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brasher
Hi DS'ers,

I have a shoot this weekend with a Black Superleggara (with Aftermarket rims lol)

Doing some location scouting, I am finding it hard to find a place that suits the vehicle, the lambo is raw, angular and aggressive so a background to match is suitably difficult to find. I am resorting the the Keep it simple notion that a simple background with repeating patterns might be the go as not to distract from the car too much.

That brings me to my next dillema, how to make the car stand out!

The shoot will be at night and lit with a fluoro ballast, the background I have found is rather dark and moody. My biggest fear is losing the car into the background and the shoot not been what it could of been.

I have thought of rim lighting the car, and also a High Key look but the location would need to be light and open in the first place would it not?

If anyone has any inspiring dark cars and dark background images available that I can disect in my head that would be great, as well as any other sort of wisdom.

Cheers.
john jovic
Hi CHris.

I think you're asking for trouble trying to shoot it against a dark background but it ceratinly could look fantastic too if you're happy to put in the PS time. If you want to rim light them as well then chances are you'll have the light in the shot and then of course you'll have to PS it all together. You know the drill anyway. I tend to just lightpaint cars just from the front and side (ie, no Photoshop needed at all) so I need the background to work for me, not against me.

I've found that most times, depending of course on the location itself, the background lighting has done a fine job of rim lighting or separating the car from the background. I would prefer a background that was essentially lighter than the car to ensure that the car stood out.

The biggest tip I can give you is to probably test the location and see if it will do what you want. It might seem like a bit of trouble but it's probably worth it, at least in my experience it certainly has been.

JJ
brasher
Thanks John,

Since posting the first message I have found a much better background, it's inherently much lighter and very technical/modern so hopefully works well.

The spot has fluoro's iteself, and the light is relatively white and colour cast free so I will use that light to rim the car a bit as you suggested.

It will also work well with the rigs, as you know rolling underneath fluoro's give fantastic striplighting.

Looking forward to the shoot but very nervous at the same time, not too often exotica like this come up.
Blue Devil
sounds like you got a pretty good idea of what you are gonna do... it helps to have a plan but don't get caught up in it. Roll with it... you might not get exactly what you had in mind but it does help.


I have not done any car photography for a while.. but i did this a while back.. black car at night:




hopefully those serve as a bit of what do to.. what not to do for you.

Seethegrim
Blue Devil has much better samples of what you can do with a black car at night.

Here's a couple more. Same principle, just different. I like to go for pure highlights & not worry about details in the black... its also the easiest & cheap-ass way of doing it. tongue.gif

Looking back at these (all shot over a year ago) I think they pretty shitty & would shoot a black car at night totally differently these days. But hey, you asked for samples, this is what I got...







brasher
Thanks guys appreciate the responses. Both of those shoots I definately remember and were both well executed, If I get something as good as those I'll be very happy.

I think I shoot best when I have an idea in my mind of what the image will look like as the end product instilled into my head, that way I can break it down into what needs to be done and not have to worry about the "what if" factor.

But then again, some of my best work has been just from "going with the flow" and seeing what happens smile.gif

The lighting you got on the Audi Seagram is exactly like i'm after, small sharp highlights that accentuate the shape of the car, I think with the Lambo it will further emphasise the aggressive shape.

I've never done High Key, so this will be a first for me. Will see how it turns out.

Once again, thanks for all the advice/images, was a great help.

Chris.
OzCarSightings
Hey Chris, good luck with it - always a special moment to shoot a Lambo, such dramatic cars!

LP570-4 or the original Superleggera?
brasher
I'm actually not sure, I know it's a Superleggera but thats about it.
Seethegrim
If you're wanting small strip lights, then keep your light source small.
If you're using a torch/softbox/whatever, modify it with a gobo so you end up with a small light source (if it isn't already).
brasher
I use this mate, powered by a 2 stroke Generator.

The barn doors mean I can focus the light really narrow, or shut off half the ballast for half power/narrower beam.

http://www.coollights.biz/cl455p-cool-ligh...light-p-67.html



Thanks for the tip smile.gif
Seethegrim
^^ damn thats a lot of light wattage you got on that thing! Probably more than you'll ever need.

Shooting at f11 or f12, 30sec exposure, I find my 30W flouro too bright sometimes! You got 220W going there! For model photography however, that puppy must be awesome! Looks better built than the kinoflos.
brasher
yeah it's crazy power! and the light is perfectly nuetral. I love it.

Mr.D
Sometimes its better to shoot long exposures with f16 and up, because the sharpness will create to much aliasing on higher aperture.
Blue Devil
QUOTE(brasher @ Jun 4 2010, 05:59 AM) *
I use this mate, powered by a 2 stroke Generator.

The barn doors mean I can focus the light really narrow, or shut off half the ballast for half power/narrower beam.

http://www.coollights.biz/cl455p-cool-ligh...light-p-67.html



Thanks for the tip smile.gif



how heavy is that bad boy? smile.gif firedevil.gif
Blue Devil
QUOTE(brasher @ Jun 3 2010, 11:03 PM) *
The lighting you got on the Audi Seagram is exactly like i'm after, small sharp highlights that accentuate the shape of the car, I think with the Lambo it will further emphasise the aggressive shape.




wink.gif

Seagram already answered how to get it done. smile.gif




brasher
owner of the cars wife gave birth during the planned day of the shoot, so postponed to this Weekend.

I'm excited but nervous at the same time, has all the ingredients to be an amazing shoot I just have to execute it.
Seethegrim
QUOTE(brasher @ Jun 9 2010, 06:20 AM) *
owner of the cars wife gave birth during the planned day of the shoot, so postponed to this Weekend.

I'm excited but nervous at the same time, has all the ingredients to be an amazing shoot I just have to execute it.


If you've put in the prep time, you can only be successful. There is no other outcome.
brasher
All done now, Shoot went really well. It's not often i'm happy with everything on a shoot so it was a rare instance. smile.gif

Took plenty of the advice on here on board, went with a "medium key" look if you know what I mean, some parts blown out and kept the lows/shadows in the interesting parts of the image with some exposure blending and lightpainting.
OzCarSightings
Good stuff. When can we expect to see the pics online?
RaymondN
Can't wait to see the pics! I'm super behind on this but I'd like to finally try some light painting myself one of these days...
brasher
Im in no rush as this was a personal peice I've been planning for months, so perhaps within 2-3 weeks depending on my workload with other shoots.

Processing images is much more enjoyable when you like the photos though smile.gif
Seethegrim
QUOTE(brasher @ Jun 15 2010, 12:41 AM) *
Processing images is much more enjoyable when you like the photos though smile.gif


+1

Take your time then. And be sure to give back to this thread on thoughts/do/don'ts you learnt.
brasher
Here's just one of what I came up with, needless to say pretty happy.

Seethegrim
Looking pretty slick! Maybe its just my screen thats a tad too bright, but the blacks have a lot of 'dirty' reflections from the ground. Did you leave it in on purpose for shaping?
Bots' Revenge
Speaking of black cars at night, I'd like to share with you my approach - with a softbox 120x80cm (the BMW) and 200x140cm (the Cayenne):






I can't say that I'm very pleased with the way I managed to light the Cayenne.
brasher
QUOTE(Seethegrim @ Jun 21 2010, 06:08 PM) *
Looking pretty slick! Maybe its just my screen thats a tad too bright, but the blacks have a lot of 'dirty' reflections from the ground. Did you leave it in on purpose for shaping?


Thanks mate, can't see it on this monitor I must say. I'll do some test prints before finalising the PSD's.

Dejan Sokolovski
Christ that looks amazing Brasher!!!

What did you use for lighting exacly? softbox with 2 flashes inside or continous lighting somehow?
I'm probably shooting a 458 italia very soon and I'm stressed that the shoot
will look like shit if I don't use some nice striplighting for the shoot... :/

I want to shoot it at night too, if I can... but it gets night here at midnight lol, not even totally dark then either...
damn Sweden. tongue.gif


Any help would be appriciated!
Bots' Revenge
QUOTE(Dejan Sokolovski @ Jun 21 2010, 06:06 PM) *
I want to shoot it at night too, if I can... but it gets night here at midnight lol, not even totally dark then either...
damn Sweden. tongue.gif


Any help would be appriciated!



That's exactly the reason why I don't bother myself trying light painting. I try achieving a similar result with my strobe and softbox. With enough power, there's no need for complete darkness.
It's up to me whether any of the background will be visible since when I blend all the flashed images into one, I have only the lit parts of the image visible.

On the images I've shown here, I've added the background from a separate exposure (at times HDR).
Blue Devil
^ I been thinking about doing something like that... HDR background (nicely done of course) with a well lighted car. I think it would work nicely. smile.gif
Bots' Revenge
I sure believe so smile.gif
Dejan Sokolovski
What am I doing so horribly wrong...?

2 x vivitar 285HV in each end of my home made softbox which is 100cm long and about 50cm wide.

30 seconds exposure time in almost dark, flashed several times at 1/4 power at both strobes.
It ends up looking like shit still... haha, I sure am the worst at dieselstation at this striplighting!



1 exposure here, but still, it looks really bad...

I probably need a continues light inside the softbox which also is very powerful, right?
These flashes doesn't really recharge fast either!
Dragos
yeahh right you post this and the next one will be mind blowing.....smart move!
brasher
Dejan, I am using constant fluoro lighting so it's totally different to using flash.

I think the softbox idea will work, but use a lightstand or something to keep the exact same height throughout the composite, then trim the edges later in post.
Konrad Janicki
Dejan - black clothes will also help you not get on the shot


I think the best way is to take several shots and combine them together in photoshop
- 1 exposed for the background
- 1 or more depends how much you need to light the car

when I was palying with Fluo i was taking several 15 sec shots
Dale.T
I really like the effect you get from that fluro light box. That Lambo shot is really nice. Did you use a stand for that Brasher or just hover next to the car? Here's one i did with a small softbox. Around 15 sec exposure, 580Ex in the softbox at 8th power. I'm pretty shit at it and this was my first one but i managed to get some nice patterns on the car. It was a good start. This is my car so i started experimenting. I used the lightbox reflections on each part i liked. Obviously getting a huge square box on the widescreen or bonnet is not cool and you need to walk really slow down the side to get a complete white strip holding it very steady.
Here's a little gif to see how i did it. Sorry if it annoys people or gives anyone an epileptic fit..It's grainy due to my photoshopping saved gif options.
#1 Gif

#2 Finished

Mr.D
QUOTE(brasher @ Jun 21 2010, 06:14 AM) *
Here's just one of what I came up with, needless to say pretty happy.

Cool, but you have some light leakage thats visible above the superleggera logo and middle of the tire. You probably need to make some sort of protection to use on and around the barn doors if you want to walk in front of the camera.
AmuseGT1
Never have tried the softbox/Flash technique with a black car, think i will give it a shot soon. So far I only use light painting for black cars. But i think i'm going to experiment with both light painting and flashes, i recently tried it and liked the results. This is the only time I have tried light painting on a black car, didn't come out good but it was a good learning experience.



I would tell the OP to try shooting strobes into a scrim, I was recently told that was a great way to capture form on a black car, but I've never tried it yet.
Blue Devil


this TEST image was a combination of light painting and flash.... i was trying to see how that combo would work.. i think it is fairly good with exception of the middle of the door... you can notice the difference where no flash hit the car...

Seethegrim
QUOTE(Blue Devil @ Jul 16 2010, 07:05 PM) *


this TEST image was a combination of light painting and flash.... i was trying to see how that combo would work.. i think it is fairly good with exception of the middle of the door... you can notice the difference where no flash hit the car...


I do this too. However it only really works with a color car. A black car still doesn't like the flash.
Blue Devil
yeah.. i know... Black is just black.. nothing to light up there. wink.gif
D4NM4C
Tried using some advice here, but failed miserably so ended up just using some bare strobes.. not bad for my first attempt IMO



I think thought if this was shot at (say) midnight, I wouldn't have some nat light giving some lines and structure to the car
Daz
I've been asked to do a shoot of a Black Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 and thought this might be the perfect time to try out this technique rather than using speedlights.

I'm thinking this will be suitable as it covers a large area and is 30W.

Flouro Inspection Lamp

Or would I be better with a smaller one?
Seethegrim
30W is PLENTY! At least at night.
Daz
QUOTE(Seethegrim @ Sep 6 2010, 01:45 PM) *
30W is PLENTY! At least at night.

That's good to hear as the others I've seen are alot smaller and are about 8W's so wont be as good.

Can easily run a smaller aperture if the 30W is too bright.

You think the size of the light tube is alright? I suppose I could make a cover to reduce it if I needed.
Mr.D
It all depends on how, where and when you want to shoot and with what equipment.
Personally i think the whole point in shooting night time are long exposures with +f16 so you dont get jagged lines.
And unless you shoot in a place that has zero background lighting and its pitch dark you need wattage...
You can do it with 30W if you find the right place, but personally i would go for 10x more.
Most of you guys live in places that dont have that much street lighting.
I have to drive at least 40 minutes to even find a location that has 0 background lighting if I want to shoot outdoors =)
Seethegrim
QUOTE(Mr.D @ Sep 6 2010, 11:22 PM) *
It all depends on how, where and when you want to shoot and with what equipment.
Personally i think the whole point in shooting night time are long exposures with +f16 so you dont get jagged lines.
And unless you shoot in a place that has zero background lighting and its pitch dark you need wattage...
You can do it with 30W if you find the right place, but personally i would go for 10x more.
Most of you guys live in places that dont have that much street lighting.
I have to drive at least 40 minutes to even find a location that has 0 background lighting if I want to shoot outdoors =)


True to all of that. I guess its like any piece of equipment. You get the version that does the job. Then you get the version that does the job & has allowance for more trying situations.
I've always only had a 30W light. And used it in the streets where there are overhead street lights even. Maybe you guys are used to shooting at f16+ because I've always gone with f8 - f16. So maybe my lower powered light has worked for me, but wouldn't for the next guy?
Daz
QUOTE(Mr.D @ Sep 6 2010, 10:22 PM) *
It all depends on how, where and when you want to shoot and with what equipment.
Personally i think the whole point in shooting night time are long exposures with +f16 so you dont get jagged lines.
And unless you shoot in a place that has zero background lighting and its pitch dark you need wattage...
You can do it with 30W if you find the right place, but personally i would go for 10x more.
Most of you guys live in places that dont have that much street lighting.
I have to drive at least 40 minutes to even find a location that has 0 background lighting if I want to shoot outdoors =)

Thats well put and I'm lucky that I can drive for about 5mins to get to somewhere with no lights so can work around the fact that its not the most powerful light.

I'm not rich so I can't afford to buy several different lights and try them out so if the 30W is ok then I'll go with it and maybe spend more on a better more powerful one in the future.

QUOTE(Seethegrim @ Sep 7 2010, 09:54 AM) *
True to all of that. I guess its like any piece of equipment. You get the version that does the job. Then you get the version that does the job & has allowance for more trying situations.
I've always only had a 30W light. And used it in the streets where there are overhead street lights even. Maybe you guys are used to shooting at f16+ because I've always gone with f8 - f16. So maybe my lower powered light has worked for me, but wouldn't for the next guy?

You got an example of an f8 shot under street lights with the light painting. That would be helpful smile.gif.
Seethegrim
QUOTE(Daz @ Sep 7 2010, 03:03 PM) *
You got an example of an f8 shot under street lights with the light painting. That would be helpful smile.gif.


Pretty much everything I've ever shot with light painting has been under street lights (I prefer it because I don't have to do such long exposures for the entire scene).

This is pretty much the only stuff I've done with light painting. I find it very limiting, so more often than not, resort to flash. Except if its a black car.





Daz
Cracking shots there.

So it's gonna be 30 well spent really. If it doesn't work that well then I've at least got a light to help with working on the car.

Thanks :thumbs:
pentaxis
That lambo shot is excellent! Can't wait to see the rest of the series.

Seagram: Nice stuff! On average, how many exposures are you blending for your final result?


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