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Car Beauties


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#1 Christopher Wedding

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 10:01 PM

I'm getting ready to shoot some large diesel trucks in an outdoor environment and I'm curious to know if there are any tricks of the trade to making cars/trucks look good (I know there are). The extra kicker is that I don't have any lights, just shinys and a 12by at my disposal really.

Here's what I've got in terms of experience:

1. White is best for the color of the car, any other color and it's like looking in a mirror. Of course, I have no control beyond telling the Producer the same thing.

2. The sun needs to be behind me.

What else should I keep in mind? Anyone have some relative experience with this sort of stuff?

Thanks for your help, I know this is a unique question.
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#2 Tim J Durham

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 10:39 PM

I'm getting ready to shoot some large diesel trucks in an outdoor environment and I'm curious to know if there are any tricks of the trade to making cars/trucks look good (I know there are).  The extra kicker is that I don't have any lights, just shinys and a 12by at my disposal really.

Here's what I've got in terms of experience:

1. White is best for the color of the car, any other color and it's like looking in a mirror.  Of course, I have no control beyond telling the Producer the same thing.

2. The sun needs to be behind me.

What else should I keep in mind?  Anyone have some relative experience with this sort of stuff?

Thanks for your help, I know this is a unique question.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Are you shooting film or video? If it's video, I'd sure pick a color OTHER than white. In full sun, a white car will really blow out. You'll get hotspots on any highly polished car but I'd go for a deep blue or gray and use a black frost filter to diffuse the highlights and a polarizer to adjust reflections.

I was shooting a design show at a house in Chatsworth, CA and at the house next door was a huge crew shooting many different cars in that houses driveway. They basically put up a silk tent over the car and lit from both sides of the camera (35mm) with 12K and 20K HMIs through huge silk frames. The gaffer told me that they were using a black frost filter but no polarizer.

I never saw the finished product but they seemed to know what they were doing and none of the cars were white (although a couple were yellow).
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#3 Sam Wells

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 10:01 AM

1. White is best for the color of the car, any other color and it's like looking in a mirror.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Even with white you still have specular reflection (specular = speculum = mirror, you're right on) the only advantage is you'll have a lesser ratio of diffuse to specular reflection.

I'm no kind of a "sheet metal" i.e. car (+/or truck) shooter but really you create the lighting by creating the reflection in these cases.

White sounds dodgy if it's video (unless a really high end camera & even there you've got a classic highlight test reel in the making !)

-Sam
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#4 timHealy

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 01:07 PM

I like the look of car commercials that shoot just at magic hour. Enough exposure, with out specular hits from the sun. The whole sky becomes a soft source reflected off the car. or in this case perhaps a truck. The downside would be not much shooting time. Unless one would do this up north during the summer....

Tim
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#5 Christopher Wedding

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 12:54 PM

Thanks everyone, I'll see if I can post the results later.
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