Photographing the New Tesla Roadster Diecast

I'd love to shoot the new Tesla Roadster, but being that it's going to cost a quarter-million and it's not even for sale yet, that wasn't a possibility. I got the next best thing, the official Tesla Roadster diecast model. 

It would be impossible to explain each step of my process, but you can watch the hour-long video tutorial above to see how I shot this car on a cookie sheet and then edited three different versions of the car in Photoshop.

This video is sponsored by Fujifilm, Manfrotto, Profoto, and Exposure software, and I used gear from each of these companies to produce this shot.  

Tesla Roadster diecast

Fujifilm X-T3

Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8

Manfrotto X Pro 4 tripod

Manfrotto XPro Ball Head

Manfrotto 420B light stand

Profoto B10

Profoto RFi 3.0 x 4.0' Softbox

Nonstick cookie sheet

Exposure X5

Here is the first shot that has very little work done to it. I simply cleaned up the dust, made the background pure white, extended the cookie sheet, and illuminated the head and tail lights. 

For the second shot, I added motion blur to the wheels and "road." I also added smoke, tire tracks, and a blurred "wall" in the background. 

For the final shot, I placed the car on a blurred background and then used Exposure X5 software to add a global effect to the image as well as a light burn and lens flare. 

Check out the video above to see how I accomplished everything.

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11 Comments

Wow it really is autopilot! 😬

John Adams's picture

Lol yeah, where is the guy driving it?

Just me's picture

Obviously, On the final picture, with the wheels turned this way, it will go off road in the next second! (or it's a drift test)

Felix Hernandez would be proud of you :)

Rod Kestel's picture

Hey Dude, so focussed doing an awesome job with the lighting etc, forgot to add a driver!

Graham Taylor's picture

It's a really solid effort, but there are a few giveaways in the edit that I think would be giveaways even if you hadn't been kind enough to share the process with us.

- Lack of a driver (alright, autopilot...)
- 'Studio' reflections on top of car; patches of white that are broken and don't fit with the environment
- Brake calipers in the radial blur? Hard to tell from this size image but it looks like they're moving too.
- Planes of motion blur don't really match the direction of the car/road

Great job on blurring the reflections of the environment on the car bodywork though, that's usually the bit most people forget. I get that you've done it as an example of what is achievable, but you would have made your life easier leaving it as a studio image.

Rod Kestel's picture

This all demonstrates attempting something like this is really non trivial, and just how subtle human perception is. I can kinda see it's not a real scene, but really hard to pick why.

Graham Taylor's picture

Ultimately it's all nit-picking and I imagine only other people who have done this sort of thing can spot the reasons why. Certainly I can't imagine most clients picking up on it. Although as you say, there is always something that generally looks 'off'.

Shots like this are generally done better wth 3D models and dedicated software, which is why OEM companies do exactly that.

Pete Tapang's picture

not bad!