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Thread: Setting up for a Car Photo shoot

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    Setting up for a Car Photo shoot - Help

    Hi all

    A mate at work wants me to take some photo's of his two cars, a Mauve VN Commodore, he is "doing up" and his Street Legal Drag car, a Silver LX Torana.

    We have discussed location etc.. and we are thinking a rural scene, which he wants the lighter dry grass look, which is fine as we will be shooting in February.

    Now what sort of lighting setup should I use, I don't have anything but may need to hire the equipment. The only setup I have right now is a Canon 400D and a Canon 17-40mm f4L USM lens.

    My guess would be to also have at least a 70-200mm lens and something like two off camera flashes...

    Can anyone give me any other advice on equipment? I am no made of money so I cannot afford a great deal, but the guy is quite willing to pay for the rental of equipment.
    Last edited by Astroman; 15-11-2010 at 8:57pm.
    Andrew.
    comments and criticisms are always appreciated.
    Unless I post into the "NOT FOR CRITIQUE" section then the above doesn't apply.


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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    See if you can borrow or rent a couple of speedlights, and if possible large strip light or softboxes. If ambient is plentiful at the time, you may not need the lights, but they will help for fill of shadows if the ambient is not on your side and will be essential if doing it in low light which can yield better results than in bright light. Bare flash will wash out some colours as will mid-day harsh sunshine. CPL is a must to help combat reflections. Watch shadows and reflections in glass and a good way to avoid some reflections is not to shoot perpendicular to the cars where possible if not using lights.

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    the 70-200 would be good for some shots for sure, but i would want something wider as well like in the 24-70 range. Mix up the shots.

    Why do you have to use lights?
    Brodie Butler (Perth, WA)
    Photographer / Filmmaker / Retoucher
    Canon & Elinchrom user

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    Not needed, but I thought using them may help with filling of shadows etc.. maybe reflectors would be better since it's during the day?

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    Gday Andrew (Astroman), I actually just did a spur of the moment shoot with a mate who bought himself a new toy Rex. I was a bit unsure what & how I was going to setup but I just used 3 off camera flash's triggered wirelessly.

    If you want settings and or a diagram setup of how I shot this shot you can see it if you follow this link http://strobox.com/night/3042 which details the setup from memory and EXIF data. This is one of many shot that night that we personally were pretty stoked with the results.
    One suggestion that might appeal to you if you haven't considered it already.... if your setup allows this then Id try a few to see how you go. Simply adding a flash/speedlite inside the car so it sits snug in the centre console, flash head directed to suit your liking and proposed outcome, as well as using coloured Gels or even good old Cellophane over flash head for different effects. Results can be pretty sweet. Looking forward to seeing how you go if you could post a sample from the shoot.


    Regards - Bing

    WRX-1.jpg

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    Member PhotoBing's Avatar
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    P.s Actually having just posted my two cents worth and only then seeing Brodie's input.... Id definitely take onboard some if not all of his advice & tips.

    Having been a fan of his creative clever skills and following his work for some time now In my opinion his photography is some of the most appealing thats coming out of Perth & west oz for a while now.

    Whether its hot cars, hot models or hot models on hot cars.... just damn wicked, keep the eye candy coming BB cheers mate lol

    - Bing

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    My advice is to have a look at light painting a car at night/afternoon with a longer exposure and mutliple flashes from a single flash unit. Some very funky stuff been done that way.
    Greg Bartle,
    I have a Pentax and I'm not afraid to use it.
    Pentax K5
    Sigma 10-20 | Tamron 17-50 F:2.8 | Sigma 50 F:1.4 | Sigma 70-200 F:2.8 Plus a bunch of Ye Olde lenses


    Would you like to see more?
    http://flickr.com/photosbygreg

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    Member James T's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, shooting cars is all about big light sources. Something that's fairly difficult to achieve with speedlites.

    As you're not very experienced with this kind of shoot, I'd suggest the easiest way to go for decent results is to pick a nice overcast day and shoot in natural light. It's hard to find a bigger softbox than a cloudy sky, and keeping the lighting simple will allow you to concentrate on other aspects of the shoot without getting caught up fiddling with flashes, modifiers and triggers, etc.

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