This is my first in a series, featuring detailed automotive photography.
I used a Jeep for my first shoot because I own it. Owning your own car for a shoot makes it a heck of lot easier to work into your schedule.
There were several challenges, but most of them were in the prep work.
First of which, my car is not new. It’s a 2010 Jeep Liberty with approximately 30,000 miles.
It has it’s share of wear, with dings and scratches, and worn tires.
I needed to clean the car thoroughly with a good car wash, and detailing. Yeesh! That was hard work! The dark metallic gray color took a lot of hours to wax and polish. Getting all the streaks out was a challenge, and I was not completely successful.
I knew if I didn’t do a careful job, all the wax and spots would show up in my shots, so I did my best to do a good job.
All of this work was done during a heat wave, so you can imagine how uncomfortable it was in the garage. I used a fan to help take the edge off, and planned the shoot to take place in the evening, when it was a little cooler.
In preparing the space in the garage, the floor was too dirty for the shoot. So, I decided to give the floor a fresh coat of paint!
Ugh, more work!
I spent the next few hours power-washing the floor and when it dried, I gave it a fresh coat of paint. Not the entire floor, for that would have involved moving everything out, which I didn’t have time for. So, I pushed all the stuff we’ve accumulated as far to the side as possible.
So far, that’s two days of prep invested in this project!
Finally, time to shoot the car!
I setup a single Einstein 640 strobe with a 10″ x 26″ strip box. In addition to the small strip, I used a huge Fotodiox 12″ x 80″ strip box for the wide shots of the car’s front end, and side of the car, but I much preferred the small strip box for most of the detailed shots.
I sandbagged an Avenger stand with a boom arm, to be sure it wouldn’t tip over.
It took the usual trial an error to see where the light fell, but eventually I figured it out.
Here’s the shots (click photo to enlarge):
This was a tough shoot, but fun to do, despite the challenges and the heat and humidity!
24-105mm L f/4.5
85mm, f/22 @ 1/200
(1) Einstein E640 @ 3/4 power, w/sync cord
10″ x 28″ PCB strip box
12″ x 80″ Fotodiox strip box
Avenger A5043 stand with extension boom and grip head
Giottos sand bags