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Want Pointers Mazda 3

Snips

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This is a blend of around ten photographs, the camera being sat on a tripod and a flash gun being aimed and triggering another shot. A new technique I'm learning. The white balance was set to 10k Kelvin and a blue gel applied to the flash gun mainly so the grey of the wheels wasn't too orange.

20200206-6988.jpg

I am, rarely, asking for pointers and want to know what I should be trying out the next time. I appreciate the background is not good, nor are the marks below the car but I am seeking thoughts on the actual lighting and what I should be aiming for.

I don't particularly like that splodge/reflection on the front bumper but is the rest working or should the lighting be more even throughout the whole car? Should there be more shadow underneath? The reason I'm asking for tips is I'll have another go or two practising with the car outside the front door then I'll go to find a better location/setting.

One thing I have found is this sort of photography is much more difficult than it looks. It is very simple to point a flash gun at a subject and add another photograph but to make it look good is not so simple.
 

Ozzie_Traveller

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G'day mate

Full marks for trying something new and 'outside your comfort zone' ~ I presume that you are walking around the subject while pressing the 'test button' on the flashgun during a long exposure setting

Just some qwik thoughts... maybe
a hanky over the flash head to diffuse it a bit?
wet/hose down the tarmac beforehand to blacken the undercarriage area?

hope this helps
Phil
 

wraggtime

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For first attempt Edward it’s ok but you are asking a lot from a single flash gun, you can’t see how far the flash will go and adjusting the flash power when shooting cars is a minefield because of the reflective nature of the body work. If you must use this technique then don’t try to light the whole car with flash leave enough shadow on parts of the car for contrast.
Try doing close ups of interesting parts of the car to understand how the light fall off works using a flashgun or even try light painting.

87A13695-98FD-4604-9EFB-C1EE8A1F87A9.jpeg
 

Snips

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G'day mate

Full marks for trying something new and 'outside your comfort zone' ~ I presume that you are walking around the subject while pressing the 'test button' on the flashgun during a long exposure setting

Just some qwik thoughts... maybe
a hanky over the flash head to diffuse it a bit?
wet/hose down the tarmac beforehand to blacken the undercarriage area?

hope this helps
Phil
For first attempt Edward it’s ok but you are asking a lot from a single flash gun, you can’t see how far the flash will go and adjusting the flash power when shooting cars is a minefield because of the reflective nature of the body work. If you must use this technique then don’t try to light the whole car with flash leave enough shadow on parts of the car for contrast.
Try doing close ups of interesting parts of the car to understand how the light fall off works using a flashgun or even try light painting.

View attachment 310321
Ah, brilliant! Thank you both and some great encouragement and advice there. Must admit Dave I had you in mind when I started these and wanted to go for the whole body to begin with but your example is food for a great project. Your X-Type(?) silhouette photograph from some (long) time ago is what I'm hoping to achieve in due course :)

And, wet tarmac. Phil, what a straightforward, simple and effective idea! Thank you.

The "blend" was a series of 1/160 sec light painting shots and then using layers and masks in Photoshop to pick and choose from what I liked from each image.
 

wraggtime

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The "blend" was a series of 1/160 sec light painting shots and then using layers and masks in Photoshop to pick and choose from what I liked from each image.
When it comes to settings I expect you are using a wide aperture, I know it’s counterintuitive but use f16 and adjust the flash power to suit, you will find the camera only records the flash light and not the ambient light giving you a black background and a more even light fall off.
If you have a soft box it will help spread a softer light but it’s hard to get right, the light never falls where you expect it and you have to get close causing reflections.
The e-type was shot in the studio using 2 studio lights bounced off the ceiling for a rim light so light painting might be another way to achieve this effect.
Good luck mate have fun and try not to pull your hair out, lighting cars is a nightmare.

4032D18D-D0C4-4F26-9A85-68C69ADA3C79.jpeg
572DABD2-703F-4D7B-9570-3860F99A84F4.jpeg
Shot with a softbox
 

breeliz

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I was going to suggest altering the flash settings and camera settings to black out the background as others have done in the thread. I think it's a cool picture now.
 

rebel06

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I have never done this sort of thing Edward, but would a polarizer help do you think?
 

Snips

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Thank you for the feedback. I will bear this in mind for the next time, hopefully soon :)
 

hooferinsane

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Interesting thread Edward. Not an easy thing to photograph at all. Can't give any real pointers, just to say we have a classic car rally every year a mile from where I live, and the best images always are close ups, due to the reflections one gets even on an overcast day.
 

Southern Gent

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Kudos on trying something new. I've tried a couple and you're right, it's not easy. For me it was like trying to photograph a mirror without any reflections. I watched a video not long ago where he used two different methods. The first was in an open area using large soft boxes on an arm with assistants holding and moving. All told he probably had 30 or 40 shots to use for a composite. The second method used only one small softbox, with the car parked under the awning of a closed service station. He was able to utilize the white underside of awning for very soft light. Still he had a lot of shots to use for the composite when done.
 

Snips

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Forgot to try out the polariser ... have to wait until after Storm Dennis now :D

Anyway, here's the rear light cluster of the same car - as mentioned above, the reflections are not easy to deal with!
20200214-7093.jpg
 

Southern Gent

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I'm not sure that a CPL on camera filter alone will help much with flash, as the maximum effect is only achieved when the light is 90 degrees to camera axis. However, you might try cross polarized lighting, where a linear polarizer filter goes on your flash, and a CPL on camera.
 

wraggtime

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Much better Edward, you missed a trick by not turning the light on for a bit more interest and try to take another shot slightly differently so you can clone out the hot spots/reflection from the light. I like the light added light on the badge, nice and soft with no high lights.
 

Snips

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Much better Edward, you missed a trick by not turning the light on for a bit more interest
:swoon:
Now you say it, that is so obvious!! Thank you for the comment and in hindsight I should have taken a few more. I'm not giving up at all but do admit, It's quite a challenge! I took a couple of other sets and they're not anywhere near as good as this one I achieved here.

I will try again ... :D
 
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