Mansory Carbonado: Making Of A Crazy Lamborghini Photoshoot

Photographer Philipp Rupprecht (his Facebook page) recently did one of the coolest photoshoots I have ever seen of a custom Lamborghini Aventador. Having access to a small German airport, runway, and aircraft certainly doesn't hurt for the overall epicness. Check out the amazing post-production process in the video above and read the post below to learn more.

From my interview with Philipp about the shoot:

"This was for mansory's own magazine and meant to be its coverstory. we spent one day for shooting the 18 images. The location was a small German airport (bayreuth). Aim of the shoot was  to display the carbon structure as well as possible. also the carbon structure is different to the usual carbon; it's weaved with a stealth-look, so we tried to give the whole set a stealthfighter- look. As the original scenery did not support this look so we decided to replace it with some backplates from texas.

The car is one of 6 mansory carbonados, a totally modified aventador. Mansory stripped the car totally down to replace nearly every part with their own stealt-carbon parts. they modified the engine which has around 1250 bhp now."





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nice. overcooked but nice. :0

I think in the context of the car and it`s design, the post processing is appropriate. Hard, edgy lighting with gritty high contrast post, works for a mean look you`d want in the car.


Maybe it would have been less work to do it all in a program like Blender ... say, go 100% CGI. The resemblance to computer game graphics is already striking.

You certainly could execute this image using CGI and it would make zero difference of the impact of the image for its intended market. However, with the plane and the car available to shoot, it would take far more time to model, texture and light using CGI. In the commercial realm, budget matters!

Patrick Hall's picture

Isn't it kind of fun though to say that this was done with traditional photography skills? Sure it's a composite (almost all product and commercial images you see published are), but it's also REAL.

I think it might be similar to recording music analog vs digital. Bands pre 1980 all recorded analog without the wonders of protools, but they did augment their creations with punch ins, overdubs, and tape manipulations. Then came the digital era where the process was quicker, faster, cleaner, more precise, and consequently a bit more cookie cutter in the way it could be edited and manipulated.

BUT, it is all still live music that requires skill and mastery of the instrument. Unlike pure synthetic electronic music (which still requires a great deal of mastery and talent), recorded instruments still fundamentally require a live performance.

I say all of this because even if the Black Keys last record could be produced 99% in computer (my parallel to CGI), it's still cool that they recorded it the old way playing real instruments. I think the same is true with photography, just because you could make this through CGI, it can still be appreciated being done through traditional photography means. It's the same reason I think Blair Bunting's photograph of the Aventador stands on its own even if it could have been produced 100% in a graphic design suite. for reference.

Interesting analogy,

My overall point is that often people get so hung up in the "How" that they often lose sight of the "Why," which is ultimately waaay more important! In the end a commercial image has a very specific purpose, usually to convey the "feel" of a brand or to sell a particular product... that is the "Why." How that particular image is created is largely a moot point, as long as it meets the goals of the creative direction and is executed well.

A commercial image is different than a song in that the image is not the end product. The consumer is not buying the image, they are being "sold" the image, the image is an advertising tool. The market could give a s*#%t how the image was created.

Ultimately, in the commercial space, you are being hired to help visually communicate a message and the more tools you have a your disposal (photography, photoshop, CGI... etc) the better equipped you will be to deliver that message.

A bit dramatic and fantasy-like but then when a car costs more the double the cost of the average house, it should be fantasy-like so I like it.

Dont like it..

OHHHHHHHHHHHHH the rich saudi's will EAT THIS UP!!!!!!

Brian Reese's picture

Am I missing the "making of a photoshoot" part? All I saw was post processing in Photoshop.

This is not a a display of someones photography, this is Digital art.. Stop calling yourself a photographer when its 90% photoshop. Lets call it what it is.. There is nothing wrong with being a Digital artist at all. But I feel that people are all caught up with the glamor of being an amazing photographer. Take an amazing photo and dont use photoshop or use it for brief changes then well talk ;-) Maybe thats why Digital photography gets such a bad rap is because most "Digital Photographers" nowadays use photoshop to make their photos look 100% better than their bad photography.

I do actually like the final images tho.. nice for Lambo,, I just wonder what you tell the client when you are on location. "Oh dont worry about the bad photo, we will fix that up in photoshop"

I don't see how the original photo was "bad" the exposure and composition were just fine. You also don't know if the client asked for the final result's look. I fail to see how someone who took a photograph, becomes a digital artist when said photo is edited in photoshop. The photography still took place, principles, skills etc. still applied.
Guys like Erik Almas, Tim Tadder, John Keatley, and David Hill have developed a post processing styles for their "photography". Their clients approach them because they offer that look.
I don't like it when someone take's a poorly thought out and executed image, and try to save it in photoshop and justify it by calling it a style.
However that's not what I see happening here. Knowing how to shoot plates to do a composite is a skill in itself.

Composition was very good. The exposure I'll gladly disagree with you.

I agree, there is skill to make a composite. However, I agree with maestro - it's not exactly photography. More and more I'm fastinated by Joe-schmo who bought a low end DSLR with a kit lens and who doesn't own photoshop and turns out wonderful images with good composition (and better exposure than the original photograph here!).

Yeah I can see where you're coming from with exposure, that's one of the things in photography veers towards the subjective. If it's not a good exposure for your taste, it's not a good exposure for your taste.

I'm not so much trying to defend post processing by saying there's skill involved. I'm more trying to decipher why a photographer ceases to be a photographer, to some people, when they initiate a level of post processing. I don't see why an addition should render the original process irrelevant in terms of defining the artist.

Annie Leibovitz did a fantastic series of images for Disney, which had an extreme level of composting and photoshop work. I don't thing there's a single critic or fan out there who would describe her as anything other than one of the premiere photographers of the last 20-30 years.

I personally think there's enough of a blurred line in terms of tools and skills, to justify calling a photographer a digital artist if their body of work skews towards that direction. But if the artist considers themselves a photographer and the beginnings of the image required photographic skill, I don't see why there's a need to force them to acknowledge themselves as a digital artist.

Just glanced at that series. I would consider those images very much digital art based on photographs. Please, don't misunderstand me - AMAZING work, but I think with that level of modification, those specific images are not photographs. Much of her other work, yes (after a brief browsing), I agree - extremely talented photographer.

I would not urge people to call themselves something else. A photographer can produce digital art (while acknowledging the primary source as photographs). I see it much the same as a sculptor needing to draw the sculpture before creating it. I would not agree with calling that artist someone who primarily does drawings. Rather, I see the drawings as a direct contributor to the later work and if the primary works of the artist are the sculptures, the artist would then be considered a sculptor. Similarly, someone who uses well thought out photos to generate beautiful composite images not a photographer, but something else. Maybe not a "digital artist" as that seems to carry a negative connotation, but neither purely a photographer.

In the end, I'm not "studied". I don't grasp why an unremarkable (and 'shopped) photo of the Rhine sold for $4.3 million, I don't appreciate every fine art photographer's work, and I believe that less adjustment is more. I just get frustrated that so much emphasis is on post processing and less on setting up a good composition. Almost everything I see shared on a photo blog these days are extremely photoshopped works and the digital manipulations that lead to them.

I think you're close with the sculptor analogy. Although I see it more as if an artists creates a sculpture, but add's paint to add a new level of interest to the sculpture, is he then no longer a sculptor but a painter?

I really have no idea how to define it and it may take a while for a definition or term to come along. I agree with you that at a certain point it's not pure photographic work anymore, at least not in the classic and widely accepted definition.

I just think it's weird to force a title when either or can work. It seems absurd to force a title on a guy like Elton John, is he a talented vocalist or a talented pianist? It's just easier to side step the whole issue by calling him a musician.

So perhaps the answer is the simply use an umbrella term like visual artist. My only beef with digital artist is that it seems to forget the photographic skill it takes to create great composite images. Erik Almas's work is not only accepted as fine art but sold in prestigious fine art galleries, the end result might be considered digital art but he is acknowledged as a photographer.

Then there's overcooked images by bad photographers. I don't think people will mistake bad photography despite the over processing. A poor choice in lighting, composition, exposure lead to bad plates, There's only so much that can be done to mask errors.

It just seems such a shame to dismiss photographic skill where photographic skill is displayed, because the end result involved digital work.

Patrick Hall's picture

Sorry to keep responding to you Aaron, I'm just reading this anonymously and responding to ones I find interesting.

What is wrong with the exposure? Exposure usually means capturing the most amount of tones in an image OR giving your subject the most amount of detail OR the most amount of light.

I don't see how you can ever say the above photo has poor or wrong exposure. It reminds me of Cliff Mautner saying on our wedding DVD that photographers often complain to him that his exposure is too dark. He took great offense to that saying his subject matter was perfectly exposed while the backgrounds often were driven into pure darkness because of the lighting mood he was shooting in.

Having been in a dark Aventador myself, I can tell you personally, this image above has more detail and contrast in the exposure than it really should ever have naively straight out of the camera. If you want to hate on the compositing, I might be able to appreciate that, but to say the exposure is not good kind of stumps me.

I'm going to respond to both of your responses at once, for simplicity.

I have absolutely no problem with "graphic artists". I simply believe that once the image is composited and manipulated to the extreme, it is no longer "photography", but something else. I do not endeavor to demean these artists or their work, but am tired of it being paraded as a photograph - a capturing of what is there.

The fact that Ansel Adams is used as the end all perfection of all things ever thought up of photography bothers me. Yes, Ansel Adams had some amazing work. But there have been other, equally talented artists out there, who see things differently.

I would disagree that the picture you refer to is "nothing like reality". I think it is still very true, with some exposure modifications (yes, I know I critique exposure below). There is not a new skyline brought in with aspects picked out from multiple locations.

As for the original photograph of the Aventador, I think it just boils down to a preference thing. As discussed above, I find that the composition takes away significantly from the exposure's ability to be perfect. I'm not saying that it's a travesty, but I would not put the initial photograph on a pedestal of excellence. Obviously the goal was to have great detail in the image, judging by the final product. Through that lens, the initial photograph doesn't complete the objective at all.

Please, feel free to respond. I'm not an expert and am not an artist by way of thinking.


you cant also forget that the image was an HDR approach. just a few layered images of different exposures, masked together then color corrected. Which people have been doing for years.

You do realize that Ansel Adams spent hours upon hours in the dark room right? I dont think you have ever seen an image of his that hasn't been "cooked" in post processing, why? because that is part of the photographic process. There will always be post processing of images, especially since most of us shoot RAW. People need to understand that nothing has really change since the film days...just the tools we use.

There are certain aspects of photo editing that I understand. Corrections to exposure and contrast, etc, are to be expected. However, looking at Ansel Adams' work, (please do correct me if I'm wrong, I'm no expert) 1 photograph was used. That is completely different, in my opinion, than merging multiple photographs. Yes, I know other famous photographers did this, but I do not change my rules for film or digital - multiple images put together are composite images; beautiful works of art, but not entirely photography.

Patrick Hall's picture

If the single negative Ansel Adams used to create one of his prints turns out an image that looks nothing like reality, then why should that be called photography? One of my favorite images of his, Moonrise, Hernandez, NM, hangs in my house and I love it because it looks nothing like reality. It shows his amazing ability to manipulate film in a compelling way that captures something a standard exposure simply cannot capture.

I'm not sure why people put the term "photographer" on such a pedestal yet condemn the term "graphic artists". If this image is graphic art rather than photography, by all means graphic art is a much more difficult medium and should be held even higher.

I agree that the term Photographer in a traditional sense is thrown around quite loosely. However, whether or not the image is pure "photography" makes zero difference in the end. What matters (for commercial photography) is the impact of the image and its ability to sell. The camera is simply a tool in the pipeline to achieve an end goal and execute on a vision. No one in the target audience for this image sits there and says "Man that car looks sexy as hell... too bad its not captured in camera!"

I would say this would fall just on the edge of what I would still consider photography before what would call graphic arts. This photo looks like light painted. meaning the photographer still spent plenty of time thinking up the image then taking multiple photos each with a different lighting setup. I wouldn't call that "bad photography"..

You should check out Tim Wallace's car work. He is one of the biggest car photographers in the world, makes tons of money. All his images are HEAVY photoshoped. And they are SICK. You just have a purest mindset, and that's ok. I have worked for Joe Mcnally many times, He's a purest. All in camera. His images are sick to. Though, these days all images are surreal in the commercial world, I don't see any other way.

Hi Maestro
I agree with you. Many bad photographers out there who rely too much on PS, but photography has changed (I did not say evolved) to something more like graphic design. At the end of the day, bad photos do not edit well for design due to noise, bad exposure, dof, camera shake, etc... so I would still feel that there is a good need for skill when you shoot.