Some great photographers are lucky enough to have a rare opportunity to photograph ultra-rare and exclusive cars, but usually you have to work under tight restrictions or are often thrown an obstacle or two. Car photographer Pepper Yandell's recent photo shoot with a rare super car worth nearly $4 million was no exception. See how he shot incredible images in less than an hour and learn from the helpful tips he shares.
According to Pepper:
You have to always be ready and able to adapt to the situation at hand, things don't always go as planned! Take it all in stride and be confident in your ability to produce awesome images despite whatever obstacles arise.
This car provided some unique challenges when it came to lighting. The top portion of the car is brown carbon fiber, my first time ever shooting a brown carbon fiber car, not surprisingly. Every car reacts to light differently, and this one was a perfect example. I went in with 3 Profoto B1s and a couple long stripbox modifiers, my favorite modifier for cars. Reasoning for this being the long thing source of soft light provides a nice highlight line along the body of the car. It did this just as planned, but I quickly discovered that when shooting with the softbox the carbon did not even barely reveal itself, it instead came out looking just like a black car.
To get the carbon fiber texture to show I had to take the softbox off and shoot just a bare light directly into the paint at a close range. This let the light start to reflect off the carbon, revealing a nice texture on a small portion of the car. I did this all around the body of the car, and then combined the stripbox lighting with this to arrive at the final result via compositing in Photoshop.
With every car comes more experience and lessons, don't get frustrated when things don't work as planned - view it as an opportunity to improve your work!