exotic car

Ferrari 308 GTS Santa Fe New Mexico Car Photography

Ferrari 308 GTS Santa Fe New Mexico Car Photography

Straight Out of Magnum PI

If you watched Magnum PI in the 1980s, like I did, and revisited it on Netflix in recent times, through all those years I thought the only thing you needed to thwart bad guys in Hawaii was your wits, and of course a Ferrari 308 GTS!  So when Bring A Trailer contacted me about photographing this supercar up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I was very excited!

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Yellow McLaren 650S Spider Clearwater St Petersburg Car Photography

Yellow McLaren 650S Spider at Dimmit Automotive Florida Car Photography - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 7-exposure HDR tripod mounted with cable releaseFeatured prominently in the front window of the Dimmitt Automotive showroom in Pinellas Park Florida, this yellow McLaren 650S Spider certainly is an eye catcher.  The contrast of the bright yellow paint and black trim on the newly stylized supercar from McLaren looks striking.  I was barely able to squeeze in between the car and the window with my Nikon and tripod to be able to make the above shot.

Carbon fiber trim on a yellow McLaren 650S Spider Florida Car Photographer - Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm @ f/2.8 ISO 200 1/15th tripod mounted with cable releaseThere was plenty of carbon fiber trim on the body of the McLaren 650S Spider, including all along the rocker panel as seen in the above image.  

Yellow McLaren 650S Spider for sale at Dimmitt Automotive Florida Car Photography - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 7-exposure HDR tripod mounted with cable releaseFollow that green exit sign in the window to swing into Dimmitt and part ways with a not unsubstantial amount of cash and you can leave in this yellow McLaren 650S Spider.  I think the color and spider body style work well with the Florida gulf coast lifestyle, well, at least once the sun goes down a little bit.  

The stylish new front headlights on the McLaren 650S Spider St. Petersburg Car Photography - Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm @ f/2.8 ISO 200 1/30th tripod mounted with cable release

The 650S follows the McLaren 12C which some said was a little boring for an exotic car (I didn't think so).  The 650S borrows design elements, like the above McLaren logo shaped headlights, from the P1 hypercar giving it more than enough flash for a midengined supercar to look the part.

Rear quarter panel view of yellow McLaren 650S Spider Florida Car Photography - Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm @ f/2 ISO 200 1/40th tripod mounted with cable release

It is always nice to spend time photographing a supercar.  I imagine it as far, far nicer to actually drive one!

Ferrari F430 Spider Tampa Florida Car Photography black white or yellow??

Ferrari F430 Spider with black & white filter from Silver Efex Pro 2 entirely changing the look of the car - Tampa Car PhotographyConverting a color photograph into a black & white photograph is not a one result affair.  There are many, many possible results of black & white conversion.  A program like Silver Efex Pro makes this conversion process easy in addition to producing the best results.  Starting with a yellow Ferrari F430 Spider, applying a pinhole black & white filter makes the Ferrari appear white while darkening the entire background and foreground.  The supercar appears to now glow in its setting.

Using a different filter in Silver Efex Pro 2 makes the Ferrari F430 Spider look black - Tampa Car PhotographyStarting with the same yellow Ferrari image, choosing the full spectrum inverse filter in Silver Efex Pro flips everything, so that darks appear light and vice versa resulting in the yellow Ferrari looking like a sleek black exotic car.  The neutral colored existing background is little changed with this filter, especially since no vignetting is applied either.

The actual yellow color of this Ferrari F430 Spider - Tampa Car PhotographySo starting with the yellow HDR image of a Ferrari F430 Spider seen above, it is possible to make radically different looking black & white versions of the car photograph.  Which is your favorite look--white, black or yellow?

Audi R8 Clearwater Car Photography on digital orange background

Audi R8 supercar at Crown Audi in Clearwater - Nikon D300 f/11 ISO 200 5-exposure HDR - orange background added digitallyWhile photographing an Audi A3 premiere event at Crown Audi in Clearwater, I took a moment to make a photograph of an Audi R8 supercar that was also on site.  It was parked just outside the greenhouse like showroom, which made for a pretty good background, but when I was shooting it I already had in mind I would remove it from the existing background and put it on a digital one.  

Below is the existing background HDR image.  Despite the complexity of the background, it was not too complicated to use the Quick Select tool in Photoshop and cut out the Audi R8 onto an empty layer.  I chose an orange gradient digital background as recently I am starting to really like that color (also used for a headshot).

The same Audi R8 as above in its original setting at Crown Audi in Clearwater Florida - 5-exposure HDR

One day it would be nice to be able to just shoot a car in a large studio with an existing white background for an even easier and more efficient editing process.  

Ferrari 458 Spider Nero in St. Petersburg Florida Supercar Exotic Photography HDR

Ferrari 458 Spider in Nero edited in a stylized HDR way processed in Silver Efex Pro 2 in St. Petersburg Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 5-exposure HDRI have actually seen this Ferrari 458 Spider many times.  I first saw it at the Cars & Couture event at the Tampa Jet Center in November 2013.  Then the next week I saw it driving in my own neighborhood in St. Petersburg!  I regulary saw it after that, especially on Friday afternoons.  So I recognized it right away when I saw it at the 2014 St. Petersburg Grand Prix Gala.  

A nero Ferrari 458 Spider fills the frame in St. Petersburg Florida supercar photography - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 5-exposure HDRThere was only one car next to the Ferrari, a Maserati Ghibli, so from some angles I had a clean shot at the car, although I chose to make a tight composition for the above shot and fill the frame edge to edge with the supercar.

Profile view of a nero Ferrari 458 Spider in St. Petersburg Florida Professional Car Photography - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 5-exposure HDRThe profile view was the cleanest angle I had to photograph the Ferrari 458 Spider.  A downtown skyscraper provides the background.

Aston Martin Vanquish in Cobalt Blue in St. Petersburg Florida duPont Concours d'Elegance Car Photography

Aston Martin Vanquish in Cobalt Blue a stunning supercar St. Petersburg Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 7-exposure HDRThe highlight of going to the duPont Concours d'Elegance in St. Petersburg Florida last month was getting to see this Aston Martin Vanquish in person.  To me, it is the most beautiful car in existence, as seen here in a special Cobalt Blue color, although I think it looks its absolute best in Skyfall Silver.  I just stood next to this supercar and appreciated all the lines and details in the carbon fiber bodywork.  It was parked in the far back corner of the event space, but I would have put it right by the entrance!

The original image used to make the finished edit of the Aston Martin Vanquish above.As is often the case with photographing cars at car shows, the background was less than ideal.  There was also a Mercedes S550 right next to it limiting the angles the Aston Martin could even be photographed from.  To minimize distraction I cut just the car itself out and dropped it onto a digital black background in Photoshop (top photo).  This particular Vanquish as of this moment is still for sale at Dimmit Aston Martin!