Home Photography Ideas: Premium Car Photography In Your Driveway!

Watch Video: Home Photography Ideas – Premium Car Home Photography

You’ve probably spent a lot of time washing your car during the current lockdown, but it’s hard to show your wheels when you can’t get out of your house. And unless you live in a mansion, taking a photo of your car parked outside your front door doesn’t show off.

So here is an awesome home project that you can film right in your driveway and create a high quality studio look straight out of a car catalog – but without the need to go to a studio or use batteries. complicated studio equipment!

• Best camera for automotive photography

Step into two of an enthusiastic photographer’s most transformative tools: Photoshop and flash lighting. By illuminating the car with a flash, we are able to harness natural light so that it plays a minimal role in exposure, giving us the dark and moody look we want.

(Image credit: James Paterson / Digital Camera World)

Ideally, this would be achieved using a huge bank of unison flashes, but for most of us, that’s just not a realistic option. So this is where the Photoshop part comes in.

By using a tripod to hold the camera still, we have the freedom to take multiple images and then mix them together in Photoshop. As such, we don’t necessarily need an arsenal of lights at a time to achieve the studio look; we can just use one or two and then light the car one section at a time on a series of shots.

It also means that we can create a subtle reflection with just one piece of reflective panel, again by moving it to different positions over a series of shots. Let’s see how it’s done …

Light up the car

(Image credit: James Paterson / Digital Camera World)

01 Define an exposure

After setting the camera up on a tripod, composing and focusing on the car, we establish manual exposure that underexposes natural light so that it barely registers. On an overcast day we had 1/200 s and f / 11, ISO100, giving an almost dark image. Shooting at around 35mm will allow you to fit the car into the frame without too much distortion; a 16-35mm zoom will accommodate you with the space you have to work with.

(Image credit: James Paterson / Digital Camera World)

02 Trigger the flash

Then we set up a single studio flash, powered by the mains. The flash is set to optical slave, triggered wirelessly and set to full power (400w). By popping the flash from different angles, we can make out different parts of the car and emphasize the flowing lines.

• Best photography lighting kits

(Image credit: James Paterson / Digital Camera World)

03 Move the flash

Try to illuminate the car from all angles with the flash. Experiment with the backlighting of the rear of the car to highlight the edges and curves. Aim the flash at specific areas like the wheels and the grille. Take lots of pictures and keep the light up or down.

(Image credit: James Paterson / Digital Camera World)

04 Capture the reflection

Once we have turned on the car, we start thinking. We place two studio lights on each side to illuminate the sides and underside of the car, then take multiple images, moving the reflective panel between shots to capture full reflection.

Build the image in Photoshop

(Image credit: James Paterson / Digital Camera World)

01 Load into layers

After choosing the frames we want, we open them as a layered document in Photoshop. This can be done by selecting files in Bridge, then going to Tools> Photoshop> Load to Layers, or in Photoshop using File> Scripts> Load Files to Stack.

(Image credit: James Paterson / Digital Camera World)

02 Add mask

Pick an outline to use as a base and drag it to the bottom of the stack, then hide everything except the layer above. Toggle this layer on and off to determine which lighted area of ​​the car you want to blend, then hold Alt and click the Add Layer Mask icon to hide the layer behind an all black mask.

(Image credit: James Paterson / Digital Camera World)

03 Reveal the lighting

Grab the brush tool, right click and set the hardness to 0. Press D to set the color to white, then paint on the car to reveal the area of ​​the image you want. Once done, reveal the next layer, then add a full mask again and paint more white. Keep turning up the light.

(Image credit: James Paterson / Digital Camera World)

04 Build reflection

Then we can put the reflection back together, hiding and revealing the pieces of the board until they form a full reflection along the car. The layers will start to accumulate, so it may be easier to create the reflection separately and then copy it when done.

(Image credit: James Paterson / Digital Camera World)

05 Liquefy to repair

The gravel driveway here is uneven so the reflection does not match in places. But it’s easy to fix by pushing the pixels in with Liquify. Go to Filter> Liquefy, then check “Show backdrop” in the settings and use the Forward Warp tool to adjust the highlights.

(Image credit: James Paterson / Digital Camera World)

06 cleaning up

To make the background black, select the car (Select> Subject), then invert the selection (Cmd on a Mac / Ctrl on a PC + Shift + I), create a new layer, and fill with black. To fix messy patches merge a layer (Cmd / Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E), then use the Heal Tools and Clone Tool to clean up.

Read more:

A day in the life of professional automotive photographer Amy Shore
The best photo light kits in 2020: for the studio, venue and video
The best dash cam in 2020: constant protection for you and your car

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