Shooting cars inside a warehouse / indoors?

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by alkatraz, May 12, 2008.

  1. alkatraz

    alkatraz TPF Noob!

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    Greetings,

    We're moving into a new warehouse and will be setting up a "interior car/truck/van dealership showroom".
    One of the challenges is that we want to set something up that will not only make the cars look good on camera but in person.
    I've done some research and know that lighting is the key to great car photos. Unfortunately, the space has next to zero natural light and the rest of the light is, uck, florescent. I've searched and searched for information on setting up a indoor showroom and haven't found squat. So I'm turning to the people who "see things with the most critical eyes", photographers, for advice. :thumbup:

    Here are some quick pics of the space taken from a canon point and shoot. (but we have a older Canon DSLR for the car pics) The place is currently used for holding furniture which will all be cleared out and cleaned this week.

    http://www.terra2imports.ca/temp/shop/Apr%2022nd%20029.jpg
    http://www.terra2imports.ca/temp/shop/Apr 22nd 030.jpg
    http://www.terra2imports.ca/temp/shop/Apr 22nd 038.jpg
    http://www.terra2imports.ca/temp/shop/Apr 22nd 059.jpg
    http://www.terra2imports.ca/temp/shop/Apr 22nd 060.jpg

    1. What type of *fixed* lighting should we install?
    2. How high should the lighting be placed? (From the top of the 21' celing or closer to the car?)
    3. What colour(s) should we paint the walls?
    4. What colour should we epoxy the floor? light grey, dark grey, bright blue, etc. Black/white are out of the question as the cars will be moved all the time creating dust/dirt.
    It's a big space, 4000 sq/ft so we don't want to paint this place twice!

    Any advice/experience you can offer would be much appreciated!!

    Please note:
    Realistically, we don't have the time nor the budget to take studio quality shots. I can appreciate you guys take this stuff very seriously but for our purposes, we need something that we can setup once and forget about.
     
  2. Crosby

    Crosby TPF Noob!

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  3. alkatraz

    alkatraz TPF Noob!

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    My bad, I'm a beginner to photography so I figured this was the right forum.

    Also, the description for that forum reads "Share your commercial & product photographs here." which doesn't apply, but after reading some of the threads in there I see what you mean.

    Can a mod please move this thread? Thx!
     
  4. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, as for lighting, I think that you should concentrate on making the cars and showroom look good in person first. I would go probably install several rows of track lighting, closer to the side wall and along the center of the room. You want to light the cars separately from the rest of the room, so they are distinct and stand out just slightly. Now I'll bet that sometimes cars will change positions different cars will not always be the same place. You could get up on a ladder every time you move a car and refocus the lights, or you could pick several position where cars will usually be and install several tracks on two or three different circuits. That way when you put cars in "position A," you could flip one switch, and if you change the cars to "position B," then you could just flip a different switch. This setup would cost just a bit more initially but would save a lot of time.

    For the floor, I would go with a medium to light gray. You don't want the tone of the floor to visually blend together with the tone of a car. For the walls If you go with a darker color, it will draw peoples attention to the well light cars.

    Now for the photography, You can probably photograph fairly well with the show room lighting, but you will end up with some hot reflections from the lights. But this can still look pretty good. The other option, and it should be fun if you like photography, is to dim the lights very low so they don't affect the photo and use flash via the strobist method. Check out this link. You can get professional results on a shoestring budget.
    http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/

    Good luck with everything,
    -Ryan
     
  5. alkatraz

    alkatraz TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your input!

    re: track lighting, great suggestion!!


    What type of bulb should we use? Halogen, florescent... ?
     
  6. Rhubarb

    Rhubarb TPF Noob!

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    I would definitely be going for halogen as it is closer to daylight. Fluro is gross!
     
  7. alkatraz

    alkatraz TPF Noob!

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    Good call! I was checking out LED lamps which would be amazing, but damn are they pricey. I suppose over time the energy savings might pay for themselves.
     
  8. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think that halogen is still the way to go right now, LED's are very tempting, I'm considering them for my house, but I suspect that the LEDs will get brighter and much cheaper within the next year.
    Also, now many LED lamps are rated for 50,000, and only some for 100,000. I expect that the majority of LEDs will be rated at 100,000 in the near future. Although even at 50,000 they will still easily pay for themselves.
     

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