Introduction. I have a driver’s license for motorbikes as long as I own a driver’s license for cars. But since the day of my driving test I did not ride a bike since I never owned one. When I was younger I did not have the money, during my studies I had other things to focus on and over time the wish for a motorbike went dormant. But it was always there, slumbering in the back of my mind. Fast forward many years. It was time. The desire awoke and powerfully forced its way out. On a Friday I decided to buy a motorbike, and a few days later I was fully clothed and geared and called myself the owner of a second hand Yamaha FZ6 Fazer. And with this „newly found“ hobby, what would lie closer than combining it with my other hobby – photography ? That’s why this and the next post is about motorbike photography. I will feature four different bikes, one being my own and three others from friends and colleagues. In this post I will present a Yamaha FZ6 Fazer and a Kawasaki Z750 Streetfighter (and one image of a bike I made in 2011, […]
I stumbled across this gorgeous Mercedes Benz SLS AMG in an underground car park in Frankfurt. Now I am not a sportscar person, but the sheer beauty of this piece is stunning. The design screams „I AM PERFECTLY ENGINEERED“ and boy, do I love the matt paint finish (It makes the car look Apple-ish now that I think about it a little longer). These images are a great example that impressive car photos do not require extensive lighting or a monstrous setup. All three shots were snapped more or less while bypassing with my family waiting a few meters ahead. The shot was made with only the flourescent light that illuminated the car park. 1/640 s @ f/4 and (auto) ISO through the roof did the rest. Looking at the EXIF data I could have chosen a slower shutter speed, but the camera was set to these values since I shot in bright daylight shortly before.
I decided to share some of my images as wallpapers. The plan is to start with a small number of images and add one or the other image over time. I will kick this off by publishing two shots of model sports cars I made in the past (click here to see the Ferrari shooting, here for the Audi R8 shooting and here for many other sportscars). The format of both images is 16:9 (2560×1440 pixels). Clicking on the image will take you to the full size version. Now right-click and select „Save as…“ or similar (depending on the operating system you use). Disclaimer: While I am fond of sharing stuff I would like to announce the rules under which you may use these images. You are allowed to share them with anybody, but don’t alter them (one exception: downsizing the resolution to match your screen). The images are also not for commercial use, please contact me if you intend to do so to find an agreement. In all cases the copyright stays with me.
The sportscar fever got me after I shot the Ferrari FF and an Audi R8 in the studio. So I borrowed a bunch of model cars and launched an extensive shooting session in the studio. To add a little extra wow to the images I went to my local hardware store and purchased a 60 x 30 cm polished black granite tile. That should give wonderful reflections of the cars I wanted to photograph. The model cars I had available are two Porsches (a silver 911 and a black GT3), a red Bugatti, a black Porsche old-timer convertible, a yellow Lamborghini Aventador and a white Mercedes oldtimer. Here is the basic shooting setup: I placed the models on the black granite tile. The tile has a sprinkled structure as I could not find a perfectly black tile in the hardware store, but it worked out well. Constant use of the rocket blower and a micro fibre cloth between the shots ensured that I did not have to go ape in post. Actually, most modifications to the images are made to the background – making black totally black. On some images (e.g. the header image) the wheels got a little exposure boost, […]
Following the positive response on my Ferrari FF post I got hold of another RC model car and took it into my studio. Again a red car, but this time it’s an Audi R8. In the studio I used a black backdrop, placing the model on a table which is also covered by the backdrop material. To separate the model from the background as much as possible (light from above illuminates the black cloth, thus revealing the texture of the fabric and ruining the illusion) I slid a box underneath the car. The less fabric is directly around the car, the less work in post to black out the background. The shots were made with my D800 and the 70-200 f2.8 lens. I shot at 200 mm and f20 / f22 to receive maximum depth of field. During the shoot I moved the lights around a lot, since getting a pleasing reflection on the car is tricky and requires some try and error. I have not distilled golden rules from my experiences (yet), so you just have to try out and see what looks good. If you are using studio lighting you will have a modeling light. This is pretty […]
I enjoyed shooting a Porsche GTS a few weeks ago. Shooting cars is a new challenge since I am not too experienced in that genre. While the Porsche shoot produced some presentable results I was not completely satisfied. What I had in mind was a cool shot with the car in the dark, only the silhouette lit by a strip of light and some minor details of the car showing. Those are cool shots. But there is a logistical barrier. To achieve that effect you need a softbox suspended above the car which is at least double the size of the car. Obviously that was not an option since for such setups you need quite a budget and a crew. I pondered that issue a while. The solution is so simple that I facepalmed myself for not getting that idea earlier. I need a softbox which is larger than the car to light the complete silhouette. I have two 80×120 cm softboxes, so all I need is a small car. The next day I went to a toy shop and scrutinized the model cars. At first I looked at the model cars which are meant for display (scale 1:18 or […]