Tuesday, November 26, 2019

TWO WAYS TO DO CAR PHOTOGRAPHY BY NATURAL LIGHT


As a professional photographer, one of the ways we practice is to photograph things we own. So, wether it’s a car or motorcycle, of which I’ve had many over the past 50 years, I’ve usually preferred to do them by Natural Light.  Since I want dramatic lighting the two basic times of day to use are in the evening or in the morning.  I usually go for evening “Magic Hour” as it’s easy to work with and I can consistently achieve great results.  However, for a portrait of our latest Jeep I wanted backlit fall colors behind my Jeep and in my location of choice that was happening in the morning at the River’s Edge in Eagle, Idaho. What was interesting at this spot was the unusual lighting.

It’s Mixed Morning Light….
f6.3 @ 1/250 sec., ISO 800; Lens @ 142mm
What I mean by mixed morning light is that we have different color temperatures of light on the car. On the left we have warm direct sunlight (low angle sun at 10:30am) and on the right we have cool, blue, sky light. In post I brought the highlights and whites down a lot and you can see that those highlights on the right hand side of the car are not clipping. Then I warmed the image to 5450°K to a more pleasing tone for those fall colors.  The car photography specialists would probably not like using mixed color temperature lighting, but I like this image—it’s different.

Then there’s the Magic Hour at Sunset…
f5.0 @ 1/320 se.c, ISO 400; Lens @ 200mm
It’s hard to beat this kind of outdoor Natural Light on anything!  It’s warm, directional, smooth and a single color temperature. This was done out in my son’s “backyard” in Lancaster, California about 10 minutes before sunset.

I really like both images for different reasons. What’s your preference?

’Til next week…

Author: Jerry W. Venz, PPA Master Photographer, Craftsman

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