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Car Photography Techniques With Famous TV Show Vehicles

We all know the intro music and the tv stars behind classic shows, but most of all, we know the cars. The A-team and Knight Rider have two of the most famous cars in television history. Mr. T and his team had their GMC van, loaded with guns and ammunition, and Michael Knight had the high-tech intelligent Trans Am. In this video, photographer Douglas Sonders has the chance to photograph both of these iconic vehicles:

Sonders, armed with his Phase One digital camera, has incorporated several creative techniques to arrive at his final images. Here are a few of the things he does to make his images pop:

  • Strobes – Even though Sonders is shooting in the daylight, he uses strobes to gain a reflection on the lower half of the vehicles to show the detail and angles of the car.
  • HDR – Since both of the cars are black and the sky is very bright, Sonders has used HDR imaging to bring out the detail in both the sky and the darker parts of the vehicles.
  • Truck as Background – The 18-wheeler in the background of his shots are used for two reasons. The first thing it does is create a shadow over the car so that it’s not in direct sunlight. The second is that it adds a nice background to  the industrial style that Sonders wants to achieve.
  • Low Angle – This simple movement from standing up to laying on the ground greatly improves on the dynamic aspect of the image and makes the van look more intimidating.

Even during the day, Sonders uses strobes to help illuminate details on the cars

HDR imaging allows for detail to show in the car as well as the sky and makes the image pop

“I travel with my equipment over 100,000 miles a year on average…I like the feel of my gear. I’ve developed relationships with it. We’ve been through everything together…It’s like having a car your whole life. You’ll know the personality behind every piece of equipment, so that’s why I choose to have mine versus renting locally if I can get away with it.”

[via PictureCorrect Photography Tips]

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