Question About Automotive Photography

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by William Petruzzo, May 6, 2009.

  1. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
    (taken by this guy)

    I'm wondering how this is done, although this isn't the best example of it. The car is perfectly extremely crisp, while the background is heavily motion blurred. This is the best example I could find, but you'll see it sometimes on automotive websites where the effect is a lot more dramatic.

    I understand the theory of how this would work, I just don't understand the mechanics. It seems to me that the car (and the car carrying the photographer) would either have to be going the same speed, but very fast in order to use a faster shutter thereby keeping the car sharp, but stll blurring the background. Or else the camera would have to be mounted securely to the car so that a slower shutter speed could be used. But then, I'm figuring there must be some third technique that I just haven't considered. Neither option really seems all that reasonable.

    So what do you think, is there's a specific technique used for photos like this?
     
  2. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's a rig shot. It's really trendy right now.. keep in mind, although the camera is attached to the car, it's only moving at a walking pace, so it's pretty safe. The cars are pushed, not even running.

    Rig Shots
     
  3. ShotGunNik

    ShotGunNik TPF Noob!

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    Wow, didn't now that, as well always admired and am actually interested in this type of photography (automotive).
     
  4. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    That's pretty awesome. I figured it had to be something like that. It also explains why you don't see very many amateurs producing these kind of shots. Pretty cool. Thanks for the link.
     
  5. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are actually quite a few amateurs doing it, but I think a lot of people that aren't automotive photographers don't know about it, or don't want to try to build a rig... just speculating there though..

    Here's a flickr group about 'em, i'm guessing all 431 members aren't pros.
    Flickr: Automotive Rigs
     
  6. ShotGunNik

    ShotGunNik TPF Noob!

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    Oh damn, nice.....
     
  7. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    I don't doubt that there are a lot of amateurs who do it, but for such a cool effect, it explains why there aren't a lot more (Just look at HDR). I mean, flickr is a pretty huge community. Even if all 431 members were amateurs, compared to the actual number of people on there, it's barely worth noting.
     
  8. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That is a good point.
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can also do this without rigs. The technique is called PANNING. you follow your car with the camera and at the proper moment, take the pic.

    Example:
    Without panning the background is clear, subjects are whizzing by all blurred.[​IMG]

    With Panning, the background is blurred, but the subject is clear and visible.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Indeed panning is a good tool, but in the cases of shots like the above the rig would avoid the front and back blur of the subject.
    As an object is passing you if it sufficiently large the front part of it may be moving away while the back part is coming towards you. The centre is then travelling perfectly with the lens and will be sharp (as with the subject in the carousel). So this technique only really works with sufficiently small subjects, subjects with a single clear point of focus, or subjects photographed from far away with a sufficiently long lens.
    Most magazine car photos are none of the above unfortunately, and I would go as far as to say that extreme wide angle of the car posted may actually make it impossible to maintain sharpness with panning.
     
  11. jcolman

    jcolman TPF Noob!

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    Here's a rig I built for about $100. Most of the costs were from buying the industrial suction cups.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All these shots were taken with the car traveling about 5 mph and the engine off.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok just guessing that post processing involved cloning out the mount?
     

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