Ferrari, Bugatti, An Air Strip, And Heat Stroke - Crazy Fun Photoshoot

I had the pleasure to be hired to shoot an amazing car collection last year, which included 2 ultra-rare special Bugatti Veyrons. For example, the silver Bugatti, as you will watch, is a one-of-a-kind 100th anniversary Bugatti called the Sang Bleu… literally 1 of 1. We also had a decent-sized portion of a private airport at our disposal to use for the shoot. Pretty incredible experience. Read on to learn more about the shoot itself and my lighting.

I did the behind the scenes video with my 8112 Studios (my video production company) co-founder, Nicholas Cambata. Nick and I have been best buddies for over 20 years and it's pretty awesome we are able to go on adventures and do jobs like this, especially since we share an equally deep love for everything automotive. Thanks to my friend Alex Rodriguez of Digital Ally for additional video footage!

It was HOT out last summer in Florida. I'm pretty sure we all suffered from various forms of heat stroke, but it was completely worth it to get these shots. It was nice having a single location, a private airport with open hanger, at our disposal.

I used essentially my White Lightning x3200 strobes with silver 7" reflectors connected to a powerful generator we rented on-location. The purpose of the flashes in the bright Florida sun was to use as fill light on the shaded sides of the vehicle (if the sun was behind or above) or to accentuate lines on the car bodies.

I did not allow myself to drive the Bugattis (too much money along with a whole lot of power), but I did get to drive some other pretty awesome cars on that trip. Although, that's a story for another post...

My gift to you for reading, a free desktop wallpaper with one of my Bugatti photos: CLICK HERE

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Fog machine:  I'll be honest... I didn't know how this would turn out at first, but personally like how it came out.

Moving inside for a bit. The hangar door was back lit and semi-transparent and the floor was pristine white. It made for great conditions to take a natural light portrait of the Sang Bleu. Yes I know there are reflections, but I personally kind of like it in this case... it's real.

Also very rare, a Ferrari 599 GTS. The engine sound was incredible.

Prepping the ladies for their close-up. We had a loaner production truck for the shoot... a supercharged Ford Raptor. I was in love.

Planning car placement. I lit each car one at a time and then took exposures for the background. Essentially the final image is a composite of 3 separate photos thanks to help from my retoucher Justin Paguia. This was just a snapshot before lighting was set up to check my framing.

Sleeping beauties in their hangar

An example of one of my lighting setups


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Previous comments
Anthony Chopin's picture

Touché Michael!!! I have noticed that spelling corrections have been made in the post now though, so my pride is totally still in tact! :D

August Young's picture

looks fake... stop over photoshoping everything ppl!

futuristic car deserves futuristic retouching. :) I like it. that makes your statement not matter :)

james taylor's picture

Thorbjorn, I fear you've missed the point, if you like your cars to look fake and that make you happy thats fine. However, in that case you don't need to see photographs the cars at all to be satisfied. One could make a CG shot of all the greatest cars ever made then you would be really happy. :)

But these are real photographs of real super cars. The beautiful design, expertly crafted metal surfaces and flawless paint, don't deserve to be over Photoshopped in a manor that reduces them to looking like fakes. Regardless of however many people, (clients included), personally like this over retouching, this will always remain true.

Then again maybe I'm just jealous I don't get paid to photographer supercars ;)

Justin Paguia's picture

lol, what can i say, i get paid to make real cars look fake, and fake cars look real. welcome to car retouching playboy