Monthly Archives January 2009

Tim works professionally as a commercial photographer in the UK and specialises in automotive photography, shooting cars from Aston Martins and classics to the modern family car. Cars are something that we see everyday in our lives, and we have all swooned over the images in the glossy car brochures, but what makes a great automotive image?

“For me it’s all about creating a desire and passion for the car. In many ways cars have their own personalities, so I approach a shoot almost like I’m taking an automotive portrait that captures the personality underneath the metal and chrome. With many of the older Classics such as the DB5 it’s all about the lines of the car, sheer beauty and elegance, whereas with the more modern sporty cars it’s often tied into power and design.


Setting the Stage
Whether you’re shooting a Fiat 500 or an Aston Vanquish, the first element is to set the scene that you’ll be placing the car into, very much the same way as you do for a portrait with a person. This helps set the mood, and really your options are only limited by your own imagination. The image of the Aston DB6 with the Steam Trains ‘Escape to the Border’ was based around my idea of doing a 60’s style scene that had an air of action and intrigue.


The lighting was from Elinchrom’s ‘Ranger’ portable flash system that I use on many of my car shoots as it allows me to direct light in a carefully controlled fashion, and helps create the image I’m looking for ‘in camera’. A lot of the time I try to light the subject gradually, increasing the lighting as I find many people when lighting tend to over light and often this can kill the atmosphere of a shot. I like a shot to almost look as if it has not been lit at all. Another huge problem when shooting cars is… (more…)


Howdy folks—It’s Tuesday—let’s do some news:

  • Good news: we tracked down the culprit that was holding back many of your comments (it was a preference setting—basically a checkbox—that was turned on by default when we switched to the newest version of Word Press) and things should be back to normal now. Again, sorry for the delay, but hopefully it’s behind us now. We also tweaked a few things on the blog (thanks to feedback from you guys) like adding a Comments link at the bottom of the post, and adding access to more of the earlier archives (among other things). Thanks to Fred, Mike, Tommy and the gang for continually working to make this blog better and easier to use for everybody.
  • My Wifey totally hooked me up—-when I got home from work last night, she handed me a belated Christmas gift—Nikon’s new 50mm f/1.4 lens (shown above–photo courtesy of Nikon). It’s a pricey lens for a 50mm, so I’m glad she bought it for me, because I’m not sure I would have shelled out the dough for it myself (aren’t those the best kind of gifts to get?). Anyway, I’ll give it a mini-review first chance I get to try it out.
  • One thing I realized during the comment moderation debacle, is that people are continually posting comments to a post I did last year about getting your advice for how to get people to read the introductions to my books (by the way—if you’ve seen any of my recent books, you’ll see I took your advice). Anyway, it’s my most popular post, and I think people see its name “I need your advice” and then they think, “Oh, Scott gives advice.” So I’ve been getting loads of people posting questions there like, “What camera should I buy?” and “Should I upgrade my version of Photoshop” and “Do I need Lightroom?” and about a hundred other questions. Unfortunately, as much as I’d like to; I just can’t answer all those questions, or I wouldn’t get any work done, or blog posts, or have a family life, etc. To make matters worse; I feel bad about it. I get an email every time somebody posts a comment—even if it’s to a post that’s a year old. So, I had the Web team close comments on that and a few other older posts that people are using as a place to post Photoshop and photography questions, but the guilt was really building up that I couldn’t answer these folks questions. So, thanks for understanding. Now back to the news.
  • Dave Cross features Ben Willmore in his popular “Finish the Sentence” feature, over at Dave Cross online, and if you’ve got 60-seconds, jump over and check it out right here.
  • A quick thanks and shout-out to the Canon Blogger, for naming my blog one of their “Best 8 of 2008.” Here’s the link to their list.

It’s really late (or early, depending on how you look at it), and I’m beat, so I’m hitting the sack. Hope you all have a great day today, and we’ll see you tomorrow for the first Guest Blog of 2009! See ya then.

……one of my all time favorite automotive photographers, UK-based commercial photographer Tim Wallace.

You’ve heard me talk about Tim’s work here on the blog (Tim’s even allowed me to post a few of his images here), and after seeing Tim’s work once again on Elinchrom’s web site, I dropped Tim a note and invited him to do a guest blog here where he could share his techniques for lighting and shooting fine automobiles. Make sure you check back tomorrow to catch Tim’s post—the first Guest Blog of 2009!

The button with an emblem of an antispam on the keyboard.

This past weekend I uncovered a problem with how your comments to specific posts are being handled. I don’t moderate your comments before they are posted (your comments should appear as soon as your write them), however we do have a very necessary spam filter that keeps tons of spam comments from being posted (and yes there are actually thousands caught by that filter each month!).

Anyway, for some reason it has been taking a lot of your legitimate comments and flagging them as spam, and this weekend I was shocked to find that literally hundreds of your comments were “Awaiting Moderation.” Of course, I immediately went and released them all, and we’re working on a fix, but in the meantime I wanted to apologize for your comments being delayed. Your comments are very important to me (I read each and every one), and to the community we’ve built here, so thanks for your patience as we get this worked out.

Until we do have this worked out, I’ll be checking the list numerous times each day to make sure your comments do get posted.

All my best,


kenya2006_072_copy2Hi gang. I got the official update yesterday from Molly and Joseph Bail on how the fund raising has been going to finish the roof and complete the orphanage in Kenya.

They needed just over $49,000 total  to get the orphanage finished, furnished, and up and running, and I am absolutely thrilled to report that they now, thanks in part to your efforts, have over $64,000 and tomorrow Molly, Joseph and their son Elijah (pictured here) are flying back to Kenya for an entire year to feed, clothe, and care for these children.

I heard again and again how check and Paypal donations have been coming in (still averaging at least three a day from readers of this blog), and I am so touched and thankful to have such wonderful, caring and compassionate readers. There are even readers who have pledged monthly donations to help feed and clothe these children (if you’re so moved, here’s the link).

Gang, this was a BIG win! You did something really special—something really important in the big picture, and I can’t thank you all enough for your generosity and support for getting this project back on track!

I’ll be sure to post photos when the roof is finished, and from the opening day (which won’t be too far away now!) Please keep Molly, Joseph, and their son Elijah, in your prayers going forward, and thanks again for making a difference in the life of a child.   — Scott

P.S. I’ve received some emails from readers who have just gotten their first copies of my CS4 Book for Digital Photographers. As soon as the Spiral-bound editions hit our warehouse, I’ll sign them and get them right out to you all!


Corey Barker, over at just launched a very cool Photoshop contest, and the winner gets (among other prizes) a full conference pass to Photoshop World this March in Boston. Here’s how Corey describes the contest:

“The way it works is you are presented with three tutorials that have been selected from the vast library of tutorials here on Planet Photoshop. After watching the tutorials your assignment is to use the techniques you learn from one or all of them to create an original piece of artwork. Feel free to be as creative as you want. Just think of these tutorials as a springboard as you proceed to create your original art.” –Corey

The deadline is just two weeks away, so for for details (and how to submit your work), click here. Good luck! :)