Featured Large Vehicle Photography

Discussion in 'Lighting Tutorials' started by MichaelSewell, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    765
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Titan_01 copy.

    I have to say, I do enjoy photographing vehicles. Not necessarily the fastest, sleekest sports cars either. I just like creating the best image I can for my client.

    My client? Actually, on this occasion, my client is a marketing company, Moo Creations. They gave me an interesting, if very short brief. “We have a client who manufactures the refuse unit on bin lorries. Can you make it look sexy?”

    Now, I'm more than happy to use a light painting technique, and have done numerous times previously. However, I'm also lazy. And if I can get a finished quality image in a quicker time, I will do so. (Between you and me, I prefer to use a quicker method if it means the shoot takes less time, as the client will benefit and that usually means more work.)

    For the above image, I used two light sources. Frame left, I placed a 600Ws location light firing through a high intensity reflector. You can see the angle it hit the lorry by looking at the shadow of the front wheel, as it disappears under the vehicle. It was firing at full power.
    Frame right was a second 600Ws location light firing at ½ power through another high intensity reflector. It was reduced to half power as I was able to place it nearer the vehicle without fouling the frame. The frame left light source on the other hand, needed to be much further from the vehicle to keep it out of frame, hence the need for full power.

    The camera was set on a tripod and the base image was shot at ISO200 1/250th sec f16. A second image was shot at ISO100 1/250th sec f16, and a final image was shot at ISO400 1/250th sec f16
    Basically, I bracketed the image using ISO settings.

    I couldn't bracket using traditional shutter speed settings, as it would have effected the recorded ambient light. I couldn't bracket using the aperture settings because not only would it have effected the depth of field between each exposure, it would also have effected the recorded light from the lighting rig. Bracketing the images using the ISO effects the whole exposure, and allows the images to be combined in post. This gives greater detail in the shadows and the highlights, and when processed with a conservative eye, can produce appealing images for the client. (I prefer to manually blend my images, because.... well, I'm a masochist!).

    Here are a few more images from other shoots for the same client using the same technique.

    Expo_006 copy.

    _D4A3425-HDR copy.

    _D4A3381-HDR copy.
     
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  2. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    778
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    I'm always amazed at how you keep the highlight reflections off of the glass and other reflective surfaces.
     
  3. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    765
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Angle of incidence.
    Just assume every part of an item is a mirror. Light travels in straight lines and if you can imagine you would be able to see your light on a section or panel, just move it to where you wouldn't be able to. Most times simply raising the light stand and having the head angle down towards the subject is sufficient to kill any flare.

    Digital has made it much easier than the days of polaroids. A test shot will soon tell you if your assumptions regarding the positioning of lights is on the button.

    Does that make sense?
     
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  4. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    778
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    I get the physics of it, just have had a harder time applying it. Do you find it harder to control reflections w/ using larger modifiers as oppose to smaller ones?
     
  5. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    765
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    It's much easier with a smaller modifier. The high intensity reflectors are possibly 12 inch across at the business end. If I do get a reflection of the light source, it's much easier to remove a small source than say a 120cm Octa
     
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  6. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    765
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Also, you can hide the hotspot from a smaller light point much easier amongst the angles and body forms of a vehicle, than you can with a much larger light source
     
  7. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    778
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    And as always, thanks for taking the time to do these. It's always fun for me to see how people do their projects. I would have never thought to use the iso bracketing to achieve that kind of a look, but your explanation of why makes perfect sense.
     
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  8. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    765
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    You're welcome
     
  9. Schwingi

    Schwingi Mu-43 Regular

    50
    Aug 23, 2016
    Austria
    Looks amazing, kudos!
     
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  10. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    Really beautifull shots.
     
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  11. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    More like these, please.....
     
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  12. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    765
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    There are quite a few tutorials already posted. Or do you mean vehicles in particular?
     
  13. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    Though I am not a tecnician, I love the look of functional items like tools, machines, ships, buildings... and of course big vehicles.
     
  14. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    765
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Ok, I shall see what I can come up with.
     
  15. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    Much obliged, as is said in old british cinema :)
     
  16. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    765
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    Lol

    Indeed
     
  17. Frogwatch

    Frogwatch Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Dec 13, 2016
    Perth, Australia
    Matthew
    Excellent use of the pole to hide the number plate, it makes it look much more natural than having to blank it out.
     
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  18. Droogie

    Droogie Mu-43 Veteran

    314
    Feb 23, 2013
    Washington State
    Love the photos, more please. And thanks for the background on the lighting setup.
     
  19. Droogie

    Droogie Mu-43 Veteran

    314
    Feb 23, 2013
    Washington State
    I forgot to ask, what camera and lens?
     
  20. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    765
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    @Droogie@Droogie
    Camera and lens are irrelevant as this is a lighting tutorial. And if you want proof that lighting is a lot more important than the capture equipment, see this thread:
    The importance of light!
     
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