Audi Q3 Black Edition photoshoot

October 12, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Audi Q3 180PS TFSi Quattro Black edition photoshoot

I am a professional photographer shooting to my clients needs, but for personal photography projects I love photographing cars. An ongoing project is to photograph our son with as many cars as possible through the years, with the final objective to present him with a printed Graphistudio photo book as a momento. It will show him growing up of course but also be a record of how much car design will have changed from the first shoot that I did with him in 2010, to when I will complete the project in 2024 when he is 18 years old. Each photograph must portray a stage or interest in his life as well, so in 2017 it was very much about his new dog, Pippa, a miniature Schnauzer who is the love of his life, after his mother of course.

My parents live in Southport on the north west coast of England, famous for its long sandy beaches. I had an idea for this shoot of including a section of the Southport beach with the western skyline forming a strong element of the final image. Unfortunately on the day the access onto the sands for motor vehicles was closed due to adverse weather and ground conditions, but determined to at least get something we did find a small car park that at least had a relatively unhindered view of the sky, and the rough ground was fitting for the 4x4 attributes of the Q3.

The main issue with car photography is managing reflections in the body work, and making the most of the design elements of the vehicle. The Audi was finished in glorious Hainan Blue, so it was certainly going to pop out from the background, but to lift this further I placed a Canon 600 EX RT speedlite on a lighting stand off to camera right, with the beam facing the rear left quarter of the car. It was triggered wirelessly by a Canon ST-E3 transmitter and set to high speed synch and ETTL with zero exposure compensation.

My camera was a Canon 5D MK4 capturing Camera RAW files, with a Canon 24-70 2.8L MK2 lens set to 50mm. Settings were 125 ISO, 1/400th sec at f5.6. As you can see from the before and after editing versions these camera settings underexposed the car and the rear hatch area where my son and Pippa were located, however this underexposure was intentional as it enabled me to hold the details in the reflected sky in the bodywork, as it was really important for the final image that I had sky detail. Bracketed exposures would not be practical as I did not have my tripod with me. We were shooting at 3pm in the afternoon at the end of October so the sun was low in the sky, but this served as a wonderfully strong key light for the side of the vehicle and by careful positions of both myself and the car we were able to avoid getting a direct reflection of the sun's orbe in the cars panels.

Finally the editing of the RAW file was started using Adobe Lightroom, you can see an out of camera RAW image, but by pulling down the highlights, brightening the shadows and increasing the whites and decreasing the blacks, key tools in effecting the image, with some clarity, vibrance and saturation added and a graduated blue filter for the sky the final result is hugely different. I know it has brightened the paint finish beyond the natural colour, but it not for an Audi brochure and I just love the punch it gives. Finally Adobe Photoshop was used to remove all our untidy travelling luggage from the boot area with the use of the selection tool and a black fill and that was it in photoshop.

I hope that you like the results after editing, watch out for more photographing cars blogs coming soon.

 


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