The Dream Within Pictures
Follow TheDreamWithinPictures on Twitter

Muscle Car Photography Lighting Techniques

If you’ve ever tried to photograph a shiny object, you know how reflections can throw a wrench into your shoot. Likewise, if you’ve ever shot anything larger than a small group of people, you’re probably familiar with the challenges of illuminating wide, often multi-faceted areas. If you combine these two situations, you might start to get an idea of the challenges behind lighting  and photographing an automobile. In this video, photographer Tim Wallace explains in great detail how to “shape” light around a vehicle – specifically, a high-end muscle car:

Because the surfaces most cars are polished to a high gloss, it’s important to pay close attention to where the lights are showing in the finish. You should use clean, simple lighting accessories (soft boxes and strip lights) that can blend nicely and create attractive reflections, as opposed to barn doors, grids, or snoots which will create odd, awkward shapes.

Carefully position your lights where their reflection will be minimized. In order to set this up effectively, you must compose your frame before setting up the strobes; leave it stationary on a tripod, and reference your lighting through the viewfinder (or live view). Because of the nature of reflections, they will look very different depending on what angle you view them from, so keep that angle invariable.

Be patient and experiment with an ideal placement of your lights that obscures the shapes of the sources, while also lighting the vehicle broadly, evenly, and with attention to the fine detailing that gives the car its unique personality. Most sedans or coupes will require three or four different lights to cover it; trucks and vans may require five or more.

Strip lights are your friend (He uses a couple of Profoto 1′x6′) for these types of shoots – they cover a wide (or tall) area, while concentrating the flash and not spilling rays in every direction (they will light the car’s length, rather than the floor below it).

Once you get those principles down, automobile photography is just like any other product, except on a much larger scale. Ask yourself what it is about this vehicle that makes it more special than any other, and emphasize that strength with your lighting, composition, and choice of setting.

[via PictureCorrect Photography Tips]

Visitors: 257

Comments are closed.

comments-bottom

Featured Photos

A Rose… Posted by author icon The Dream Within Jan 16th, 2012 | no responses
Eclipse Posted by author icon The Dream Within Dec 9th, 2011 | no responses
”In a strange land” Exhibi... Posted by author icon Jean-Luc Dushime Sep 24th, 2011 | no responses

Random Photos

Lovers #1 Posted by author icon The Dream Within Mar 21st, 2011 | no responses
Romantic Rose #1 Posted by author icon The Dream Within Dec 25th, 2012 | Comments Off on Romantic Rose #1
Psychedelic Lights #1 Posted by author icon The Dream Within Mar 21st, 2011 | no responses
A Rose… Posted by author icon The Dream Within Jan 16th, 2012 | no responses
Abstract Posted by author icon The Dream Within Mar 21st, 2011 | no responses
Sparkles Posted by author icon The Dream Within Mar 21st, 2011 | no responses
Shutters 1 Posted by author icon The Dream Within Mar 24th, 2011 | no responses
Sparkle Posted by author icon The Dream Within Dec 25th, 2012 | Comments Off on Sparkle
Walt Disney Concert Hall #... Posted by author icon The Dream Within Dec 25th, 2012 | Comments Off on Walt Disney Concert Hall #3
String Of Lights Posted by author icon The Dream Within Mar 21st, 2011 | no responses

Top Rated

Lovers #2 Posted by author icon The Dream Within
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, avg: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...
A Rose… Posted by author icon The Dream Within
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, avg: 4.00 out of 5)
Loading...
Lovers #1 Posted by author icon The Dream Within
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, avg: 3.00 out of 5)
Loading...