Getting color from HID/Xenon Head Lights (Automotive product photography)

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by tjdphotos, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. tjdphotos

    tjdphotos TPF Noob!

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    I have seen photos were it is captured perfectly, but I'm still having issues with the lack of color, I have tried in M and AV and some times I get lucky but only when I can fire the ballast and then run the head light to shoot while the gasses are just heating up. Are there any tricks that I'm missing to get that great HID color? Thanks In advance!

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  2. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I have never tried so this is just a wild guess. Shoot in raw then adjust the color temp.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Need an example.
     
  4. tjdphotos

    tjdphotos TPF Noob!

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    I posted some photos.
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    You're shooting them in the middle of the day, without any sort of strobe light. That's why they look like crap. High-end automotive products are shot in a studio on a green screen so the cars can be knocked out and put in any sort of an ad the company might want. If you've got some powerful lights, or shot at night with a pocket strobe and a huge softbox, you can balance the flash and the headlights to get better results, not to mention, you choose the direction of the light, instead of relying on daylight. Post an image of what you want, then we can reverse-engineer it and tell you what to do.
     
  6. IanK

    IanK TPF Noob!

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    ^ agreed, mid day your not going to get anything, studio shots are best, but outdoors night time is the only time you'll get anything from them:

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  7. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Of course you aren't getting any color when shooting under daylight. HID/Xenon lamps have only a slightly higher Kelvin temperature (very very slightly more blue) than daylight. They only give the impression of being bluish when compared to conventional incandescent lamps.

    At night when seem beside conventional headlights they seem blue since your brain's color reference is the more common warmer colored lamps. Under daylight they seem white as your brain's color reference is daylight. Its the same with the camera, when its WB is daylight the lamps will photograph nearly white. When the exposure makes the lamps very bright, even their trivial bluish cast, compared to the daylight, is lost.
     
  8. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Post examples of what you want to do.


    No you don't "have to shoot at night" for the lights to show up, you just need to learn how to balance the ambient with them. In the early evening, early morning, it really shouldn't be difficult really, especially when you're using strobes. That's what "professionals" do of course.
     
  9. tjdphotos

    tjdphotos TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I hope you know that this is not out of camera.

    Alot of post went into this image, it was obviously shot in a studio, and the floor/background was knocked out by a graphic designer. It was lit by huge, and I mean HUGE wall sized softboxes so that you don't get hard hotspots all over the car, and anything resembling that was taken out.

    Honestly, I wouldn't even be surprised if parts of the car were lit separately, and then a composite is made to create this shot.

    For the lights, they were either balanced with the strobes, or shot separately and masked in. Change the WB on just the lights, they're teal.

    The windows were burned in, they're obviously fake, especially the highlights.

    The reflection, might be real becuase of the perspective, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's fake, just another shot of the car from a different angle, turned upside down and liquified.

    The drop shadow is fake.


    If you want shots like this you need a huge studio, huge lights, and you need to learn a heck of alot more photoshop.
     
  11. tjdphotos

    tjdphotos TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the break down, Looking at the floor reflection a little closer the front wheel is not turned in the reflection so it must be fake. I will try playing around with the white balance in PS on just the lights. What kind of portible strobe kit can I use to light cars?
     

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