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Hi guys...tonight i was inspired by Kryptonkid, i told him to try some lightpainting after critiquing his photos and i felt guilty for not having any examples for him so i went into my garage and took some shots of the car using a tripod, a small brightwhite bag bulb ( its a little pinch light i use for finding stuff inside my camera bags if its dark where im shooting ) it creates a very white beam of concentrated light, i also used several flashes for different effects.

Keep in mind i did this in my garage so its a bit crude, if i had a full blown studio with black curtains and a cyc wall i could do some amazing stuff ( one of these days :) )

Anyway, here they are...this first shot of the engine is about a 20 second exposure, i cooled the color temperature to get a bluish / gunmetal grey look to the engine cover and started the exposure, i simply held the pinch light at an angle to give shadow detail to the cover and give it depth.



This next image of the wheel i wanted to have a "splash of light" effect come off the wheel as if it were moving through a time warp, as a side effect the color of the car was illuminated at the back of the wheel giving it a flame job look, this technique where you can see the streaks of light isnt for everyone, some people hate it, some love it... i like it just because no 2 pictures come out the same.



This third image of the front of the car was simple, i used two flashes underneath the car ( one on the underside and inside of the wheel well, each hooked to a wireless transciever, when i started the 30 second exposure i popped the flash with a third transmitter in my hand...then during the exposure i used my pinch light to illuminate the headlights and the edge of the hood and grill, i like this one as the front end has a menacing look... a GTI version of Christine :)



This last image is a very simple 4 flash interior shot...i set the exposure to 30 seconds on the tripod, set the power output properly on the flash and started the exposure, i popped the flash 4 times from different angles around both sides of the car to give it depth ... these last 3 shots were taken with a 10.5mm fisheye lens and the first image of the engine i used a 50mm i really like this last shot, it shows just how gorgeous the interior of our cars really are, if someone cant appreciate this interior, they are on drugs. hope you guys liked these shots :)

 

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Wow... your pictures just blew my mind... I have so much respect for you.


I have some questions. What are somethings I should invest in?

I have the standard lens that came with my camera and a 75-300mm lens. I just bought a tripod.. I love the lens you used on the last interior picture... I'll bet that costs a pretty penny. :( Probably as much as my intake if not more. :(
 

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The one of the front is so nice - looks like a shark coming at you. It should be your new avatar so I can see it regularly.

Inspiring stuff Toe!
 

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I love the second your second shot!!
I had to take a closer look at it, my first impression was that you had aftermarket wheels...That white pointer light gives a completely different color...not to mention that it looks like a 19 or 20 inch wheel

nice shots Toe, what kind of camera do you use, I personally use a Nikon D100 with a small collection of lenses ranging from 28mm to 500mm

cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #8
kryptonkid07 said:
Wow... your pictures just blew my mind... I have so much respect for you.

I have some questions. What are somethings I should invest in?

I have the standard lens that came with my camera and a 75-300mm lens. I just bought a tripod.. I love the lens you used on the last interior picture... I'll bet that costs a pretty penny. :( Probably as much as my intake if not more. :(
Thanks everyone for the nice comments, makes my day when i get glowing approval :) reassures me i made a good career choice.

Krypton - Invest in lighting, small speedlights are a great investment and when used with a tripod can be a very powerful tool, but in all honesty the shots i did like the engine and the tire were done only with a tripod ( which you already have ) and a simple white pinch light. Invest in yourself too...read read read read read read about photography techniques, if you really want to do better you have to invest the time in learning how to do these techniques properly.

The 10.5mm fisheye cost as much as an APR chip and an intake ;) I have a lens in my bag that cost 1/4 the price of my whole car ( almost 1/3rd ) professional photography isnt cheap, thats one reason why we can justify expensive rates for our services, expensive equipment and its also a highly skilled profession taking some years to master.

Matt - i use Nikon D2X bodies, lenses ranging from 10.5mm Fish to 400mm ( all 2.8 or faster ) lighting was from SB-800's and my white pinch light.

Thanks again for the comments everyone, if i do some more tonight of different parts of the car ill post em up.
 

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First time I've ever liked the look of the Fahrenheit Orange. I guess it truly is just how you look at it. Sweet pics O0
 

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Dude, those pics are awesome! You should do some with your FAST in there too. Maybe set back in the picture a little bit, in a shadow, as if he's watching over you... ::)
 

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WOW man...good job!! those are some bad ass shots. do you have any tips for those of us who don't have (or ever will have) all that fancy stuff? Like good angles, simple techniques that you can use with a regular 600 dollar canon digicam? lol. Again, great shots and nice car!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
CharlieGTI07 said:
WOW man...good job!! those are some bad ass shots. do you have any tips for those of us who don't have (or ever will have) all that fancy stuff? Like good angles, simple techniques that you can use with a regular 600 dollar canon digicam? lol. Again, great shots and nice car!
Thanks for the compliments - Does your canon digicam have only a built in flash? does it have manual exposure control? if it has manual exposure, you can do these same shots with only a tripod, a dark garage and a pen flashlight or pinchlight... for extra effects you will need a regular flash to illumintae a larger area.

Studio style shots are pretty specialized, even though its relatively simple for me to do, someone without understanding of exposure and how much light is or isnt required on the scene might feel a bit in over their head. Angles are all subjective to the surrounding, there isnt one good angle that works for every application, which can be said of all photography.

Show up at a location with your car and try to visualize the picture before anything is there...a couple rules to abide by

1) never have anything growing out of your car in the immediate background - like a telephone pole, or wires, or ugly trees...anything that isnt clean and or pleasing to the eye you want to keep out of your image.

2) try to keep your background distanced from your car, what this does is "isolate" your car and make it pop off the picture... the technical term for this is Depth of Field ... imagine your car is in focus and you have a mountain a mile behind the car which will not be in focus ( depending on the lens you choose ) the longer the lens and the lower the F number...the greater the DOF = Depth of Field.

This image is a perfect example of DOF .. i used a 400mm lens as patrick drove towards me and i used a low F number, the reason i wanted this look was to isolate the car from the foreground and background .. look at the ground in front of the car and the background, its blurred and makes the car stand alone and creates a creamy smoothness to the background, causing the viewers eyes to lead to the car and away from the background. but because everything around the car is creamy smooth it adds to the photo... orange car with blurred out orange rocks, orange and yellow road markers and the grey color of the road offer some contrast to a very colorful image, plus the lines pull you down the center of the image creating a powerful composition.



If you guys ever have any questions, feel free to ask...ill try to help as much i can.

Good luck :)
 

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thanks for the tips and yes it has only a built in flash. It's a Canon SD870 IS 8.0 Megapixel. As far as I can tell, it has no manual exposure controls. That's a pretty cool shot. Would that work with my camera? How fast was he going?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Your welcome...

The way you can tell if it has manual exposure is to look at the manual and find "manual exposure" if it doesnt have manual exposure you cant do any lightpainting. because you need to manually open the shutter for extended periods of time and you need the on camera flash not to fire.

Patrick was only going maybe 40mph in that photo and no it wouldnt look the same with your camera, unless your APS Canon SD870 is an interchangeable lens SLR camera that can accomodate a 400mm 2.8 lens with 9 elements.

Im not familier with canon products, i shoot Nikon only - but im assuming its an APS camera with a built in lens/flash combo?
 

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yeah everything is built in. I have a buddy who has a pretty trick camera though. It has interchangable lenses and a remote flash and he can do the HDR stuff with it (I assume you know what that is cause I can't really explain it). He has taken some pretty cool shots of my car with it like the rolling picture I put up a while ago. Here is the HDR shot he took.
 

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so i was playing with my camera tonight and I was inspired by your shots and tried to re create them lol. I do have a delayed exposure (15 second max) on it and I figured out how to use it so here are a few shots. try not to laugh too hard lol
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Props to you for giving it a shot :)

Sure those arent what anyone would consider professional lightpainting photos, but you did understand the concept and "reverse engineering" a photo is how you get better at photography, well done sir for giving it a go :)

Next time you do lightpainting...a few things to consider

1) take a photo - take a look - make an adjustment ... keep shooting the same photo of the same wheel or whatever it is you are shooting until you get the exact look you are going for, dont move the tripod, just adjust light allowances...either by raising or lowering the F stop, shutter speed, or iso ... or by adjusting the light output of the device you are using to illuminate the scene.

2) lightpainting needs total darkness for the most succesful "light pollution free" images. focus on your subject, have your exposure set and ready to go on the tripod, have your lightsource in hand and an exact idea of how you want to paint the scene - flip the light switch and in total darkeness start your exposure and start painting the scene...wait until the exposure is complete and carefully without knocking your tripod, flip on the room light to check your work - repeat until satisfied.

3) start small .. large lightpainting requires long exposures and alot of patience and experience to pull it off well, try lightpainting your fast or something small like that and experiement with different light choices, angles and time lengths to get a feel for what your camera will do.

4) try to avoid lightpainting outside - unless it is very very calm outside, the slightest wind will cause camera shake and ruin your image with blurring.

5) use a cable release or a timer to start the exposure, if you are pressing the button down and holding it for the length of the exposure, you are risking blurring. the slightest motion will upset the camera and cause blurring ... try handholding a slow shutter speed of 1/30th of a second...and notice how much blurring you get, now extrapolate that over 15 seconds, you can imagine how important it is for the camera to be perfectly still.

6) practice...its fun and its what photography is all about, when you finally get an amazing photo you will be so proud of yourself and sharing your accomplishments with others is icing on the cake.

Hope that helps, good luck guys.
 
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