My good buddy and fantastic car photographer Richard Thompson (check out his facebook page) shared a unique shoot he just completed recently. He photographed over $20 million in rare exotic cars using the Phase One IQ180 (80 MP medium format monster) in an extremely rare and beautiful location over 3 days. Even better, the shoot benefitted a children's charity. Check out the full post below to see more images & to learn more about how everything came together on this remarkable shoot!Read below to learn more about how Richard Thompson accomplished this photo shoot and his post-production process as well:
"Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working on what may well be the most unique (or craziest) photoshoot I’ve ever been involved in.
Collaborating with Los Angeles based designer Holger Schubert, we devised a photoshoot in support of a local children’s charity (http://www.thepaintedturtle.org/) which Holger selected. The shoot took place in Holger’s exquisite Brentwood home, which has received acclaim in several publications and around the internet as “the ultimate garage” due to the fact the parking space is in his second story living room, and commands a sweeping panoramic view the whole way down to the Pacific. Ultimately the material is going to be produced into a book which we are working on now.
The shoot offered the opportunity to work with some remarkable cars, but the most remarkable part was the number of cars. Typically I work with one or two cars at a time, or five or six (at most) for a group shoot. This project called for me to shoot more than two dozen cars in the same space. By the time the project was over, more than 50 (!!!) cars had been photographed in the space by three different photographers, and on a variety of different camera systems. Thus the project became a study in efficiency and consistency.
Conceptually my ideas were weighted on creating images which stressed the interaction of the car with the environment, so my lighting technique was based on reduction rather than addition: I was able to modify available light by placing diffusion and flagging on the exterior of the house (it’s a bright space) rather than dragging a ton of lighting equipment in and overpowering the room with artificial light. This method also kept gear out of reflections, and saved a lot of time between setups. Not to mention how quickly things could’ve gotten out of hand with a lot of production equipment around so much exotic machinery.
For my own part 90% of the work was made on a PhaseOne system consisting of a 645DF+ body, IQ180 back, and Schneider Kreuznach leaf shutter glass provided by my friends at PhaseOne USA. I’ve used this system a handful of times for other work. The 80 megapixel resolution, 16-bit color depth, and brilliant touch screen interface are a potent and surprisingly easy to use combo given my past experience in the world of medium format digital. At one point Holger’s eight year old son got behind the camera and I had him shooting like a pro in a matter of minutes :-)
Post production was a fairly straightforward process given attention paid to details on set. I opted for a cool grading scheme and retouched extraneous details (thermostat, lights, and speakers in ceiling) to enhance the minimalism of Holger’s house and promote the idea of the car + space as a surreal still life. Past experience in film and visual effects has taught me to solve problems practically as often as possible. The volume of cars we were working with made a lot of post-heavy techniques often seen in editorial or advertising work (like multi-frame composites or painting out loads of reflections) cost prohibitive. Having a pre-light day to modify the space and paying constant attention to set dressing dramatically reduced the amount of retouching required.
I’d like to wrap up this summary with a personal thanks to the many people who supported this shoot and what it stood for. It’s always a pleasure to work with an awesome crew, awesome gear, and awesome cars. This was a rare case where we did these things in support of children who spend most days bound to a medical environment for one reason or another. Work produced as a result of this shoot will allow them a chance to enjoy life and forget about their troubles for a while. For more info visit The Painted Turtle, and look out for a book full of these images this fall."
As an on-location photographer myself, I have to say, I am envious of these photographers having such a beautiful home to shoot in and beautiful portait subjects to boot. It also gets me wondering, what supercar would I park in my living room if I ever had the chance? I think I'd probably park a Ferrari F40 or possibly an original Ford GT40 in there to glance at as I watch How I Met Your Mother re-runs.
What car would you park in your living room?
I enjoy the soft lighting and cool tones on Richard's shots. I bet they look fantastic in high resolution with those 80 megapixel Phase One IQ180 files with 12.5 stops of dynamic range. The post-production process and lighting of this shoot is very consistent with the tones Richard likes to incorporate into his car photos.
Thank you for sharing your story with us Richard! If you have questions for Richard, make sure to comment below. He will be monitoring this page and answering questions.
Also, keep an eye on my Fstopper's author page. I'm working on some great new articles for you guys including tips for what to do when a client books you to fly across the country/world including shoot planning, pricing, and gear prep.