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Dieselstation Car Forums > Multimedia > Photography > Technique & Tutorials
daniele fontanin
Guys, here I am.
I want to upgrade my photography.
I was analyzing my pics: forget angles and so on: I was watching them technically: lights, shadows, deepness (on the surface of cars).

I understand that I have some problems with this aspect (I repeat: I'm not thinking about pics as a beautiful pic or a bad pic, but as a correct pic or an uncorrect pic in lights and deepness). I think....mmm...I'm 99% sure that my bigger mistake is the uncorrect use of external lights.
I can't understand if I have to reduce the power of lights or if I have to change their direction: I usually point them on the car. It means that I'm going to lose curves, shadows (in 1 word deepness) on the surface of the car.

I would like to learn how to use lights in a correct way or, differently, what do you think about this kind of "problem".

I really would like to improve my photography so I will be so happy to recive some indications by you all guys!

Thank you in advance!

PS: I will post some pics soon to make you understand what I would like to say...images are better than words!
Nike SB'd
Ah yes Dan, you're learning!

There is a fine balance between shadows and highlights that describe a great image and they are both equally important. Trouble is you can't sell someone shadows so all they think about (at first) is light. But what's equally important as where the light is, is where it isn't.

Honestly there is no perfect scenario that works 100% of the time and you'll have to work out what's best on your own, but here are a few tips.

- Usually the best lighting setup is the most simple one.
- Don't surround the car on three sides like you see in every "post your lighting setup" threads, this is a sure-fire way to kill shadows.
- Determine the motivation of your lights (motivation is a fancy term for direction) (i.e. light is going from the left of frame to the right of frame) and stick with it. Try not to add too much cross-lighting unless it's absolutely necessary or you need to fill certain areas.
- Experiment with different heights on your lightstands, sometimes two feet of elevation makes a huge difference (if you're shooting speedlites you're going to be pretty limited to how far you can go up before the flashes stop "doing" anything)
Ive always admired Seans way of bringing out shadows in cars. I used to, before i shot people just shoot the flashes at the car. On my last car shoot i decided to take what i have learnt in ppl and take that into car shoots. Seans basically answered it really well. Its all about heights of the lights. Think about when lights hit your car naturally its always from a source above. Theres never a huge sun at the same level as your door is there. Or any other light. So i played around with this notion and paying attention to Seans older pics and placed all my lights higher than usual and experimented also. I feel i got decent results and nice shadows.

Im going to take that into my next shoot of my car and see what i come up with.
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