling it would look blotchy.
     
  7. outamyway

    outamyway TPF Noob!

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    You're probably right, I've never tried to use just one strobe to shoot something like this. Typically I use available light or 3 flash units through umbrellas.
     
  8. anel

    anel TPF Noob!

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    what about putting the camera on a tripod, the car against a sunset and then doing 3 shots. all 3 shots exposed properly, (something like 1/200 F4.0 - flash at 1/16th power), and firing the flash at the left side, front and right side of the car.
    is it possible in any way to auto merge these 3 shots in post?
     
  9. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    Look at the link i posted before. I don't think you understand how to light reflective surfaces. The car is basically a 3 dimensional mirror. How do you light a mirror?
     
  10. anel

    anel TPF Noob!

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    actually i've already read that article a while back, and he does way too much processing for my taste, lighting everything separately so much that it makes my head hurt thinking about it..

    right kkamin, that first proposal was a bit unthought and dumb.. what about an umbrella so far away that i perfectly light the entire car in just one take? that might work..
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Actually the father away from the car you get the umbrella the worse the problems will be, for 2 reasons:
    1. The light source appears smaller.
    2. Light falls off as a square function to distance. If you move the light 2 times farther away only 1/4 as much light reaches the subject.
     
  12. outamyway

    outamyway TPF Noob!

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