How To Light A Semi-Truck Against The Los Angeles Skyline

Jay P. Morgan is a commercial photographer based out in Los Angeles. His behind the scenes videos have been a hit with our readers because they always feature some useful lighting or photoshopping technique. In his latest video, Jay shuts down a highway ramp in order to light an 18 wheeler truck against the LA skyline. It's pretty interesting that an image like this is shot in camera and not completely photoshopped but that's what makes Jay P. Morgan a hero around the office. If you enjoy this video be sure to check out some of his other videos here.

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Seagram Pearce's picture

Nice... although I do this on a weekly basis... not trucks per se, but cars. Just seems a little less 'wow' to me.

The end result didn't blow me away this time. It just didn't pop and it didn't feel like the truck was the motive at all. I think it is because of two factors. The first being the truck itself is so small in the frame. Of course it's tough to get the skyline any other way without going super wide.

The other is the overall yellow light. I know it is a "true" look, since it looks natural. But it feels kind of dull. I would love the truck to be a more white kind of white instead of a yellowish white. That would have made the picture look a lot more artificial but I think it would benefit from it, as the truck would pop and be the center of attention (of course, this effect must not be overdone as it would ruin the picture).

So, the thing is the truck doesn't grab my eye. It looks like a photo of a skyline with a truck that happened to drive by rather than a truck in front of a skyline. I wouldn't have done it half as good myself though, to be honest. :)

Also. Iso 125 for canon cameras produce as much noise as 400iso or more. 160 is the lowest, finest iso noise.

He always has really cool BTS's but the final product is never as nice as you'd hope. I don't DISLIKE his work, but it just seems pretty complicated for a less than stellar final image or video. This is what you call a busy shot. The colors are all over the place and thus your eyes are all over the place, which is not good if you are suppose to focus on a specific product (the truck). 

romain vernede's picture

Jay P Morgan: I definitely love your work, and the man behind the camera!

Carlo Parducho's picture

Nice vid. I love how he showed the logistical parts too - police escort, cranes, rigs, etc