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Old 05-14-2007, 01:06 PM   #26
silverF4turbo
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Originally Posted by Verdugo View Post
I firmly agree with this. The guys over at JTuned know what they're doing...they have a very good photo to start with in terms of composition and exposure. The post-processing just gives them the big extra UMPH to make stuff really stand out. I had the pleasure of meeting JTuned photographer Steve Demmitt last year at Formula D and he's really just THAT good of a photographer. I was genuinely surprised that he doesn't use some uber expensive telephoto lens for his motion shots...he's just got the skills, and post-processing helps him enhance them.

Knowing Photoshop very well does give you an edge though, no denying that. But, as I said...even just a little basic tweaking of contrast, saturation, and sharpness can go a long way.

Armin
I agree 100%... I didn't mean for my post to sound like it was discounting photographic talent... just underscoring how photoshop is like the essential factor that a lot of people don't realize in some of these truly amazing photos, and sets them apart.
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:06 PM   #27
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Wow, Mike, that's a heck of an improvement!!!
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:13 PM   #28
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Wow, Mike, that's a heck of an improvement!!!
Thanks! Again, I owe a debt of gratitude to the photographic gurus here for always pushing me to improve.

-Mike
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:49 PM   #29
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Thank you Armin!

What would you recommend for having multiple cars in 1 photo? Every time I try it it looks like the other car was just there and I had no choice.
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:15 PM   #30
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Thank you Armin!

What would you recommend for having multiple cars in 1 photo? Every time I try it it looks like the other car was just there and I had no choice.
It really becomes a matter of making sure you show that you put the cars where they are for a purpose. The 2 NSXs above we parked in a circular formation, creating kind of a "yin-yang" look. Here's a couple examples of my two cars together:





Here's a couple examples from a shoot I helped my friend Josh Mackey with...his shots from this shoot made the cover of Import Racer magazine:





And finally a couple pics from my AWJunkies friends in San Diego:





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Old 05-14-2007, 11:14 PM   #31
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Thats awesome man, thanks. I think the main thing is that a lot of people just don't take their time with their pictures. My main problem recently has been shooting in low light and getting my camera to focus correctly. Even on manual focus, its hard to tell whats in focus and whats not. Would shining a flashlight on the car for a second to get the focus down work?
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:38 PM   #32
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Thats awesome man, thanks. I think the main thing is that a lot of people just don't take their time with their pictures. My main problem recently has been shooting in low light and getting my camera to focus correctly. Even on manual focus, its hard to tell whats in focus and whats not. Would shining a flashlight on the car for a second to get the focus down work?
Yep, that's exactly how low-light assist lamps work on most of the newer digital cameras...they shine a light temporarily to find the focus point I don't see why it wouldn't work.

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Old 05-15-2007, 12:16 AM   #33
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Yep, that's exactly how low-light assist lamps work on most of the newer digital cameras...they shine a light temporarily to find the focus point I don't see why it wouldn't work.

Armin
Yeah, i have an XTi and that light isn't really bright enough I suppose, i dunno if thats a problem with more expensive bodies. Do you have any suggestion for a Canon digital photography forum?
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Old 05-15-2007, 12:36 AM   #34
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Great advice, can't wait to go take some shots.
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Old 05-15-2007, 12:40 AM   #35
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Do you have any suggestion for a Canon digital photography forum?
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/
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Old 05-15-2007, 04:07 AM   #36
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Verdugo, ever contemplated doing an excellent write-up like this one on moving automotive photography? Camera booms, what to look for in a location, etc? I've been a photo hobbyist for a while and I'm looking to step up from the stationary to the in-motion. I'm interested in any tips or tricks you have to share on the subject.
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:48 AM   #37
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ē Turn off that flash Ė There are certain ways to use a flash effectively on a car, but you usually need more than one, and it definitely wonít be the one attached to your camera. Thus, keep it turned off, and refer to the tripod rule above one more time.

Unless it's a pocket wizard heehee.. turning night into day





and you surely don't need fancy lighting to get great results; just being creative using the light around ya can yield awesome results..





and i'm not sure if you mentioned not to use any filters at night photography cause of the glare from the filter?

awesome write up though, will definately help those who are wanting to get into it or want some more tips!
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:31 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Blamecanada999 View Post
Verdugo, ever contemplated doing an excellent write-up like this one on moving automotive photography? Camera booms, what to look for in a location, etc? I've been a photo hobbyist for a while and I'm looking to step up from the stationary to the in-motion. I'm interested in any tips or tricks you have to share on the subject.
I'd love to write one up for using rigs but...I haven't used one yet! Soon hopefully though...getting one put together so once it's ready, I'll be sure to post up my trial and error results.

As for all the other motion shots I have in this thread, the main thing is to try to match the car's speed with an inverse shuttter (I think that's right, I always hated math). For example, if the car's going at 60 mph, start with a shutter speed of 1/60. A little faster will give you more definition on the spokes, but a little slower will make the car look like it's going super fast. I'm usually pretty far out the passenger side window when taking these shots, but I've also gotten pretty damn low as well. I took this hanging out the side of our family's minivan:



Quote:
Originally Posted by SiFuSpEc View Post
Unless it's a pocket wizard heehee.. turning night into day

and i'm not sure if you mentioned not to use any filters at night photography cause of the glare from the filter?
Pocket Wizard FTW! And you're right, generally you don't want to use any filters at night. I've still had success using my circular polarizer, but at the same time, I've noticed it wasn't necessarily needed either.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:44 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Verdugo View Post
As for all the other motion shots I have in this thread, the main thing is to try to match the car's speed with an inverse shuttter (I think that's right, I always hated math). For example, if the car's going at 60 mph, start with a shutter speed of 1/60. A little faster will give you more definition on the spokes, but a little slower will make the car look like it's going super fast. I'm usually pretty far out the passenger side window when taking these shots, but I've also gotten pretty damn low as well. I took this hanging out the side of our family's minivan
I can attest to this too event if you're standing still, 1/60th is a great place to start to create a feeling of emotion! especially with panning.. I'd love to see more auto-x photographers try to capture the feel of speed rather than the quality and detail of still photography..



Armin you're on a roll
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Old 05-15-2007, 12:13 PM   #40
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...generally you don't want to use any filters at night. I've still had success using my circular polarizer, but at the same time, I've noticed it wasn't necessarily needed either.
Yeah, this one really depends on the situation. Some night locations create notorious reflections and glare on the sides of cars and windshields. Sometimes you just can't get away from it (especially at meets where you don't have free reign on car placement), so the CP comes in handy when trying to reduce this:



I tried this shot without the CP, and the car had all sorts of reflections and glare on it, although I did do some touch-up work to reduce the blown out areas on the car from the lights in the parking lot.

-Mike
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Old 05-15-2007, 01:12 PM   #41
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I can attest to this too event if you're standing still, 1/60th is a great place to start to create a feeling of emotion! especially with panning.. I'd love to see more auto-x photographers try to capture the feel of speed rather than the quality and detail of still photography..



Armin you're on a roll
Thanks Panning is another animal entirely...I'm still trying to get really good at it, because I don't think I'm where I should be quite yet. Just need more practice! Here's a few of my decent ones...







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Old 05-17-2007, 03:56 PM   #42
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Centered is rarely best Ė Itís easy to take a picture and put everything you want in the center, but unfortunately it doesnít make for good photography. Generally, you want to follow the Rule of Thirds, which basically means that you want to put your subject at the cross section of two lines that cut your photo into thirds. An easy way visualize this is to imagine a tic-tac-toe board on your screen or viewfinder. Some cameras may even have this as an option to overlay on the screen. Here is an example of the Rule of Thirds in action:
Just want to point out that the rule of two thirds does not mean you can't fill the frame with the car, you just want to put a little thought into leaving a little more room on one side than the other, even if it is subtle. It could also mean centering the car but leaving more room at the top or bottom






Quote:
The background is not just noise Ė While the car is going to be the subject of your photo, that doesnít mean that the background doesnít matter. Even with proper composition, a good background can substantially help or wreck a photo. Industrial backgrounds are very overused, but itís understandable to use if youíre in a pinch. Ideally, you want a background that helps add to the theme of a photo or just plain looks good overall. A driveway photo shoot isnít all that great either unless the driveway is filled with a bunch more nice cars. Just be careful not to choose a background that blends in too much with your car, because then your subject wonít stand out. Here are a couple of my favorite background photos:
Keep the background somewhat simple so it does not distract from the car. Simple lines, textures, geometric shapes, etc., look for abstractions that will lead your eye to the car
Busy backgrounds distract from the car. Armins chinatown NSX shot is a good example of a background that is way too busy IMO.

PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL! Note what is in the background, is there light poles or tree trunks sticking up out from behind the car? Is there a dumpster or garbage can in the background (always see dumpsters in the backgrounds of photos )? Is there random garbage in the shot? Move garbage cans out of the shot, pick up the crap that is in the shot. If you can't remove it, then think about whether you can remove it in post. If not, move the camera or car to hide the unwanted crap


Quote:
Avoid backlights Ė Remember that you generally want your light source behind you, so that it lights up your subject. If youíre taking a photo of a car with the light source behind it, such as the sun or a streetlight, then youíll more than likely get lens flare (the ugly green or brown series of circles that emanate from the light source in question) and your subject will not receive enough light. If you have a set of strobes though, youíre all set, and you can produce some awesome photos. A quick glance over at any of the photos on Jtuned.com can give you many good examples.
Backlighting can work in some situations







Quote:
One filter to rule them all Ė Special effect filters can be fun, but thereís only really one filter that you need: the Circular Polarizer. The circular polarizer is key to getting rid of nasty reflections, especially those given off from windshields and other glass. Itíll also help when taking interior trim shots. I never leave home without my circular polarizer, and it should ALWAYS be in your camera bag. The only excuse not to have one is if you have a point and shoot camera that doesnít support one.
Polarizer can be handy, but it is not a substitute for taking pictures in a proper lighting and location situation, in which case you won't need a polarizer. I rarely use polarizers unless I am forced to shoot in the middle of day (when a polarizer is most effective).
I use split neutral density filters as much if not more.

Quote:
Post-processing for the win, or the lose Ė Of course to get your photos up on the web, theyíll need to be transferred to a computer in some fashion. Most people just upload them and call it a day, but if you take the time to post-process your photos, you can make yours easily stand out more than the next person. Often times youíll take a photo that looks absolutely perfect right out of the camera, but even doing little things like a little sharpening or a little boost in saturation or contrast can turn your photo into something more. Just donít go overboard with it! Itís very easy to go overboard with contrast and saturation especially. Too much contrast will remove definition and details from dark areas, and too much saturation can make a photo look very artificial. Use your best judgment and discretion, as youíll know very quickly if somethingís starting to look too extreme.

Again, pay attention to details when doing post work, retouch out (if you know how) the unwanted crap like cracks in the pavement, weeds, chewing gum spots, parking lines, unwanted reflections, inspection stickers, garbage, etc

For example this picture could have been improved a lot by removing all the marks in the pavement.



This one would have been better with the white line intersecting the car and weeds in the background removed




(not trying to single Armin out but he put these up as examples )



Other details to pay attention to:

remove crap dangling from the rear view mirror

remove the front license plate (all it takes is a screwdriver), especially if it is blocking a particular feature of the car (like an intercooler)

If someone is in the car, make sure they are not looking at the camera. Make sure they look clean and neat (even better is to have them wear dark cloths so they appear shadowy in the car)

ROLL THE WINDOWS UP!!! Having the windows down interrupts the lines of the car and creates an unwanted "black hole" to draw your eye into.

The only reason to leave the windows down is if you are trying to illustrate a particular feature of the windows or body

For example in this shot I left the windows down to show that there is no B-pillar in the car

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Old 05-17-2007, 03:57 PM   #43
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Well, shooting at 1/30 is not the easiest, even when shooting something still, let alone something in motion. Cameras can definitely shoot slower though...you just get a lot of camera shake (hence we return to the tripod rule). I shot the black Protege above at 1/50, and we couldn't have been going more than 20 mph, since I was hanging out the sliding door of a minivan
With practice and the right tools, you can go even slower with the shutter

This was at 1/10th at about 40mph



Quote:
Well, it does usually look something like this
Playing it safe

Try standing up in the back of a pick up truck while going around a race track at 45mph



I wear a harness now when I do this stuff
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:34 PM   #44
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Nice tutorial Armin! I've always admired your shots... and always checking out yours and the others in the other photo thread.

I've had a camera in my hands for over 20 years, and always learning. Everything you are talking about I learned in my high school photo class, but it is good to rehash it every now and then. At some point you don't really have to think about it much. Only a few years ago I acquired a decent semi SLR digital camera and renewed my love of photography, when I was younger and going to school, I had to hock my film slr and equipment and was without a decent camera for over 10 years. Last year I finally acquired a nice DSLR, something I've wanted to have for a long time. I'm achieving results that are making me very happy.

Being as I'm only an amateur and don't have much time to put into it, it takes a lot longer to start to master it.

Also, I've seen some great shots posted with some point and shoots, but composition is what really made them stand out.












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Old 05-17-2007, 04:42 PM   #45
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Morgan, you are another one whos shots I so admire!

Some of my action shots:







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Old 05-17-2007, 11:04 PM   #46
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Good additional info, Morgan. Your shots are incredible!!!
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:42 AM   #47
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Try standing up in the back of a pick up truck while going around a race track at 45mph



I wear a harness now when I do this stuff

lovin the last shot

Last edited by Ferg; 05-24-2008 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:43 PM   #48
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Great additional information, Morgan -- thanks for sharing!

-Mike
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:46 PM   #49
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Armin and Mopho, thanks a million!
This thread totally delivers.
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:22 AM   #50
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Morgan your last shot looks like something you would find in Motor Trend. Great work.
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