Nightshots of Cars. HELP!!

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by damonkey999, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. damonkey999

    damonkey999 TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I'm new to this forum...
    and I recently purchased my first (d)slr camera!
    I've always been into photography, but now I'm taking it more serious.

    One of my hobbies, or interests, is cars.

    Here is my situation,
    I'm trying to take pictures of the front of the cars, at night, with the headlights on.
    Yea, you know what happens.
    Either picture of only the lights from the headlights, and blacked out car and background,
    or the headlights bleach out the whole picture.

    Now, I've seen pictures of cars with their headlights on, and it's somehow suppressed, and the whole picture is...well,...perfect.
    I've seen plenty of pictures like this, although, its still rare that I do come across it at all, for obvious reason.

    I've searched all over the web, and came up with 2 possible solutions,
    bright light filter, or ND filter.

    I'm very new to the more advance options and tools of slr's, so I don't know if either of these were even close to what I'm achieving.

    PLEASE HELP! I'm pretty much pulling my hair out for a solution.

    Here is an example of what I'm talking about:
    http://3.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kslz37UlEh1qa14pco1_500.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Is this your image? If it is what would you like to be different.

    If it's not your image, you should link to it and not post it, TPF rules and Regs.

    ND filters will affect all the light in the image, which kind of defeats the purpose.

    I just photoshop in headlights that look like they are on.
     
  3. damonkey999

    damonkey999 TPF Noob!

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    Oh sorry, I didn't know I wasn't suppose to post it

    I'm trying to avoid photoshopping , since I do WAYY too much of that.
    Isn't there a filter I can use to block out most of the light?
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Not really.

    You're trying to make car images at night without supplimental light (flash)?

    I use at least 4 speedlights to shoot a car at night.
     
  5. damonkey999

    damonkey999 TPF Noob!

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    well, pretty much i'm trying to take pictures of cars, at night, with their headlights on.
    but the thing is, i want the head lights to be kinda...suppressed...and not whiting out the whole picture.

    after talking to a bunch of people in person, and at other forums, i think my "perfect one shot" is pretty impossible at this point. at least, without the use of other lights and such.

    everybody suggests taking 2 pictures of 2 exposures and merging them, which works well, but in the enviorment i'm in, i dont always get a chance to take the same picture twice...so...yea

    i'm just gonna live with it and hopefully find a solution as my skills with a dslr improve.

    thank you, though =]
     
  6. Yoshibesto

    Yoshibesto TPF Noob!

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    here is a picture i took 2 nights ago of my eclipse. is this what you are looking for?


    [​IMG]
     
  7. battletone

    battletone TPF Noob!

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    I would say those headlights are a product photoshop.
     
  8. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    No you haven't. The vast majority of what you've seen are pictures taken near dusk or dawn when its bright enough to read a newpaper without additional light and not at night. At times like that, the lights are not that much brighter than the scene. A slight underexposure of the overall scene leaves the impression of night and the lights aren't so bright, relative to the geneal lighting, that they overexpose excessively
     
  9. bhphotography

    bhphotography TPF Noob!

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    You would either have to shoot at dusk / dawn, or use multiple strobes. Another option is to use a long exposure (think 30 seconds). Set your camera on a tripod. Use the keyless entry to flash the headlights at the beginning of the exposure, then use a flashlight or spotlight to "paint" the car with light. Move the light evenly over the whole car. This will take some experimenting.
     

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