Since coming to SW Florida, I have not had a chance to attend a supercar event in over a year. There are not as many here as there were in Tampa Bay. Fortunately, Naples Motorfest 2016 was on a Saturday morning I had free and Dona of Luxe Fashion Group once again allowed me to attend and photograph the exotic cars on display. This allowed me to see for the first time the Lamborghini Aventador SV (above) in a standout blue color with SV graphics on the rear quarterpanel. This car had tremendous presence and was drawing the most attention of any supercar there by far.Read More
Going through my unused archives from a Lamborghini Gallardo shoot from December I spent a little time experimenting with the filters in Color Efex Pro 4. It took me awhile to get used to the UI changes in this new version, but after not liking 4 I now prefer how you can add multiple filters at once. In this Lamborghini shot I used no less than four filters, starting with the usual Pro Contract and Polarization filters, then the Glamour Glow filter before finishing with the Cross Color filter. The image started out as a 9-exposure HDR. The biggest impact of the filters was a contrast improvement, a softening of details and an overall warm tint to the tone of the image. What do you think . . too much or looks cool?
My last photo shoot of the year was a special one, a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 with custom black ADV.1 wheels. The owner contacted me wanting some personal images made of his new Lamborghini with some stress on capturing the custom made ADV.1 wheels. For the location of the shoot, there were some potential warehouse locations to use, but in the end we went to my tried and true Ybor City location. I had previously shot there in the late afternoon and dusk, so this was my first bright daylight shoot there featuring Tampa Car Photography.
Despite the abundance of sunshine, I knew with the white car I wanted to make a shot that had a largely black background. The above image was made by using a fast shutter speed in the field, then adding some vignette in editing afterwards. The lights under the car are two speedlights I placed to show detail in the custom ADV.1 wheels.
I first found this curbside composition when doing a Porsche 911 shoot in July. To change things up this time I shot the car from the rear to show off the quad exhaust and rear diffuser.
One of my trademark shots is to feature the center of the car's wheel, the brake rotor and then a side wall detail. In this case you can see the ADV.1 logo on the wheel, part of the Lamborghini logo on the brake caliper and the LP 550-2 badging on the side of the car. That means 550hp and rear wheel drive.
More stylizing for this shot. When I made it I knew I would ultimately like to cut the background out, so I shot it with the background overexposed in the field, then just cut it completely out in Photoshop as well as darkening the foreground.
For further variety, I composed the Lamborghini to look small in the frame and let the background compliment the supercar. This was all just part 1 of photographing the client's Lamborghini. There will be another shoot coming up at night that I am really excited for!
A car enthusiast acquaintance told me about a monthly car meetup called Cars & Coffee (Facebook page for the meetups). I had no idea the size of the event so when I showed up Saturday morning at 8:25am (event schedule says 7am to 9am) I was very surprised to see hundreds of cars there, many of which were already pulling out to leave! As I walked from my car into the main area I saw most major current model supercars pass by. I never thought people would leave early and I thought thirty minutes would be more than enough to check everything out, but I was totally wrong. Still, I was able to talk to a few people and perhaps even make a few new car photography contacts.
The car highlight for me was seeing a Lamborghini Aventador in person for the first time. There were a lot of people around it naturally and the above shot was the cleanest one I could get of it. It is so low to the ground I felt like I could jump over the car! I look forward to the September meetup and know that I have to wake up much earlier next time!
My favorite Lamborghini is the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera because of why and how it was made (super lightweight to be the best driver's car possible). At the Festivals of Speed Concours d'Elegance 2013 in St. Petersburg Florida I had the opportunity to photograph this orange Superleggera. As is often the case with shooting at car shows, the background was less than ideal.
I had this in mind when looking for the best angle to photograph the Lamborghini. I knew the background did not matter, I would edit it out. What I looked for was minimal reflections in the car body. To my surprise there were almost none the entire length of the driver's side, hence I setup my tripod to shoot it from this angle. Choosing a black background also hid any imperfections in carrying over the shadow under the car.
I received a media pass to the Festivals of Speed Luxury Lifestyle Jet Port Reception 2013 to go in and make all the photographs of supercars I wanted. This was my second time shooting at the Tampa International Jet Center, which is an outstanding location for Tampa car photography, although since it is an event for people, most cars were rather surrounded and close to each other. Therefore, I looked for the best partial angles most of the time in composing my car shots. One benefit of the formal event going on was that there were numerous colorful lights flashing across the space creating vivid backgrounds. It seems everyone is getting a McLaren MP4-12C Spider nowadays as the white one above was the second one I saw in as many weeks.
An Aston Martin DBS is normally an understated supercar that looks both fierce and classy at the same time. I would not want to try to describe how this kaleidoscope painted DBS looks, so that's why there is a photo of it for you to form your own thoughts.
The supercars at this event were parked along a variety of luxury lifestyle items, even private jets. The photo above suggests one could step out of their private jet (huge environmental impact) into their Fisker Karma electric vehicle and perhaps offset using so much jet fuel to transport so few people.
A line of classic motorcycles fanned out onto the tarmac at the Tampa International Jet Center. That is not the sunset in the background, just a large flood light, but I chose to overexpose the shot to look like it was.
I spent an hour looking for shots at this event, trying to find suitable backgrounds and to use the existing flood and strobe lights to compliment the mostly HDR techniques I was using to make images that evening.
The Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera is a special version of the Gallardo for high performance on the track. I believe it is the best looking Gallardo of the many varients. I had a chance to photograph this Lambo at the Cars & Couture event at Tampa International Jet Center last week. As is usually the case when photographing cars at events, the background had people and other objects in it distracting from the beautiful Lamborghini itself. Plus, this was a very black car being sidelit by the setting sun. To produce the final, fully edited image you see above, it too 1-hour of digital darkroom effort! This is how editing this digital photograph progressed . . .
As you can see, if I simply set the exposure mode to aperture priority at f/8 and let the camera's meter make the decision, the result would have been a decent looking sky, but a very underexposed Superleggera that lacked detail in the many shadows. There was no doubt that I would need to make an HDR image to have a chance at getting both the car and the background looking well exposed. I went to the max that my Nikon D300 can do, 9-exposures.
After processing those 9 shots in Photomatix Pro, the middle image was the result. The worst part of it really were all the reflections in the side of the Lamborghini from another car next to it. That required a lot of careful clone stamping and even a little painting to get to an at least acceptable level of reflection.
After that task I set to removing the people standing behind the Superleggera, then the building over the passenger's side, then the cones and finally the person half-visible in the left edge of the frame. Once the image was all cleaned up I began selectively adjusting contrast levels and doing a little dodging here and there to balance the look of the pavement.
All that is not even counting my initial color correction and adjuting done in Aperture 3 and Color Efex Pro 3! So you can get an idea of how much work is involved in trying to get a usable car shot from a car event!