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How to light cars

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Old 11-04-2011, 06:34 AM
spinq spinq is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Poland, Katowice
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How to light cars

I've seen several really good car photos both here and e.g. flickr and I keep wondering, how to light my photos so I can achive similar results. I'm simply to embarrast do show any of my work, but the lighting I'm looking for resembles something like that of Blair Bunting. If any one here could give me any generic tips as to how to distribute light sources to achive similar efect I would be extremly greatful.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:24 PM
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Vernon Vernon is offline
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Savannah, Texas
Posts: 185
Re: How to light cars

Hi, spinq.

First piece of advise I can offer is, throw out the "I'm too embarrassed to show.." and instead trust that you will be given honest well-meaning commentary on your piece(s).

If you have samples of existing work by others that illustrate what you are attempting to achieve include them; this will go a long way to getting meaningful advice and suggestions on how or what to do when framing/lighting your shot to achieve something similar if not exactly the same results.

You may go as far as listing the steps you have taken when capturing the shot with which you are not happy - this, too, will help in identifying what you might need to do or omit from your approach.

As to Blair Bunting, she appears to employ more than one technique - from HDR-esque effects, to high-contrast, to yet curve adjustments (I am only giving a passing assessment, here). Without specific examples of the lighting or look it will be challenging to home in on the look/style you are after.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:40 PM
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Tony W Tony W is online now
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Re: How to light cars

Plenty of different ways you could try even with limited resources:
Combining different single exposures with layer masking (not HDR)
Painting with light either multiple flash or tungsten - or even combined
You may find this video interesting Photographing Cars

As Vernon said don't be shy about posting your images I am sure you will get positive suggestions on how you may improve
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:32 PM
mcdronkz mcdronkz is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 37
Re: How to light cars

The best tip I could give: keep it simple.

Go for a simple but strong composition. Use natural lighting. Go for a simple color scheme that suits the car.

Starting with five Speedlights (which are useless for automotive photography anyway) on a crowded street is probably going to give less than satisfactory results.

Automotive photography is very hard, you can use various methods to produce stunning photos, but don't make it harder for yourself than it should be.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:42 PM
KyleBartReid KyleBartReid is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1
Re: How to light cars

As with lighting any reflective surface, it's more about creating a catchlight to reflect off the surface to reveal shape than it is putting light right onto the subject to create a modeled look like you would with a face. cars require huge sources to reflect and reveal their shape.
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