sixtoes : an automotive fine art gallery : returning soon!

Discussion in 'GT5 Photo Mode Galleries' started by sixtoes, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    [​IMG]


    Greetings, fellow GT5 photo enthusiasts - and welcome to my gallery of fine automotive art!

    Before the first images are posted, I should take a moment to introduce myself. As a real-life professional photographer (primarily architectural and product photography), I was thrilled to get my hands on the tools provided to us in GT5. While I find some things extremely limiting (e.g., nothing slower than 1/60 in action replays, the truly ugly nature of the standard models, the inflexibilty of camera and car locations at various travel spots), I'm glad to have the opportunity to shoot cars I'll never get a chance to shoot in real life... not to mention the ability to freeze time and put my camera a few feet in front of a car going over 200 mph!

    My philosophy of photography is simple: my first belief is to use every tool at your disposal - cars, lights, cameras... and software. In his day, Ansel Adams did things in a chemical darkroom that most people didn't have the ability to do, but no one dismissed his work the way people often dismiss modern images as having been "Photoshopped". Photoshop itself is like a camera; it is merely a tool in our arsenal. We are not documentarians, bound by the rules of photographic authenticity - we are artists. If the image I see in my mind can only be created through by using other tools, then use them I shall. If you are troubled by this philosophy and prefer to view "real" images, you might not want to subscribe to my gallery. (I'll avoid commenting on the irony of wanting to see only "real" pictures of "fake" cars.)

    The second element of my approach is that of quality over quantity. You will not find me posting 20 images at a time - let alone 20 images of the same car in the same race. This approach is not only philosophical, it's practical: the amount of work that goes into many of my images means I simply don't have time to generate a large number of photographs.

    Finally, I believe in both learning and teaching. By providing some of the behind-the-scenes approaches and techniques that I use in creating my images, I hope to teach my viewers. Just as importantly, by asking for comments and critiques, I hope to learn from my viewers.

    Thanks for coming by; stick around for a bit, and feel free to comment and ask questions.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  2. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    [​IMG]

    I first started taking Photo Travel shots almost immediately after getting GT5; I knew the main reason I'd want to win races was so that I could open more locations, win premium cars, and earn money to buy cars - all so that I could shoot! Thus, my first "real" purchase was the Ferrari California - a truly beautiful machine that I couldn't wait to photograph utilizing HDR techniques.
     
  3. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    After working on the HDR California image, I found a thread on photo compositing. I'd wanted the ability to photograph two cars (or more) in a given Photo Travel location, but hadn't put the idea together to simply use my skills to do exactly that. My first attempt at a composite was this:

    [​IMG]

    Later that day, I envisioned the next composite I wanted to work on - two Ferraris in the beautiful San Galgano Abbey. This, like my first composite, was a combination of both compositing technique and HDR processing. The time it takes to do that is a little more than usual - five photos per car at 2x resolution - so I don't have too many of these finished yet. I hope you enjoy this one:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    Before I post another series of images (some HDR, some composite, some with both), I want to let my viewers (if there are any) know that I am willing to do commissioned pieces. If you've got a car that you'd like me to shoot in HDR - or two or three cars you'd like to see in a composite image - let me know and we can arrange for you to send me the vehicle(s) to photograph. Once the piece is done, I'll send the car(s) back, of course!

    More images shortly...
     
  5. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    While I find Photo Travel to be my preferred mode for working in GT5 (simply because the replay controls are so non user-friendly), the action available in race replay Photo Mode makes for great images. This shot, of a race-modded Z06, was intended to look as realistic as possible - no HDR, no crazy filters, just a little work in Photoshop (levels, curves, and sharpening). Enjoy:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Revolution.

    Revolution.

    Messages:
    1,805
    Location:
    Australia
    I love your HDR work - It's very crisp and clear. One problem I ran into when doing my own was that of JPEG artefacts making themselves very visible after tweaks post-HDR, but I see you shoot using that 2X mode, which didn't even occur to me at the time. No doubt that reduces the effects of those pesky artefacts quite a bit.
    A lovely start to your gallery, looking forwards to more eye candy!
     
  7. Drogahnus

    Drogahnus

    Messages:
    80
    Love the pics! Keep it up!
     
  8. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    Thanks, guys - always appreciate comments. Revolution, shooting in 2x definitely helps avoid artifacts; it might also be because after doing the tonemapping in Photomatix, I exported it as a TIFF before opening and doing my Photoshop editing - converted to JPEG only on final save. We'll find out for sure when I try to shoot my first action HDR!
     
  9. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    Time for another action replay, this time from SSR5. This was an effort to try to create the sort of thing you'd see in a commercial - polished and sharp. Hopefully, I've pulled it off.

    So far, I've not done any HDR bracketing with action shots - I'll save that effort for another time - so the lighting improvements on this were done with curves and levels... and lots of masking. Enjoy!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. gibki8

    gibki8

    Messages:
    136
  11. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    Thanks, gibiki!
     
  12. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    Another HDR image, this time of just the Italia in Sal Galgano Abbey. I wanted to take advantage of an angle in the abbey that I hadn't seen used in too many images... (HDR: 5-bracket)

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Moglet

    Moglet Premium

    Messages:
    11,991
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    FINALLY! Someone who understands that this is a good thing! :lol: You have no idea how frustrated I've been getting over these people posting huge images of the same car over and over with no preview images. I never comment on any gallery of that style as I simply don't have the time to filter through it all! It's also good to see some HDR that isn't overdone. HDR photos look ridiculous when they're done to the extreme, but done with subtlety they can be striking and bold without being overpowering. I wish I had the software to produce some of my own :(

    I'm enjoying your photos so far, they are technically perfect and clearly have a lot of thought put into them with regards to lighting, car positioning etc. but what I'd love to see is some more experimental stuff! I imagine you could produce some stunning photos of close ups of cars or mad action shots that are completely unique and exciting. I'll stay tuned to this gallery. :tup:
     
  14. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    Yeah, I tune out of a thread pretty quickly when I start seeing 1800px wide images of the same standard model car in the same race with the same lighting. :yuck:

    HDR's a lot of fun to play with - it's pretty easy to create the surreal images that we see on some of the pages here, but creating a more subtle mix is tough. Fortunately, I've got a bit of experience with it, as it comes in handy in my architectural photography (real-life profession). As for software, if you don't want to spend the money on Photomatix, try Picturenaut or the free version of Essential HDR.

    Glad you'll be sticking around - I've got some great images in my head; I just have to get time in-game to do the projects!
     
  15. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    One more action shot for today - yes, it's the Ferrari California again. Believe it or not, this isn't an HDR shot, though I did process it in Photoshop to create a subtle HDR 'look'. Enjoy!

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Revolution.

    Revolution.

    Messages:
    1,805
    Location:
    Australia
    The colour on that California is a standout, and the adjustments you've made in photoshop really showcase it. I'm somewhat pleased you didn't go for full HDR on this shot, I don't like the idea of HDR on a motion picture. :p I suppose it could produce quite a cool effect though...
     
  17. Terronium-12

    Terronium-12 Moderator

    Messages:
    26,609
    Location:
    United States
    Nice gallery.

    Really loving the RM Corvette. Nice tones, and it really stands out with the adjustments. :tup:
     
  18. Pebb

    Pebb

    Messages:
    16,710
    Location:
    England
    I love the California shot for a mix of reasons:

    *Composure
    *Lighting
    *Colours
     
  19. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    Thanks, Revolution. I went a little higher with vibrance than I normally would, but really wanted this one to pop. I'm with you on the notion of true HDR on an action shot... as it would be impossible to shoot one in real life, it seems like cheating to try to pull it off in-game. (Then again, just shooting a Ferrari feels like cheating to me!!) Still, I might try it soon, just to see if I can make it work. If not HDR, maybe just manual layer blending... hmmm. :ponder:

    Thanks, Terronium - it's amazing what a little levels and curves can do for a shot. :tup: I just repainted the 'Vette, so I'll have to get a new shot up tomorrow.

    Thanks TVR&Ferrari_Fan... mind if I call you TVR for short? :) It was definitely a unique angle; I've been playing around with some similar shots - getting the camera up can really make an image... unexpected. (It works particularly well for convertibles, I think, as the lines of the car are less obstructed.)

    Should have some time tomorrow to work on a few more images, but just in case I don't, here's another time sink. Each car shot with a 5-bracket HDR, then composited together. Harder than it looked for a couple of reasons: (1) the changing lights in the hangar, and (2) whatever lighting is in there doesn't create a shadow under the cars, so I had to manually put a drop shadow in there.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. kweiss

    kweiss

    Messages:
    79
    Loving these shots so far. It's clear you really know what you're doing here, and I'm loving the quality over quantity approach.
     
  21. sanmusa

    sanmusa

    Messages:
    419
    Location:
    Germany
    Great work all around, the images are stunning! Keep it up.
     
  22. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    Thanks, kweiss. I just hope the quality over quantity approach doesn't keep dropping me off the first page! :grumpy:

    I've got one more HDR composite to post later, and I'm working on a few shots from today - not sure if any will live up to my standards, but we shall see... :banghead:
     
  23. bigd775

    bigd775

    Messages:
    65
    what are your levels on your 5 bracket HDR, you doing -4, -2, 0, +2, +4?
     
  24. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    Thanks, sanumsa - hoping to get some more work up soon... holiday schedule allowing, of course. :rolleyes:

    Actually, since I prefer a more subtle look to my HDR images, I usually only run -2 to +2 in 1-stop increments. With HDR, the trick is to only shoot as far down as you have to go in order to get detail in the brightest spots in the image, and to only shoot up as far as you have to in order to get detail in the darkest spots of the image. Sometimes, I'll go -3 to +1, if I want a darker look, though.
     
  25. Moglet

    Moglet Premium

    Messages:
    11,991
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    They both look good, but neither are available for MacOS and I don't have a Windows computer anywhere :(
     
  26. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    I'm a Mac user as well - I just assumed everyone else was a PC, so I recommended those for the free apps. :dunce:

    The only decent free one I've found that has a Mac OS version is FDRTools Basic (the Advanced version is not free). It's worth a shot, at least. :idea:
     
  27. Moglet

    Moglet Premium

    Messages:
    11,991
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Funny you should mention that, I've just downloaded FDRTools Basic! It seems to work well enough for what I need it to do :tup:
     
  28. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    I had a little bit more time today than expected, so it's a Merry Christmas Eve posting - wouldn't mind finding one of these under my tree in the morning! :drool:

    [​IMG]

    This race modified Camaro (painted Guardsman Blue) was shot using a 5-shot bracket (-3 to +1 in 1-stop increments) at Ahrweiler Gate. The resulting HDR image was processed in Photomatix Pro, then worked on in Photoshop CS5 - mostly masked curves layers, along with a little sharpening.

    If I have a chance later tonight (or even - gasp! - early tomorrow), I'll post another action shot of my race modified Corvette Z06. After all, it's been painted a festive red, so it needs some more exposure. :)
     
  29. Pebb

    Pebb

    Messages:
    16,710
    Location:
    England
    I love the composure.
     
  30. sixtoes

    sixtoes

    Messages:
    336
    Thanks, TVR&FF... there's not a ton of room to work with at that camera location, but I liked the wall texture and wanted to see how HDR worked with the lighting there.