Shooting Detail Shots of an Aston Martin Vantage
Last week when I posted my detail shots of exotic cars from the duPont Registery’s in-house collection, a buddy of mine Karl-Franz Marquez dropped me a line about it, and included some shots he had taken of his own car, a beautiful Aston Martin Vantage that he also shot “Tim Wallace” style (after watching some of Tim’s online classes at KelbyTraining.com).
He had some taken some beautiful shots, and I was totally digging on his car, and Karl-Franz offered to drive over for the day (around 150 miles each way) to let me shoot this British made Aston Martin, and so yesterday we did an afternoon shoot, indoors at our headquarters inside our video studios.
Above: Here’s the behind-the-scenes shot of the image at the top of the page. That’s Karl-Franz holding a second flash to light the grill in the front of the bar (it’s half the size and power of the large soft box lighting the wheel and edge of the hood above). So, it’s two strobes total powered by the Elinchrom Quadra Ranger powerpack hanging from the light stand in front of me. Camera settings: ISO 100, Aperture f/22, Shutter Speed 1/200 of a second. Full power on the strobe.
NOTE: The screen screen area behind the car is just there by coincidence — we rolled the car into that part of our video studio so we’d have room to shoot it — it had nothing to do with our photo shoot (other than spilling green on the other side of the car so we could only shoot on one side).
Above: here’s a detail shot of the engine. I went back and watched Tim’s class and he had a segment on shooting engines so I just followed his instruction to get this shot.
Above: here’s the behind-the-scenes shot of the engine shot you just saw. Just one light with a long strip-bank positioned opposite me. I’m shooting with a Macro zoom lens.
Above: After watching Tim’s videos on shooting car details, there was something I missed the right time around, and it’s that he angles the wheels about 20° and it definitely does make a difference.
Above: here’s the behind-the-scenes of the wheel shot. Not particularly glamorous — a lot of laying on the floor or shooting on your knees (fun on concrete). Just one light for this one. Same settings — shooting at f/22 (or up to f/32 in some cases) makes the light fall of fast to black.
Here’s a few more shots from the day.
Above: Those three above are just using that one soft box with the long stripbank. All the settings are pretty much the same — f/22 to f/32 so the edges fall off quickly to solid black. I tried to fix a few mistakes I made during the duPont shoot. Luckily, Tim gave me some tips after I sent him some I was struggling with. Mostly, I think I wasn’t getting the softbox in close enough, and I wasn’t powering it high enough, and of course both of Tim’s comments were super helpful.
Above: I don’t actually like this shot — it didn’t come out quite like I had hoped (I like my rear shot of the Ferrari last week much better lightning wise), but I’m showing it because I did pick up a great tip from Karl-Franz — and that is — he has a black license plate that he uses when shooting cars (seen here). It’s actually the flip-side of the dealer’s license plate that came with the car — how handy is that! :-)
Anyway, I liked the idea so much I ordered a blank, black custom license plate last night from Speedysigns.com (it was probably not the cheapest way of coming up with an all black license plate, but I was short on time). Anyway, hats off to Karl-Franz for the idea.
Above: Here’s our crew: that’s Karl-Franz’s
girlfriend wife Honey (her real given name); me in the center, and Karl-Franz (fake German guy who owns amazing sports cars and yet is a friend of Vanelli) on the right.
Above: Seeing as we’re: (a) Shooting a car made in the UK, and (b) using techniques we learned from UK-based commercial automative photographer Tim Wallace, I thought I’d (c) wear my Marshall Amplification Union Jack shirt (legendary guitar amps made in the UK) to create a British “triple threat.”
A big thinks to Karl-Franz for driving all the way over to our offices to let me shoot one of his cool cars; to Honey for being incredibly patient during the three-hour shoot; to Brad Moore for all his help and suggestions, and of course to the amazing Tim Wallace for helping Me, Karl-Franz, and thousands of other photographers by sharing his awesome automative lighting and shooting techniques.
P.S. Good news — Tim will be back here in the States filming more classes for Kelby Training very soon (I haven’t seen the full slate of what he’s teaching, but I know I’ll be begging him to do one on lighting car interiors). :)