Taking photos of car interiors (the back seat)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by greenhorn, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. greenhorn

    greenhorn TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I am having trouble taking getting proper lighting to take detailed photos of the back seat of a car. I'm trying to take a picture of a car seat cover and everything looks black.

    I'm thinking about purchasing a few LCD strip lights from home depot and put one in the front seat aimed towards the ceiling and another one on the back.

    This is what I'm trying to replicate:
    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2...-df09-4ef2-8b0a-22a9244a1e5e.jpg?v=1524837276

    Am I biting more than I can chew and should hire a product photographer to do this?

    My Current Setup:
    Canon T3i with a 50mm prime lens and also a 18-135 kit lens.
    Canon External Flash
    Reflector
    and two small umbrella.

    Please and thank you.


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You've got a hot-shoe speedlight, as long as you can get that off the camera and trigger it, you don't need anything more. If you're shooting a car with a dark headliner, than some light/white fabric to gaf tape to the ceiling may be necessary, but basically, put the speedlight in the front seat, bounce off the ceiling... job done.
     
  3. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    The shot you are referring to, doesn't really look as if it had some lighting equipment used. Looks like available light to me plus photoshop. Doors behind photographer were open, image shot from outside. Probably two shots. One for the interior, one for the background. If at all, I think there was a big lightsource comming from behind the camera. Hence the soft shadows of headrest and door handle plus monochromatic metal reflection.
    Could also have been shot in a studio with soft lights through the opposite window and from behind the camera, background photoshopped again.
    But you sure can do a similar shot your equipment. Bouncing off the ceiling as tirediron suggests might just add that little extra. But don't use too much power, just add a little fill. And make sure to block the direct light from the flash (e.g with black paper).
     
  4. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You're going to need two, maybe three things to match that photo:
    --soft natural light (a day with clouds or overcast rather than harsh direct light)
    --a reflector (to even out the light and minimize shadows)
    --a tripod (to shoot a long exposure since you'll be shooting with a small aperture setting to keep everything in focus...ie: you won't be shooting at f1.8 but more like f8. Bouncing a speed light off the ceiling will probably be fine (but I do think you run the risk of hot spots or some glare). But a long exposure (which will require a tripod) will allow you to compensate for low light. And you'll need the tripod to keep the photo from being blurred by motion.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The biggest problem in small, cramped spaces like this is the Inverse Square Law....which describes the way that the intensity of light falls off, based on how far away the light's origin point is from the subject. In my experience, it can be very tricky to get _even_ electronic light intensity in confined spaces! The issue will manifest itself as very bright lighting on things that are close to the light's point of origin, and then very dim light on things that are just a little bit farther away. The closer the light is to the subject, the bigger the issue with the Inverse Square Law. This is why lighting a confined space can be tricky!

    Simply put: if the lighting is uneven in its intensity, then the best course of action is to try to get the light's point of origin to be FARTHER AWAY from the subject area; moving the light farther away will help tremendously in evening-out the exposure values. Keep this in mind whenever you shoot flash photos in a small, cramped space, where the flash is physically very close to the subject: the exposure differences can be three or four f/stops on subjects that might be only 18 inches different in distance from one another when the flash is "close"; if the flash is moved back, it's a scientific principle that the rate of fall-off will become less-steep, and more-gradual, more-even. So...keep that in mind if you want even lighting from a flash!
     
  6. greenhorn

    greenhorn TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much for the pro tips. Hopefully I have the skillset to pull it off. will update you guys with results this weekend.
     

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