Category: Car

Car and Bike Workshop

In this blog post we’re going back in time a little.  Back to October 2010 to be exact.

At this point I’d decided I wanted to try make  Photography my career but wasn’t sure in which field to go for.

Most of my close friends know that I’m a car nut!!  I am a qualified Car Mechanic and was also a little bit of a boy racer in my teens (ok a lot),  I love Formula 1 and like to watch a spot of Rallying whenever I catch it on TV so when I saw an advert in What Digital Camera magazine for a Car Photography workshop I thought I’d give it a try, After all it might be the field I’d like to go into,  Who knows…

I have done a little bit of research on Car Photography in the past and really found some great inspiration from Tim Wallace from Ambient Life. He does a lot of location shooting with dramatic scenes,  some really beautiful work,  he’s also worked closely with car detailing kings Polished Bliss who I get the odd Car detailing product from now and again.

The workshop was taking place at ASA infinity studios just outside Lewes in Sussex, its a studio setup with a massive Infinity curve wall on 3 sides and also a turntable in the floor for changing up the subjects angle easily.

I had a long drive to get to Sussex which also meant an overnight stay in a fantastic B&B,  Barnfield Farm.

I got a good nights kip, and the most scrumdiddlyumptious Cooked Breakfast. What more could a bloke want..  After Breakfast I said my goodbye’s and headed the few miles over to ASA for the workshop.  When I got there I was greeted with warm smiles and the loveliest of dogs came and had a good ‘ol stroke.  I was soon salivating over the most luscious Black Aston Martin though which I spotted just inside the Studio doors. Now we’re talking!!!

I went inside and gave the car a closer inspection,  taking in all the beautiful curves and lines it had to offer (can you tell I like Aston’s yet?) then as if to tease me some more the guys from ASA started her up and moved her outside, They have a beautiful sound do Aston’s.  They then pushed in a beautiful Custom Harley Davidson Motorbike as that was what we were going to start shooting first.

Apologies if I’ve got this wrong but I’m almost certain it was Chris our tutor for the day (I’ve slept a few times since then), then got all the delegates together and we went through how to set up the lights on a reasonably small subject like a bike.  He went through how crucial it was to hide flashes behind white screens and bounce back in at the subject to avoid reflections in chrome and paint and also showed to look for hot spots from flashes in paintwork, Unbelievably I found out that you can buy a spray which you put on the paint where the hot spot appears and it dulls the hot spot down to just a sheen.  Chris let us all take a turn from various angles to see which showed the bicycle off at its best. My 450D was also privileged to wear the super expensive Pocket Wizard Plus II on its hot shoe.

While other people were taking their turns I went outside and was delighted to find another Custom Harley, This one to me was much more my style than the one in the studio, Tan leather seat with custom stitching, A gorgeous sky blue colour and the matte black block with chrome cam cover were simply stunning. I got my 50mm prime out and started shooting with a wide aperture to get some really funky shots. This bike deserved it!!

At the other end of the building was the Aston Martin too so I couldn’t let it slip by without me getting some outside shots of it before we rolled it into the studio. So I went up and started shooting, some low 3/4 angle shots, front on, side on and some detail shots, I simply love the shot below of the Aston Badge on the Bonnet and also the one shooting down and across the bonnet, I said it before and I’ll repeat it again… This car is Luscious!!

After we had all had a few goes at taking shots the Harley was rolled out and the Aston driven in, We were then shown how to light the car then take some test shots to see what the results were,  there were some hot spots here and there and some areas that needed that extra bit of light. So some Matting spray and an hotshoe flash later and the shots were much more evenly lit so Chris handed out the Pocket Wizard again and let us all take a turn.

Lunch was next on the agenda and that was kindly put on by ASA and What Digital Camera, then the Aston was rolled out and an old Bentley pushed into position. Chris set up the lighting for the Bentley as it is a really bad car to light properly and if we went through all the aspects of it he said we’d have been there all day. Again we Photographed this from various positions, Front on, Engine bay, Side on, Interior details and finally from the rear.

Once we had all taken our turn, the day was summarised by Chris, We had a group shot in front of the Bentley and then we all said our Thank you’s and Goodbye’s. It was a really good day, ok I didn’t come away with vast amounts of knowledge or feel overly inspired but I did have a good fun day shooting with my Canon and after all isn’t that what Photography is about??

For those that don’t know I use photopresspro as my blog theme and this last week I received the updated version so now have the ability to post images in a blog post as a slideshow so why not try it out on this post. In the future I’ll probably mix it up a bit but still prefer the static image layout of a blog.

Enjoy my images and thanks for reading.

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