Sunday, October 28, 2007

Petes Skyline

This was for a friend of mine who wanted some shots of his new daily, a very clean R33 Nissan Skyline GTS-T. The plan was to meet up about mid afternoon, find the location I had scouted whilst browsing Flickr and get some shots to be home for dinner time, things did not exactly go to plan after the first location was way too busy to stop the car let alone to get photos, so we drove around for what seemed like an eternity till we found this location in Marrickville Sydney. The location was amazing. I was literally stuck for words as we slowly drove down a long alleyway littered with amazing Graffiti Pieces, I knew we had found something special here but the problem was it was still a relatively busy one way lane so time was of the essence so to speak.

The owner parked the car as close to the kerb as possible as to not completely stop the traffic flow, a bit to close to the background for my liking but we had to make a compromise, I wanted to take photos straight away. The sun was quickly setting and the sky was an awesome bright orange (Sydney Pollution perhaps)

It was still quite light, light enough to hand hold the camera and enough to get some ambient mixed in with some off camera flash, for this shot I used the following.

Canon 10-22
Manfrotto Tripod/Head supporting Sigma DG500 Super Flash with eBay softbox
Mini Tripod supporting Sunpak Auto3000 (this flash is so cool, more power than a nuclear weapon it seems) with no diffuser.
EBay Transmitter/Receiver triggered the Sunpak, the Sigma fired optically from the Sunpak using the optical slave function.

The Sigma was placed to the left of the camera, aimed around the Hood/headlight area to illuminate the front at 1/32 power, the Sunpak was aimed just behind the rear door as a sort of cross light at 1/2 power.

I set my exposure time based on the car, and then dropped it back a third to get a slightly underexposed look but relied on the flash to give the car some "pop" so to speak and to separate it from the background.

This left me with the following settings.

ISO 100
1/30th @ F4

And the final shot:

Post processing was pretty basic, some burning of the ground around the front of the car where the flash had some spill over, I enhanced the colour of the sky a bit more than what was actually captured. I cloned out a few of the hotspots created by the cross light which is never fun job and then a quick pass with Unsharp mask and a bump in saturation. Nothing too fancy or difficult.

Reflecting back on the shot, it's not one of my best but I chose it because there were a few problems I had to overcome with the location, lighting etc. There are definitely problems with the shot though, and I'm the first to admit that, namely the aperture been too wide open and made the rear half of the car slightly out of focus, simple stupid mistake. I also think the cross light was was too bright and direct. The background though is what I really dig about this shot, it's really full on and combined with the sunset gives it a cool look. If I was to do the shoot again, I would definitely used more lights, especially around the roof area and a strobe to illuminate the graffiti of the wall and under expose the background even more. But alas there is always next time.

Here are a couple more from the shoot.

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