exigeracer's Car Photography (Spring '10 opener)

Discussion in 'Art & Photography' started by exigeracer, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. exigeracer

    exigeracer

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    Hey everyone, how are you liking the new Photography section of GTP, which just got spliced from Photography and Graphics? Giles was apparently the man who pushed for the split, which I foresee can expand to something very beautiful, inspirational and educational for everyone.

    Several months ago as I started to post more and more of my own car photography to a very flattering public reaction. I began getting PMs suggesting me to create my own thread for my work, or just a car photography thread to showcase the photos I find online.

    Things started getting serious when longtime GTPer Cano and I began exchanging ideas on how to make this come to reality, and it became obvious that there was a need for something larger than one thread. We took the ideas to other GTP members and mods to see what everyone else, in particular other GTP photographers, would think of a car photography section. Although we didn't get a specific automotive photography section, I'm hoping that this new section will provide good grounds to host some car photography threads of all sorts. With that, I invite you to participate in creating the vision Cano, myself and others had imagined - a car photography section for everyone to share, admire and learn.

    With that, I'm going to start the car photography theme going with my own thread, explaining how I get my shots, what I look for, what I feel for in my work and so on. I have my favorite shots on my flickr account, in my signature as well. Up here I'll reserve the original post for editing in to my whole collection.

    Like usual, huge sizes available for everything and I can also offer any stories and explanations for any prior shots. As I add posts, I'll explain things in more detail, but here's what I have so far.

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    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  2. exigeracer

    exigeracer

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    5,991
    Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06

    I went to the liquor store and found a C5 Z06 siting alongside the building. I've never been a fan of Corvettes, but this is a rarer Z06 and I know there is a pretty big following for them. Like all of my shots, they're oppurtunity captures - I don't arrange things, if I find something, I'll shoot it. So I did.

    The large patterns on the wall were inviting for the profile shot, so I started there. The Corvette has a very iconic shape, so I found that there weren't many angles that would look particularly exotic or different. The simple elegant profile is kind of intuitive to shoot. I tried out some shots with the car positioned well up in the frame, getting none of the tree and a lot of concrete, but my lens's aperture just didn't get the right effect on the concrete so I chose the closer pic with the three generating some variety. Without the tree the shot would've been simpler and focusing more on the car, but hey, I didn't have my saw on me.

    [​IMG]

    I got a little bit of tilt on the 3/4 shot, as I'm very adverse to tilting the crap out of every shot just because. It works with a good amount of photos, but not every photo.

    [​IMG]

    After grabbing the shots, I took them home and tried figuring out what feel I would go for in post. I really don't like burning out the darks, and I've been favoring brighter warmer colours lately, so that's where it seemed to go. Part of getting a set of shots and publishing them together, you have to get congruency between them all - the exposures and automatic camera settings will change colour and tone from shot to shot, so you have to make it seem like everything looks the same, which isn't easy. I love the really hot colours, so you'll often see strong yellows, oranges and reds in my work.

    All shots taken at roughly 8:45pm, Sony a100 DSLR on a stock lens, Aperture priority, Lightroom 2.0 Beta postproduction on levels and curves and no touchup airbrushing.

    BMW M3

    Around the corner from the Corvette was this DTM-wannabe e36 M3. There is a very similar M3 that hangs out near this one, but not the same car. Not much opportunities with the positioning of this car. Straight street, boring house, parked up to the curb. I could get up on a tree trunk for this first shot, which I like. The blue is electrifying. Awesome.

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    Very similar shots here, trying to find a good tilt on the composition. Which do you prefer?

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    -or-

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    A couple across the street shots didn't produce much with such a crappy backdrop. I had to pick up the mandatory full tree shot, and I didn't resize it down as much as I normally would on a portrait shot.

    [​IMG]

    Postproduction wasn't very complicated, warm colours were there, the blue had to stay strong too, and the only choice was how much of the reflection highlights to keep. It ended up varying between shots.
     
  3. Digital-Nitrate

    Digital-Nitrate Premium

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    As mentioned in the "other" quality cars captured on camera thread... brilliant work exigeracer!

    :cheers:


    I'm glad you have created a dedicated thread, and I'm looking forward to seeing your future work. :tup:
     
  4. SaNTi iTNaS

    SaNTi iTNaS

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    Oh my god. I am in love with that dirty Z. Very nice pics.
     
  5. Metar

    Metar

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    I like the second M3 shot better - the one from above. There's something about the first angle which makes it look a little boring, since it's just such a common angle for car-photography. It also draws the eyes towards the ecobox behind, which upsets the whole composition. In the second shot, the econobox is just a background detail, and the minivan is out of the frame..
     
  6. exigeracer

    exigeracer

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    Thanks guys - hopefully some more stuff soon!
     
  7. GilesGuthrie

    GilesGuthrie Staff Emeritus

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    I really like the profile shot of the black Z06. You getting down on its level makes it for me.

    The white Z06 looks soft to me.

    Some good moving shots as well. Overall a really good gallery so far.
     
  8. Rainmaster

    Rainmaster (Banned)

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    nice collection, good shots.well done
    and your city is a great background
     
  9. exigeracer

    exigeracer

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    I have no idea why I didn't use the benefits of shooting digital to my advantage and actually check that my photo is in focus or not. Amateur mistake.

    Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

    Only one shot of this Karmann Ghia that I found on the way to put the laundry in the dryer just an hour ago. I really wanted to take advantage of the reddish orange of the car and totally blow out the colours on it. It's more for that than the actual car and composition. Any thoughts?

    [​IMG]

    I'm still on the fence, but I loooove those lines!
     
  10. stumpydino

    stumpydino

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    great shots! so sharp and vibrant!
    what camera do you use?
     
  11. Brett

    Brett Premium

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    Looking forward to seeing more of your stuff! Keep up the great work! :tup:
     
  12. Metar

    Metar

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    It's a great shot, but the composition feels a bit off - it's not enough profile-shot to show the contrast between the house and the car, and not enough 3/4-view to show the Ghia's full shape...

    As for the Corvettes, the white one has this surreal video-game feel to it that makes it look very special - like some pre-release render. The black one, though... Perhaps a longer lens is needed? It's noticeable especially on the wheels, where you see each one from a different angle - it makes the car look slightly twisted.

    But again - awesome pictures, and they're all so much better than anything I'd manage.
     
  13. tait

    tait Premium

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    Some good ones. I haven't seen a lot of these driving around, although I remember seeing that scooby around. I'd love to see what you can come up with in doing a proper shoot in some sort of parking garage.
     
  14. Digital-Nitrate

    Digital-Nitrate Premium

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    I just noticed you left out one of my favorite shots you took of that special metalic burgundy colored Gallardo, so I'm going to copy it and my comments here. :tup:


     
  15. ferrari_chris

    ferrari_chris Premium

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    How would you do that? The screen on my camera is too small to see, well, anything.

    Does yours have a large screen or something?
     
  16. Pebb

    Pebb

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    I cannot decide what shot is my favourite at the moment, mainly because I like all the shots.
     
  17. exigeracer

    exigeracer

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    I got one of the earlier Sony a100 DSLR's. They just purchased Minolta and Tamron, so they rebadged things and launched their alpha line of DSLRs. They now have a whole range of them.

    Thanks for the tips on the Ghia. I didn't want to do a profile shot because I felt it wouldn't work as a profile should, but the car behind it was intruding on the composition so I had top make some compromises. Thanks for the tips for sure though!

    I like the distortion you get in the wider ranges of the lens, but it is something I should watch, I see what you mean with the Corvette though! It's something to be aware of because it totally works on other shots, like the higher blue M3 shot.

    I edited in some of my favorite shots of the Porshce, which you've probably seen downtown (one shot right across from your school). When my brother visits with his new Corrado I'll be shooting all day, so finally I'll have a chance to direct things how I want...

    Thanks. I've never felt anything for that shot. I was just happy I finally strangled some depth of field out of my weak f-stop capable lens.

    Large screen and I can zoom in to make sure the money shot is full crispness. I also feel that for your first couple of years of SLR shooting you make pride in the perfect focusing technique, but my eyes have been dodgy and the prescription adjust function on my camera doesn't always stay put, so I just pretty much let my camera focus for me. It almost always grabs the right spot and is amazingly crisp, so I just let the camera do the work.

    Thanks the rest of you guys, appreciate the lovin'!
     
  18. Omnis

    Omnis Staff Emeritus

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    Set your cam to show focus points during playback, and then zoom in all the way to make sure the image is sharp.
     
  19. Rue

    Rue Premium

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    Obviously all your photos are great, but I really like the new Karman Ghia shot for the colour tones.
     
  20. Cano

    Cano Premium

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    One thing I have always tought about your photos -not all of them, but most- is that they are a bit overedited. there are some that are obvious like the M6 that reflects even the OVNI passing above, but some others like the Integra Type R or the blue winged M3 have just too much colour in them (the white Z06 Vette steals the show), they look unnatural, you would never believe that was even the natural lightning; the car may look bright and colourfull, but its surrounding make the photo look... weird, unnatural as I said, because with the kind of light you obviously have in some of them, the colours would never come out as brilliant or as... well, colourfull.

    It looks good sometimes, but others it just makes too much noise, at least for me.
     
  21. ROAD_DOGG33J

    ROAD_DOGG33J Premium

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    I prefer the first shot of the M3. The angle on the second one doesn't work for me. But both of them have this model car look to them. The reflections are also a bit distracting.

    The profile shot of the Z06 is very good. Too bad the rear shot didn't work out as well. The lower part of the rear got lost there.
     
  22. exigeracer

    exigeracer

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    5,991
    I completely understand, and it is something I've been really struggling to deal with since I started; finding that balance between the real and unreal, overediting and natural exposure. Some shots I really went for that fake look, and some I let nature pull the right levels. Unfortunately you picked some of the photos that I over exaggerated the effect intentionally just to see how far it could go. The M6 was just to see how reflecty the surface can get and the Z06 was to see how I could pick up on the colours that weren't in focus (which looking back at now is really backwards - they aren't in focus because they aren't important, so why do I want the colours attracting attention).

    This does bring up how much editing should be put into my typical car shot. I always come across others' car photography online and detest how deep the blacks are and how vivid so many of the colours are, but it's hard to look at my own work with that eye - I shot the actual subject so it's hard to judge the same thing when it's no longer in flesh but on screen. Same with drawing, I see the progress from start to finish so by the end I no longer see the faults the same way a fresh pair of eyes does. In this case, I know your eyes are more accustomed to press shots and magazine spots, where digital extravagance is more at home on deviantart and flickr.

    I do hope you won't hesitate to call me on overediting in the future, I am hoping to learn to discipline myself with playing with things in postproduction and working on getting the shot right the first time, and sometimes I need to count on others to help me pick it out.

    There are a few car photographers out there that I really look up to, so I think I should go back to my inspirational roots and figure out where to hold back and where to let real photography take its course. Thanks a bunch for saying what I've been kind of thinking to myself in my head, even if I think the Integra Type R shots are spot on ;)
     
  23. Cano

    Cano Premium

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    I picked the ones that were obvious to exemplify those that are obvious, that's why I mentioned the Z06 and the M6, those are obviously overedited on purpose.

    What you should really try to do is to get the shot exactly as you want it without postproducing it. Play with white balance, play with contrast, get the light just as you want it then bracket the shot one step lighter and one step darker, that should work, and then you can manipulate the colours minimally; I understand you usually don't have controlled conditions, but usually we don't control light anyway (unless you wake up at 5:00 am to get down lightning, wich I do), but you CAN have a perfect shot withput editing, I have seen it several times and maybe even got a couple of shots right the first time around, but it's quite difficult.

    However, let's take the ITR for example, the colours look good in the car but the green in the plants is wayyy too saturated (In fact, the green in many of your photos is really saturated) as are some of the other colours in the background, and that gives it a really weird feeling, I'd like to see the unedited shot.

    And tell us who are those photographers you always look forward too, I think everyone would like to see their work, specially me, I'm always looking forward to good photography as inspiration.

    There are a LOT of good shots, your composition is very, VERY good and you use your backdrop very well, it also helps you that your city has some awesome places, elegant stuff combined with graff always works (the photo of the Porsche's rearend is fabulous, I'd use that place for a photoshoot tomorrow) and you can walk there with a hi-end camera with impunity and shoot a car without risking to get your camea stolen or a cop telling you you can't photograph other people's private property; you are also very good at panning with good compoisition too (The Ford GT, amazing), in reality the only problem I can see with your pictures is that, but you are very good, specially considering you don't have controlled conditions.

    keep on it and keep posting, and whenever you can arrange a photoshoot of a car, hell I want to see the results.
     
  24. exigeracer

    exigeracer

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    Tonight I was rather upset with some insignificant occurances at work so I wired up some serious cheer-me-up tunes and headed out to Little Italy to snap some cars. Perfect way to relax, tinker with a busted up tripod from the 70s, deal with heavy street traffic, random passerby's and difficult lighting. It actually is relaxing for me, despite the seemingless frustrating shooting circumstances. The hard-to-read lighting and fine tuning anything from exposure to composition takes literally 20 times longer than hand-held daytime photography, but I actually came up with some pretty good unedited stuff.

    Aston Martin DB9

    So the first car I found was this handsome DB9. I hadn't ever had time to properly walk around and look for nice shots on an Aston Martin, and man let me tell you are they ever gorgeous. I set up a couple times across the street, but the car was right next to an intersection with an overzealous red light cycle so I couldn't get any clean shots. Taking up post next to the car I found two very good angles the shoot the Aston from. I'm really happy with these, and surprised at how they worked out unedtied at all. The Jetta got in the way of the second shot, but I still like how the DB stands out because of the streaking traffic lights.

    The only things edited are slight colour temperature balances to match the feel of the colours between the two separate shots (which is still off). Second shot is my fave, although slightly too tilted.

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    Ferrari 348 ts

    On down the road was this Ferrie. I don't really care for any Ferrari of this style, so I didn't bother taking anything more than the down-the-alleyway. Again, unedited except for crop and a little standard issue sharpening. I liked the lighting on the opposite building now that I look back on it, and the overexposure picked up on some neat lighting here and there.

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    Nissan 350Z

    Several shots of the Z, mainly looking for composition, but my feet were tired from work so I didn't spend all too long grabbing anything. No editing at all here. Too bad the wall was sooo bland.

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    Well anyways, there it is, a night of unedited pictures. Underedited? Flat? Questions? Comments? Let me know!!!!
     
  25. Loon

    Loon

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    Got some fulls of the Z? It looks nice.
     
  26. ferrari_chris

    ferrari_chris Premium

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    For unedited, the Ferrari one looks great. Must be the over exposure. It's almost HDR looking. :tup:
     
  27. Dougboy

    Dougboy

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    Great pics exigeracer.

    Still using the a100? What lens are those shots made with?

    Oh and i would really appreciate it if you can provide the shooting info along with pics from now on :) So an amateur like me can take note and learn based on them.
     
  28. Cano

    Cano Premium

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    Ah, night shots are cool, I still have to have a night photoshoot, but I already have a white Super Bee in mind for that.

    the Ferrari has a great composition and good light, my favourite of the crop.

    Man I'd love to live in your city, its a cool scenery for snapping cars; my place sucks.
     
  29. exigeracer

    exigeracer

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    5,991
    Thanks. Full shots as in full res of that photo or other angles.

    Here's a 1975px of the shot I posted. PM me your e-mail if you'd like full res.

    http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff36/Quiet-Noises/301-1.jpg

    Thanks. I'm not a fan like you and Cano are, but at least it was exposed in an interesting manner.

    Sony a100 is the body, the stock 3.5-5.6/18-70 is the glass I'm using. I reached the limits of the lens a long time ago, but simply can't afford anything better at the moment. Maybe soon I'll get a suave ultrawide. The body is still rock solid, almost 12,000 frames in.

    If you save any of my photos and right click to details, the EXIF data will show exactly what camera, lens, shutter speed, aperture and every other setting was used for the photo. I'll type them out to save you the trouble from now on though.

    Like I said, I dislike the Ferrari shot, but maybe because I don't like the Ferrari itself. Meh, can't love 'em all eh?!

    I got some more shots tonight, AMV8, S5, Impreza and S8 but it's time to drink.

    Thanks for the feedback y'all. Maybe I'll have some new material later tonight.
     
  30. Loon

    Loon

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    Do you have others? That size there is fine. Still need my email or will you be able to post them here?