Help with car photoshoot... much advice needed.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dubydogg, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. dubydogg

    dubydogg TPF Noob!

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    I have searched the web and this site and acquired some helpful info, however, I'd like to try to get some more advice. I am shooting for a friend so ALL advice is going towards the good of the group, not towards me and my skills/reputation as a photographer. Keep in mind these photos, which I have to process as well, will be sent to a magazine for printing. So processing advice is GREATLY appreciated as well. From what I've gather I should be shooting in RAW for greater post processing and color values. Now these pictures are not going to be processed a huge deal, so is RAW necessary?

    I own a Nikon D70 with the stock 18-70mm lens and a Nikon 80-200mm as well. I do not currently have any special filter lenses. The only one i was thinking about picking up was a polarizing filter. Lighting will be afternoon to dusk. Here are the recommendations I am looking for:

    ISO
    Shutter speed
    Aperature
    Lens selection

    Which ones should I control and which ones should I leave to the camera to control?

    Any opinions as to certain stances and angles with specific lighting/shadows would help also. After the shots are done I plan on posting the best ones here for all to critique, as I will need help processing since I have never processed for a magazine print. Thanks again, eager to hear what you all have to say.

    -Chris
     
  2. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    What color car? my brother and I both have white cars and they present a problem as far as the lighting goes. if you want the sky to look natural you need to either HDR and take a shot metered for the sky and one for the car, or use PS to brighten up the white car to prevent it from looking kinda grayish.

    You do want to shoot RAW for a few reasons:

    better dynamic range, means more highs and lows
    Loss-less, means you can edit and save, edit and save without lowering the quality
    Raw is Raw, this means you can sharpen, add contrast, saturation, and most importantly, White balance. If you are shooting in the typical parking lot type scene the lighting is going to be wierd. Shooting in Raw lets you adjust it after the fact so that you know 100% the outcome will look natural for the car.

    as for the recommendations
    ISO: as low as you can
    Shutter speed: whatever it takes (meaning shoot in aperture priority)
    Aperture: about 8 or so, maybe a little higher if you are looking for a nice starburst from the lighting. Nothing too high though.
    Lens: I'd probably shoot with the kit since it has a great range. Use the wide angle when you need to, but the rest of the time try to keep it normal/tele.

    I'm guessing you are familiar with car photography, such as having seen a fair share of it? Well even if you have, this can benifit anyone, dont be afraid to chop the car in your shots. Picture that include the entire car can get pretty boring. a few are good, but if every shot shows the whole car, it ends up lame. Chop a headlight, get the badges (if you have em), if the car is lowered, make sure you show that off (get the camera on the ground tilted slightly up, use a mini-tripod if need be (you can buy they at best buy for 10 bucks). If he has HID's make sure you get a nice shot of them with a higher aperture to give a starburst effect. When shooting from the side, unless your rims suck make sure the wheel is on the same plane as you so you can see the whole thing... but if your wheels aren't that great point the tire tread at the camera. either way keep your wheels turned somewhat.

    Not sure what kind of Mag you are submitting them to, but for the engine bay the ideas are still the same.

    Just make sure your friend's car is clean and make sure you're shooting with a tripod with a remote release or on the delay.

    if I think of anythine else I'll add, if you have more questions make sure you ask. And if you'd like to see some of the shots I've taken I'd be more than happy to share my noob shots with you.
     
  3. dubydogg

    dubydogg TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the great info. The car is white which does make it a little more difficult. Do you have anymore details for shooting that color? post processing suggestions? I would like to see some of the shots you have taken so far. either post them or you can e-mail them to me. keep the info coming. thanks


    -chris
     
  4. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    These weren't shot in RAW (I was just learning to use my camera) and most of them are unedited, to show you the gray color you want to avoid. I included a picture I took from the camera as well as an edit that I just did using a Curves adjustment in GIMP (free photoshop) to show you the difference.

    1. There is an edit of this somewhere in critique where it has been whitened and the sky lightened a little (no post processing)
    [​IMG]


    2. again I think there is an edit somewhere on here. The cars look great but the color is off (no post processing)
    [​IMG]


    3. This is probably the type of scene you will be shooting during, maybe a little later. notice how gray the car is.. yuck. I'd make an edit and post it in a bit. (no post processing)
    [​IMG]

    4. Just a shot I like, again no post processing
    [​IMG]

    5. Again notice how it doesn't exactly show how white the car is. It would have helped if I had a white or gray card to custom white balance from, since I didnt ever use RAW I couldn't change it too much (no post processing)
    [​IMG]

    6. long exposure while brother reved the engine to blur the tach. (no post processing)
    [​IMG]

    7. The example. notice it is very gray. it has great starburst in the lights and I think it is a fairly interesting shot of the badge. (no post processing)
    [​IMG]

    8. This is how it turns out with just a little curves adjustment. Took me about 5 seconds to do. if I was going to do a mag submission I'd do a better job but you get the point.
    [​IMG]


    Here is a webshots photo gallery of a meet I was at, just to help with some idea on composition. http://rides.webshots.com/album/555046057kyzpKm
     
  5. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    instead of making my post longer here is an update of some edits members from this site have done of my car

    by Rob: [​IMG]


    and Philip Weir:
    [​IMG]


    oh and here is the edit of the one at dusk.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. dubydogg

    dubydogg TPF Noob!

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    I appreciate the help. You're brother wouldn't have to rev the engine for the tach if he had an STi... like me ;) Cars look great, love the subies. That is actaully what I am photographing for Modified Mag. My buddy has an '04 white wrx that is amazing. I'll keep you updated on the shots.

    -chris
     
  7. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    awesome, but why wouldnt you have to rev the engine for an STi?
     
  8. dubydogg

    dubydogg TPF Noob!

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    when you start the STi, the needles for the tach and speedo sweep the dials.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    eh, I mean thats cool, but it looks like your electronics are messed up, not that you're reving your engine.
     

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