Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cars and sunlight

Okay, one of the things I like to see in a nice posed car shot is wonderful sunset light. I don't always get it though. When I schedule a photo shoot I look in advance to see what the weather might be like. California does have a very high percentage of great sunsets but you'll quickly find that not every sunset will work with a particular location. In my photos below, you can see that my favorite spot has these great low rocky hills deep in the background. They catch sunset light perfectly, and are just short enough to allow for some blue sky in the top of the frame. This has been my "go-to" location when I can get people to drive to where I live. I'm currently searching for more striking areas in Los Angeles, but I haven't had much luck lately out there. Too many trees, telephone poles, and overhead power lines. It can help to head down to Orange County, but was just there a couple weeks back and really didn't get a location or a sunset I liked. As a result, an editor didn't like my photos and I'm going to have to reshoot that car. Reshoots are expensive and waste time. Thankfully this doesn't happen much to me...

Anyway, with a great sunset and some careful positioning, you can shoot a car with just one flash and have it look very natural. On the other hand, some editors prefer "flashed up" posed shots... no sense in arguing about it. I just shoot to satisfy their taste and everything's fine. I hope to expand my collection of flashes very soon, but first I've got to test out the Sigma SD-14 I just ordered. I've searched quite a few user groups but haven't found many car photos. Macros and portrait photography, and quite a bit of landscapes and buildings too. Hopefully I'll get to add to the collections!

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