Automotive Photography – In search of perfection

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in Latest Updates | No Comments
Automotive Photography – In search of perfection

So I’ve been doing automotive photography for a few years now. Each staged shoot building on the experience and techniques of what I take home from the previous. I was quite excited by this shoot having just acquired a new light that would without a doubt improve the final images tenfold. Initially it was just going to be one car, but upon arrival found we had not one but three delicious examples of motoring goodness. Without a doubt, I’m supremely happy with the results!

When it comes to shooting cars I want the viewer to feel something, and how that is achieved is for another discussion another day, but is achieving that perfection? This staged shoot I just recently completed will have taken me somewhere around 30+hrs of editing. That’s right, it took that long…

Why I hear you ask? Well there was a few factors. Firstly my aim for these photographs was for them to be able to be printed large. The larger the print, the more the imperfections will show up. If these shots were only ever going to appear on your mobile phone or at the resolution you see here on your desktop monitor, total edit time could have been around 5-10hrs.¬† Secondly – one of the cars was black – black cars show up imperfections like no tomorrow – reflections, stone chips, the moment the light falls on it, it’s there on your photo in plain light to be seen by your nicely enlarged prints. Thirdly, the extremely¬† time generous owner of the Black Mercedes Anthony Soole, wasn’t aware until I got there that we would be shooting his lovely AMG – in essence the car had some dirt and dust around sections that on a 1200×800 resolution image would be no problem what so ever. But with no time to wash it, it had to get the dirt removed in post.

To give an example, this image below of the Renault badge is zoomed in 200% of it’s actual size. You can see the before and after quite clearly. Now open the Renault Megane front view photo that this zoomed section is from. See if you think you could tell if these imperfections were not removed whether you’d notice them at it’s posted resolution 1200×800? (click for actual size to spot all the differences…)

Using Lightroom to show before and after changes

Using Lightroom to show before and after changes

And just for kicks, here you can see the stone chip and dust touch up work on the Mercedes AMG C63.

All the touched up stone chips and dust (click for detailed view)

All the touched up stone chips and dust (click for detailed view)

Finally, I’d like to personally thank Anthony Soole who provided not only 3 brilliant looking cars to photograph, but gave us 4hrs of his personal time on a cool winters night so that this shoot could happen. Anthony runs the Property Investment Store, so if you’re looking to invest in some property, he has a wealth of knowledge and experience…

Now when I refer to ‘us’ in this blog post, I’m referring to myself and the talented photographer/driver Paul Gooda from On the Limit Photography who’s assistance was invaluable on the night.

And as always – click for a larger view…