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Michael A. Sewell
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This little pocket rocket belongs to Gail Hull, MD of Total Insignia in Blackburn. And whilst I enjoy car and automotive photography of all vehicles, the rarer vehicles definitely have more appeal.

The location is the overflow car park at the Oak Royal Hotel, Golf and Country Club, in Withnell, Clitheroe. The trees and early morning sunlight made an ideal backdrop, if a bit of a challenge. That said, easy tends to be less fun.

Gail positioned the car so the sun was pretty much towards the right side of the frame, indicated by the car's shadow. Without additional lighting, you will find the direct sunlight will reduce contrast within the image. In fact, if you look at the trees in the background, you can see the loss of contrast is quite striking, even after it's been puled back in Lightroom.

Lighting wise, I used two Elinchrom ELB400 units, using the HS heads and firing through high intensity reflectors. The high intensity reflectors effectively provide 2.5 times the light output.

The first, I placed frame right, so it was firing straight on to the front of the car. Bearing in mind the angle of incidence, by placing it square on to the front of the vehicle, I am reducing the likelihood of reflected light being seen in the image, although there is a tiny hotspot at the corner of the bumper, which is fine. The output was set to 5.0 (Equivalent to 200Ws).

The second head was placed frame left, and again placed so that it was square on to the side of the car. Output was set to 5.0 (Equivalent to 200Ws).

Using the Elinchrom HS transmitter, I was able to use a shutter speed higher than the default maximum Xsync speed of 1/250th sec on the E-M1 mkII, which I needed to do so, in an effort to retain some colour in the sky and avoid blowing it out all together.

My base exposure was 1/1000th sec at ISO200 and f8.0

I also took two further images with the same shutter speed and aperture settings, one at ISO64 and one at ISO400, giving me a three bracket sequence using the ISO. The three images were then carefully blended. I will do the initial blend in Lightroom, and then do additional tweaking in Photoshop.

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Here, the camera settings remained the same as the above image, and the same three exposure technique was employed. The lights were moved so as to be at 45° to the car, one either side. This would mean the angle of incidence is such that the reflected light would effectively be towards each light, and not towards the camera. There was a small highlight spot on the bodywork, which was easily taken out in post. The light output had to be increased on both heads, topping out at an output of 6.0 (Equivalent to 400Ws). This is where I lamented returning the ELB1200 after the review.

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The lights were left at maximum output, and the postioning of the lights was the same as the first image.

Camera settings were still at a shutter speed of 1/1000th sec and f8, with a three ISO bracketed exposure.

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The interior shot is another IOS bracketed sequence, but this was taken with an action head, as I had switched the heads for the exterior detail shots. The shutter speed was 1/15th sec (Hurrah for in body stabilisation!!!) with an aperture of f5.6. Three ISO bracketed images blended in lightroom.

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Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


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All the above detail images were taken at 1/250th sec and f5.6 and ISO200. The ELB400 was firing through an 80cx80cm folding softbox at an output of 3.0 (Equivalent to 50Ws). The softbox was up close, and personal.

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Strictly ambient for this last one, as it was on the side facing the sun.

1/640th sec f5.6 ISO200

If you are inquisitive about Gail's business, or have a need for promotional items, take a look at https://www.totalinsignia.co.uk
 
Joined
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Messages
1,245
Location
Burnley, UK
Real Name
Michael A. Sewell
Thanks, I get it now. I wonder if changing the exposure compensation (which I believe is what happens when HDR is used) would achieve the same result?
Depends if exposure compensation is made using shutter speed, aperture or ISO. All of which can be used to compensate the exposure.
Shutter speed just affects the ambient, and aperture would affect the whole exposure, but the depth of field is going to get really strange.

Using ISO is still a HDR technique, as it's opening up the dynamic range
 

bjurasz

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
257
Location
Cedar Park
You do a really good job of lighting the car and keeping it natural looking, and I really like this. Too many people I've found light the car way too hard, making it feel out of place against the background. A natural look can be so hard to achieve, and so rewarding when its done. Thanks for the explanations and the inspiration.
 

Sam0912

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
299
Location
Manchester UK
Real Name
Sam Roberts
View attachment 612393

This little pocket rocket belongs to Gail Hull, MD of Total Insignia in Blackburn. And whilst I enjoy car and automotive photography of all vehicles, the rarer vehicles definitely have more appeal.

The location is the overflow car park at the Oak Royal Hotel, Golf and Country Club, in Withnell, Clitheroe. The trees and early morning sunlight made an ideal backdrop, if a bit of a challenge. That said, easy tends to be less fun.

Gail positioned the car so the sun was pretty much towards the right side of the frame, indicated by the car's shadow. Without additional lighting, you will find the direct sunlight will reduce contrast within the image. In fact, if you look at the trees in the background, you can see the loss of contrast is quite striking, even after it's been puled back in Lightroom.

Lighting wise, I used two Elinchrom ELB400 units, using the HS heads and firing through high intensity reflectors. The high intensity reflectors effectively provide 2.5 times the light output.

The first, I placed frame right, so it was firing straight on to the front of the car. Bearing in mind the angle of incidence, by placing it square on to the front of the vehicle, I am reducing the likelihood of reflected light being seen in the image, although there is a tiny hotspot at the corner of the bumper, which is fine. The output was set to 5.0 (Equivalent to 200Ws).

The second head was placed frame left, and again placed so that it was square on to the side of the car. Output was set to 5.0 (Equivalent to 200Ws).

Using the Elinchrom HS transmitter, I was able to use a shutter speed higher than the default maximum Xsync speed of 1/250th sec on the E-M1 mkII, which I needed to do so, in an effort to retain some colour in the sky and avoid blowing it out all together.

My base exposure was 1/1000th sec at ISO200 and f8.0

I also took two further images with the same shutter speed and aperture settings, one at ISO64 and one at ISO400, giving me a three bracket sequence using the ISO. The three images were then carefully blended. I will do the initial blend in Lightroom, and then do additional tweaking in Photoshop.

View attachment 612394

Here, the camera settings remained the same as the above image, and the same three exposure technique was employed. The lights were moved so as to be at 45° to the car, one either side. This would mean the angle of incidence is such that the reflected light would effectively be towards each light, and not towards the camera. There was a small highlight spot on the bodywork, which was easily taken out in post. The light output had to be increased on both heads, topping out at an output of 6.0 (Equivalent to 400Ws). This is where I lamented returning the ELB1200 after the review.

View attachment 612395

The lights were left at maximum output, and the postioning of the lights was the same as the first image.

Camera settings were still at a shutter speed of 1/1000th sec and f8, with a three ISO bracketed exposure.

View attachment 612400

The interior shot is another IOS bracketed sequence, but this was taken with an action head, as I had switched the heads for the exterior detail shots. The shutter speed was 1/15th sec (Hurrah for in body stabilisation!!!) with an aperture of f5.6. Three ISO bracketed images blended in lightroom.

View attachment 612396

View attachment 612397

View attachment 612398

View attachment 612399

All the above detail images were taken at 1/250th sec and f5.6 and ISO200. The ELB400 was firing through an 80cx80cm folding softbox at an output of 3.0 (Equivalent to 50Ws). The softbox was up close, and personal.

View attachment 612401

Strictly ambient for this last one, as it was on the side facing the sun.

1/640th sec f5.6 ISO200

If you are inquisitive about Gail's business, or have a need for promotional items, take a look at https://www.totalinsignia.co.uk
Fantastic post, much appreciated. Love those shots, very natural looking, as someone else said, car shots often look fake, yours look very natural. I love the special edition abarth too, missus looked at them last time she renewed the car, but she struggled with the “narrow” seats (I’m being polite here!), so I doubt I’d get my large frame in one comfortably- still might try though!
 

LucDeSchepper

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Aug 8, 2014
Messages
485
Location
Netherlands
Real Name
Luc de Schepper
I'm aware reds are a challenge to especially the smallish M43 sensor but on my Eizo CG2420 monitor the reds look washed out and unnatural. Did you blur the paintwork in post to mask this effect somewhat? And was the engine running on image #2? I notice a light patch of smoke? at the rear of the car.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2015
Messages
1,245
Location
Burnley, UK
Real Name
Michael A. Sewell
I'm aware reds are a challenge to especially the smallish M43 sensor but on my Eizo CG2420 monitor the reds look washed out and unnatural. Did you blur the paintwork in post to mask this effect somewhat? And was the engine running on image #2? I notice a light patch of smoke? at the rear of the car.
You're absolutely right regarding the challenge a red car presents. Using the bracketing technique, it's extremely easy to allow the red to go pink as it overlights on the plus exposure side. I pay close attention to this in post and blend mostly from the standard and under exposure on the reds, although some from the over exposure bracket can be applied judiciously.
No, no blurring, heaven forbid, as the loss of detail would pretty much scream.
The red looks spot on with my main monitors at the studio and at home, along with the three laptops and phone. Not had anyone mention a washout before, either.

Yep, the engine was running, and it was a pretty cold day ;) (Good spot!)
 

LucDeSchepper

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Aug 8, 2014
Messages
485
Location
Netherlands
Real Name
Luc de Schepper
Actually imo there are several more pinkish spots on that shot. You might also want to check out the pink spot above the rear right wheel on image #2. Sorry about the nitpicking Michael, I’m a fan of your photography.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2015
Messages
1,245
Location
Burnley, UK
Real Name
Michael A. Sewell
Actually imo there are several more pinkish spots on that shot. You might also want to check out the pink spot above the rear right wheel on image #2. Sorry about the nitpicking Michael, I’m a fan of your photography.
You ain't nit pickin' Luc, you are pointing out what you can see.

Yes, it is definitely lighter in that area.
Hmmmm. It certainly wasn't as obvious on my monitors, and you are the first to point it out.

Have I mentioned I hate red paintwork?
 

LucDeSchepper

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Aug 8, 2014
Messages
485
Location
Netherlands
Real Name
Luc de Schepper
Haha, yes red paint on cars is hell especially under artificial lighting. Been there done that, that’s why I notice. Anyway, great post Michael and I appreciate your replies.
 

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