Lights and Color Can Take Your Car Photos to Another Level
March 9 '21 Feature Photo: A 2002 WRX bathed in cool lighting.
When you’re trying to take a picture that does more than simply “illustrate what the car looks like,” there are lots of ways to make an image stand out. Lighting can be a fun way to start experimenting.
March 9, 2021 Car Bibles Feature Photo Details
- Car(s): 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX Wagon
- Location: Leona Valley, CA
- Photog: Chris Rosales (IG + Twitter @chrishasacamera)
- Camera: Canon 5D Mark III w/ Canon 135mm f/2L
There comes a point in every photographer’s creative arc, where stuff gets a little stale, you feel like you’re cranking the same old images out, and suddenly you’re bored. The camera gets put down for a while, you get focused on other stuff, and maybe forget about it for a while.
In my case, this happened early-2020. February to be specific, “pre pandemic,” practically speaking. Obviously, I had zero clue what boredom was, because the rest of 2020 made we want to BASE-jump off of Library Tower (with a parachute) to feel something. Anyways…
I began to cure my photographic tedium with buying a bunch of new gear. I grabbed a new speedlite, some filters, and an LED light wand with full-color functions to get my groove going. I never experimented with artificial lighting before this, christening myself a “natural light photographer.” God, that’s something a tool would say.
My friends, bless their hearts, can be lame as hell when it comes to me shooting their cars (for free!). It took me weeks of convincing Demitri, the owner of this fine 2002 WRX wagon, to dedicate some time for a fun shoot. Of course, the plans started with “let’s get action shots” then devolved into “let’s go somewhere pretty and get static shots” until it inevitably crumbled into “please, just let me shoot the car in your driveway.”
Finally convinced, I drove to Demitri’s place with my gear in tow. As always, I end up shooting in the dark, so I broke out the tripod and the LED wand to do some classic light painting. It started with some normal white lighting, and I got adventurous with the different colors on the wand.
The eureka moment, was when I realized I could paint two colors with the wand, in the same image. Oh, yeah, I’m also a composite image nazi, though they are a valuable art form in the car-photo industry!
Voila, we have a Bugeye’d Color Study. Like it? Hate it? Tell me in the comments! As big as we could get it: