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Thread: Automobile 101

  1. #1

    Automobile 101

    My goal has been to capture awesome pictures of automobiles. I figure if it has an engine, will have an engine, has wheels and goes like stink. Powered by pedal to petrol, dump-trucks to diesels, rusty to rustic, then it should fit in this thread. I have noticed that there are unique elements to photographing automobiles. I hope this thread can be the place we post up our automobile photos to receive feedback, accolades and pointers on how to improve. Most importantly grow and expand our abilities. Everything from setting up lighting, location, to Post production. I have seen some great shots of cars here, there must be some interest. So post up your Auto, Bike, Moto, or otherwise wheeled motor powered vehicle. With that let us delve into the magic making of photos.

    I will start with some of my favorites:

    Automobile 101

    This image is almost SOOC just a few tweaks in ACR. I have never been able to put my finger on why I like this picture so much. Content wise I like the Gallardo, but the lighting in this has always drawn my eye or perhaps its aided by the wonderful color.

    Automobile 101

    Candid shot, did a lot of post processing on this one. Overall I like it because he did not notice me taking the picture, and I caught that moment.

    Automobile 101

    This is a truly rare image in my collection. The picture came out exactly how I wanted it to be taken. There is a fair amount of post processing but with this single picture I knew exactly what I was doing and what the end result would be.

    Automobile 101

    Ford Truck! In my mind this is a way you can fix the location of where a photo is taken. I had to do a lot of post processing on this. There were cars, buildings, signs and a lot of other distractions when I took this photo but threw some editing I was able to make it into something better.


    Thanks
    Ryo

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Automobile 101

    Good idea Ryo.

    That last one reminds me of an article I read recently saying to get imaginative and look for the different angles and the different perspectives. You've done that beautifully with that one.

    Do tractors count? This is one from a long time ago.

    Automobile 101

  3. #3

    Re: Automobile 101

    Tractors do count. That is a great picture. One thing worth mentioning, that may not be obvious, is the background/setting. For a tractor the natural setting is a field or farm. For a car it is the road, which is a crucial element for a successful picture. Replace the tractor with a race car, and the photo would be amusing, but it would not be a great picture. Similarly place the tractor on a race track and it too would be out of place. I think this is why nature backgrounds are so to pull off with cars.

    Thanks
    Ryo

  4. #4

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    Re: Automobile 101

    Well, Ryo, if you want a means of transport that displays the exhilaration of speed from a massive engine - how about this . . .

    Wheels and propellors! And another rural setting.

    Automobile 101

    Just coming in to land at the 'local airport'.

    A quick shot with difficult light and I wanted a slow shutter speed to freeze the propellors; so it isn't perfectly sharp.

  5. #5
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    Re: Automobile 101

    Have posted this before but thought it was fitting.

    Automobile 101

  6. #6

    Re: Automobile 101

    @Geoff Why not catch it in the air? Its natural environment.. That does look like fun, did you go up in the autogyro?

    @Paul That is a great pic, a hint of the jeep on Mickey 33's? I wonder if there is a rule for wheels like there is for feet and knees? As I find my self wanting to see the track that you drove and was possibly responsible for your broken indicator cover.

    Here is a little project that I worked out today. All of us have probably taken an uninspiring car picture, in my case I started with this BMW 2002 (great car) and massaged it in Photoshop.

    Automobile 101

    Back side of it was pretty blown out, but very fixable with ACR. Next was to clean up the ground with its oil spills and debris. the back ground distracted me to much, so I found a sky line with light coming in from the left and pasted it in. Blended with a mask. Result:

    Automobile 101

  7. #7
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    Re: Automobile 101

    22B
    Automobile 101
    renault alpine
    Automobile 101

  8. #8

    Re: Automobile 101

    Paul, I have tried moving shots, but I can never get the motion blur. Care to share you settings on those great shots?

    Thanks
    Ryo

  9. #9
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: Automobile 101

    Old, rusty and ready for the shredder, but it still has character.
    Automobile 101

  10. #10
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    Re: Automobile 101

    Automobile 101
    Automobile 101
    A little bit newer...has character AND attitude.

  11. #11

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    Re: Automobile 101

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryogenetic View Post
    @Geoff Why not catch it in the air? Its natural environment.. That does look like fun, did you go up in the autogyro?
    As it was coming in to land I attempted to catch it with the wheels just above ground level; but it was too far away and I only had 200 mm max on my lens and the light angle was wrong. I did get the shot but it just wasn't really good enough.

    So I waited until it 'taxied' to a better position.

    That little grass airstrip is part of what was once a WW II airfield known as RAF Hope Cove. A small area of the original runway is now retained for a few hobby pilots.

    I suppose that vehicle would be useful for getting photos from a different angle! Not sure if they take 'customers' though. Possibly insurance problems, although it is a 2 seater.

    It is an area where I often walk past while photographing insects etc so I'm always on the look out for any interesting aircraft photos.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 2nd March 2012 at 02:27 AM.

  12. #12

    Re: Automobile 101

    Quote Originally Posted by plumcrak View Post
    Old, rusty and ready for the shredder, but it still has character.
    Automobile 101
    I love the Triumph TR5. I think the weeds distract from the picture, perhaps if you get another chance climb the pallets in the back corner. that way you get a nice high rear 3/4 shot and the weeds don't mask the car. This way you still end up with the effect of it being overgrown. BTW depending on the frame that may be a small gold mine for restore or sell off as parts...


    IMHO
    Ryo

  13. #13
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    Re: Automobile 101

    Automobiles are one of my passions and one of my summer rituals is to wake up early on Sunday morning and go down to the beach and take pictures of cars that wander down to the site of an old club that was knocked down about 10 years ago. All that is left now is a semi large parking lot and a view of the Robert Moses Bridge and the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

    We have everything ranging from rat rods, muscle cars, resto bods and exotics.

    Automobile 101
    Automobile 101
    Automobile 101
    Automobile 101

    http://www.paulrizziphotography.com/...713601&k=ZvqLV

  14. #14

    Re: Automobile 101

    Today I figured I would talk through my work flow and post processing on photos. To start I am just a guy with a camera. I really want to take some wow pictures, the lighting, the cars, and proper funding escape me. So I do what I can, to start I attend a Coffee and Cars which gives me access to all sorts of cars. I have put out an offer to the organizer to do photo shoots with the cars in better locations. So far none have replied. Now to the real meat and beans; since most of my photos end up with other tons of crap in the back drop, I have had to improve my PP skills. So here is what I ended up with:

    Automobile 101

    Here is what I started with:

    Automobile 101

    To start my work flow, I opened the .jpg in ACR. I like the extra control I have over the picture. After I tweak the picture's exposure +.20, sharpness usually 100%, recovery to taste, set vibrance and saturation to acceptable levels, I open the image in Photoshop. At this point I set the levels, first black then white the use the color dropper for the gray. Next is to get rid of the little imperfections, spots on the ground, power lines, and at last most time consuming I remove all the little rock chips bird stuff that is on the paint. All this is on the original layer, it really sux to get half way threw a project and notice a paint chip 4 layers down. Copy orig to new layer and sharpen to taste, normally I over sharpen as I will fix the pixelization with a surface blur in the next step. Sharpened:

    Automobile 101

    Next is to clean up the image as it is looking very speckled but I have brought out some details I wanted. To do this I copy to a new layer and add in a surface blur of 4.5-8 pixels. Drop in a mask and paint back in the details I want. At this point I decided that the black on the Porsche was not dark enough so I added a blank layer, set it to softlight and painted only on the car. To get this:

    Automobile 101

    It is better but it does not have the flair I am looking for, so I dropped in a copy of last layer and took it to BW. Which resulted in this:

    Automobile 101

    Now we are getting some where but it still doesnt have the WOW that I am looking for. Searched google for a suitable backdrop. There are a lot, but to meet my requirements the light has to come in at an angle. I found one opened the image in PS, cropped out the part I wanted, and pasted it in. Next is to add a layer mask and paint back in the car and foreground. Easiest way to get a perfect mask of just the porsche is to go into channels tab and find the highest contrast image, copy it and then adjust contrast/brighness, followed by levels, then paint out all the unwanted parts in white, and load selection and photoshop will load it as a mask. Notice in this image that the car looks slightly unnatural:

    Automobile 101

    Here is where we can use a slight of hand. Next I used 3 blank layers to color match the image with the back drop. First layer was a blue overlay on the pavement. The second layer was a blending layer to match the dark background and the foreground. Kinda like a transition. The last layer was to color match the car, set to soft light I grabbed the two major colors beige and blue from the back ground, painted in the lights and dark's accordingly and gaussian blurred them at 18/40. The end result is the first image.

    This was not enough, I went one step further and merged all layers down and made a BW:

    Automobile 101

    Here is how my layers looked:

    Automobile 101

    Any suggestions are always welcome

    Thanks
    Ryo

  15. #15

    Re: Automobile 101

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinman View Post
    Automobiles are one of my passions and one of my summer rituals is to wake up early on Sunday morning and go down to the beach and take pictures of cars that wander down to the site of an old club that was knocked down about 10 years ago. All that is left now is a semi large parking lot and a view of the Robert Moses Bridge and the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

    We have everything ranging from rat rods, muscle cars, resto bods and exotics.
    Those are some great shots, I will have to come up to the city sometime this summer.

    Ryo

  16. #16
    Ramblinman's Avatar
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    Re: Automobile 101

    Thanks. The Oak Beach Inn show happens every Sunday starting sometime in the Spring when its warm and sunny out. Oak Beach Inn is out in Babylon, Long Island about 10 minutes east of Jones Beach.

  17. #17

    Re: Automobile 101

    Continuing to refine edits, hopefully one of these weekend I can get out and shoot!!

    Automobile 101

    Automobile 101

    Automobile 101

    Thanks
    Ryo

  18. #18

    Re: Automobile 101

    So from everything I have read so far, there are 5 shots that you should get for any car you photograph. Here are 3 of them:

    Front 3/4:

    Automobile 101

    Side profile:

    Automobile 101

    Rear 3/4:

    Automobile 101

    The last two are front and rear profile shots. As they sit these are not great shots but I think they are workable.

    Here are two additional from the set.

    High 3/4 front:

    Automobile 101

    line detail side:

    Automobile 101

    Thanks
    Ryo

  19. #19
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: Automobile 101

    I love the Triumph TR5. I think the weeds distract from the picture, perhaps if you get another chance climb the pallets in the back corner. that way you get a nice high rear 3/4 shot and the weeds don't mask the car. This way you still end up with the effect of it being overgrown. BTW depending on the frame that may be a small gold mine for restore or sell off as parts...

    Ryo, This '65 TR-4A is shredder bait...nothing of use is left on it. Right rear quarter is missing and the frame has returned to the earth, from where it came. I have stripped all decent parts. I have a '62 TR-4 in my garage in the process of frame off restoration.
    Jon

  20. #20

    Re: Automobile 101

    Good to know, should like to see some pics of the '62 if you get a chance.

    Ryo

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