How To Light a Muscle Car with Tim Wallace

Anyone who has tried can tell you that lighting cars well is a difficult thing to do. The size of them, the lack of flat surfaces, how reflective they are, and the variety of different materials all make for one of the most trying photographic challenges out there. In this video, renowned automotive photographer Tim Wallace talks with us about the methods that have helped him to become so successful. Most people are under the mistaken impression that you need a huge studio bay and massive light modifiers to be able to light a car properly. The thing that makes me the happiest about sharing this video with you is how simple the lighting can be.

Be sure to check out more of Tim's work at

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About time he told how he lights his cars. Tim is one of the best. You should see him shoot for IWC watches.

I don't like his photography.

How To Light a Muscle Car with Tim Wallace?
Invite Tim Wallace, let him light the car.

Why does the thumbnail show a DB5?

Yeah, when I saw the DB5 with the headline reading "Muscle Car" I came to the comments to rage about it being called such. Why not just call the article "How to light cars with Tim Wallace"?

Looks like the video from KelbyTraining's "Inspired Light and Automotive Photography".

The Aston Martin in the thumbnail is badly placed to my mind. Better to have it moving into the frame normally??

Todd Douglas's picture

Love his quote about starting simple and move up slowly. No need to overdo it. Always good advice for any photo shoot.

Nothing new apart from basic lighting diagram.. Not worth at all. He should better explained how to light considering the different shapes and parts of the car i think.

not a fan of his final crop, it hurts my neck.

Pixyst's picture

I guess if you want to learn, you'll learn from this. If you want to complain, then that's exactly what you'll do. I personally learned a lot.

the comments section always seems to ruin these videos for me. Or maybe it's just our community as a whole.
Ease up guys...

To me it's a little beyond a simple lighting exercise, but what we should get from these videos is some basic ideas and then tailor them to our own abilities and equipment. Somewhat like a cooking show in which you learn technique rather than how to copy the exact recipe.

mitch marmorstein's picture

Should have waited until night to shoot and avoid the nasty skylight reflection in the hood.
just sayin'

Thanks for the relaxed yet informative walk through Tim, appreciated.

I love the title of this article: "How To Light a Muscle Car with Tim Wallace". Makes it sound like Tim is a strobe. =) Love his work!

Helpful vid. Thanks.