Automotive Light Painting equipment?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by GrantH, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. GrantH

    GrantH TPF Noob!

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    I have been reading up about light painting in this fashion for a couple weeks now and have found a lot of great tips but none of them ever specify what form of light they are using. There are a few that say "shop light" or "trouble light" but I fail to see how that works considering I tried with a 100w CFL in a reflector with all but stellar results.

    My friend in Orlando shoots cars for his business and/or magazine features. ( http://v2lab.com/theory/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/matt6.jpg ) I would hyperlink that but I have no idea how on this forum, sorry. I know he uses strobes at times, and has a set of AB800s in his studio. I've yet to ask him as he helps with a ton of other stuff I ask about so I don't want to keep asking.

    To me, the linked photo looks like strobes, simply because the light is so concentrated on the car and none of it really spills out into the gravel other than maybe 5-10 feet. The images I tried taking it was an obvious spotlight. This is also why I Think he doesn't use his AB800s. I know he uses 7-12 photos and edits them down to make one, but the part that tricks me is the concentration and the clean ??fall off? of light.

    Am I right in thinking he probably used strobes and the fall off is because of reflection rather than spill out?


     
  2. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Look at the shadow under the car. To be more specific look at the edge of the shadow.

    What do you see? Describe the edge of the shadow.

    The shadow also shows where the light(s) was. In the case of that photo the light(s) was above the car, and was pointed almost straight down.

    Look too at the fender flares, and at what they tell you about the lighting used.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of a car photo where the car only comprises 1/16th of the image frame.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  3. GrantH

    GrantH TPF Noob!

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    I appreciate you telling me how the shot was composed in regards to light, though I was asking about what type of lights were typically used with these photos. I've found a bit more info that helps with that.

    Also, no need for personal opinions on a photo that isn't mine, nor was it asked for.
     
  4. Rephargotohp

    Rephargotohp TPF Noob!

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    That's not light painting, that's shooting with strobes,

    Lightpainting invloves long exposures (his was 1/250) and painting with various lower power lights, I've used maglights and battery spot lights and even small LED red flashlights I keep on my keychain
     
  5. Rephargotohp

    Rephargotohp TPF Noob!

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  6. GrantH

    GrantH TPF Noob!

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    According to everyone I have seen talk about this, it is in fact light painting in it's own right. You may not use your lights like a brush, in this photo, but it is done that way in some. I realize these are stobes...I said they probably were. I have seen a few step by steps that use strobes but use multiple flashes through one strobe per exposure. That in my mind would be a form of "painting".

    I'm more interested in finding out how people do the single exposure car photography similar to this style, and what type of lights they use to do this.
     
  7. Rephargotohp

    Rephargotohp TPF Noob!

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    You can do it with a single flash or strobe, I have. But it is still a long exposure, You open the shutter and walk around the car and set off the flash where you need or want the light. because of the long exposure and being careful that the flash does not hit your body you are not seen in the image even though you are walking around the car. I would have though he may have done this except for his exposure time 1/250 is too short to light paint It looks like a single exposure with strobes set up

    Unless you are talking about merging multiple exposures with the flash lighting a different part in each one, then that would be a different story
     
  8. GrantH

    GrantH TPF Noob!

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    I knew this was multiple exposures, he said it was like 8 or 12. I guess I confused everyone from the get go because of the image chosen and my goal of the thread. I'm more interested in the long exposure work.

    I want to learn how to create a photo similar to this with one exposure. I think we have covered using strobes for doing that, but are there other options as well? I bought a mag lite as I saw that is/could/may be one way to do it on smaller sections of the car. I don't care for the artistic freedom really that laser pointers and literal strobes have on these types of photos. I'm more interested in lighting up the aspects of the car that make it special and unique and accentuating it's characteristics.

    Edit: I have my flashes coming in soon, so I will post my work with those once I refine it a bit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I remember seeing a post by a guy using a custome made CFL wand for light painting cars. I don't know if you'll find anything off the shelf like that or not. It looked like a light saber. He didn't use a modifier on it.

    That would be difficult to do in one exposure though as your placement and timing have to be perfect.

    The easiest thing to do would be to learn how to use photo shop. The expensive thing to do would be to buy the 4-5 strobes to adequately light everything with the modifiers and power sources.

    We're talking at least $1000 there and that's for the cheap stuff that may or may not do the trick.
     
  10. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Que?

    Laser pointers for lighting a car? Artistic freedom that strobes have? What are you trying to convey?

    You can do just as artistic of a shot with a shop light as you can with a strobe.
     
  11. 2WheelPhoto

    2WheelPhoto TPF Noob!

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  12. GrantH

    GrantH TPF Noob!

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    This was in reference to raghardtop talking about using this type of light source for painting cars or background or whatever. I meant strobe, as in an actual strobe light as well, some type of light actually flickering.
     

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