Yesterday I had the opportunity to photograph Justin Nigro of Always Reckless. I had first heard of him from my buddy Tim Ely who recently got into drifting. Needless to say, I was excited to do this shoot as I love cars and creating interesting photos of them and their drivers.
When approaching this shoot, I wanted to do something a bit more complex than usual. I ended up using 3 lights in this shot. The main light was a Profoto 7B head in a 39" Elinchrom Deep Octa with no diffusion. This gives a nice crisp look. The second light, an Einstein E640 was placed opposite the main light and CTO gelled to give a nice warm rim light and help bring out the interior features of the car. Finally, a beauty dish with an Einstein head and a 30 degree grid was used for fill to lighten up the shadows a tad.
I wanted to do a moving shot, and I didn't have any car rigs available as I hadn't planned on doing this shoot before I left home, so I had to improvise. I ended up using an Avenger D600CB Mini Boom hooked into the latch of the trunk, then sandbagged on the edge of the car to keep it more stable. I needed to attach the camera to the end, so I used a super clamp with a stud in it, then attached a Manfrotto Accessory Arm so I would be able to attach my ballhead, and finally the camera. From the camera, I ran a USB 3 cable with a 15' Active Extension Cable to my computer, a 17" MacBook Pro which enables me to control the camera remotely and also see the photos instantly as they come in.
Finally, I was going to need to be pushing the car as I took the shot, so I added a wireless remote shutter control. The reason we have to push it is the engine creates too much vibration in the body of the car, so we use a slow shutter speed and slowly move the car as the shot is being taken. The shutter speed for this shot was 1/5th of a second, and Justin is frozen because of the flash. To get this low of a shutter speed, I needed to use a 3-stop ND filter, here's the one I use, it's cheap and good quality.
Overall, this took about an hour to set up and test, but I think overall it came out pretty well for having to improvise.
Questions? Post them below and I'll do my best to answer them!