How to Use Light Painting to Capture Dramatic Car Photography

Automotive photographer Dave Cox (AKA ShootingDave) recently put together a handy step-by-step tutorial that shows you exactly how he uses light painting to capture dramatic car photos when working in a tight space like a workshop. By combining six exposures into one, he’s able to capture a beautiful and surprisingly natural looking photo. Dave doesn’t […]

How to Use Light Painting to Capture Dramatic Car Photography

Automotive photographer Dave Cox (AKA ShootingDave) recently put together a handy step-by-step tutorial that shows you exactly how he uses light painting to capture dramatic car photos when working in a tight space like a workshop. By combining six exposures into one, he’s able to capture a beautiful and surprisingly natural looking photo.

Dave doesn’t waste any time for this tutorial. After a quick intro, he jumps right in to show you the settings and light painting “paths” he used to capture each of the six individual frames, and then he jumps into Lightroom and Photoshop to show you how he merged them into the final product.

First, the photos. Every single photo was captured at 35mm, f/5.6, and ISO 100, with 10 seconds on the shutter. These settings do not change. The only thing that changes is what part of the car that Dave is light painting, and how long he keeps his light on during each exposure.

The first image is the “hero” image. Using a tube light, he walked from the back to the front of the car, creating some distance as he went so the light “fell off” towards the front:

The second shot was used to light the front of the car, again walking towards the camera to create a bit of natural fall-off:

The next two shots were used to light up the two foreground cars that are framing the hero car. Both of these images took between 2 and 4 seconds of light to properly expose:

Then he lit the rear of the car from a 45-degree angle, creating some nice distinct shadows that he used in the final image:

The final image is just providing a little bit more fill:

All together, you get this hero shot of the car, captured in a cramped workshop that simply wouldn’t have allowed for this to be lit any other way without having to Photoshop out light stands and creating other issues:

The rest of the video is dedicated to Dave’s editing process in both Lightroom and Photoshop. Lightroom came first for all of the global edits to the individual frames themselves, then he merges all six into the “hero” image in Photoshop, before polishing the final photo in Lightroom for export.

What’s really helpful about Dave’s tutorial is that he actually lays out the space and describes the path he took with the light, explaining how long the light was on while shooting each individual exposure. He also shows the amount of detailed and thoughtful masking that it takes to properly combine these exposures in post.

Check out the full video to see this process from start to finish, and then head over to the ShootingDave YouTube channel if you want to see more Automotive Photography tutorials.


Image credits: All photos by ShootingDave and used with permission.

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Fuji Unveils Plan to Make Ambassador Program More Diverse and Inclusive

In the interest of creating a more diverse and inclusive brand, Fujifilm has announced some changes to its “X-Photographer” ambassador program. These include the creation of a new “Creator Website,” plans to add 10 diverse new photographers to the roster, and the creation of a transparent process by which photographers can “get on the path” […]

Fuji Unveils Plan to Make Ambassador Program More Diverse and Inclusive

In the interest of creating a more diverse and inclusive brand, Fujifilm has announced some changes to its “X-Photographer” ambassador program. These include the creation of a new “Creator Website,” plans to add 10 diverse new photographers to the roster, and the creation of a transparent process by which photographers can “get on the path” to becoming an ambassador.

The plan was published on the Fujifilm-X website yesterday; an update of sorts on how Fuji is attempting to create a brand that is “more representative of our community.”

“We would like to take this opportunity to bring you up to speed with what we are doing with our X-Photographer program and how we are structurally changing it to be more open to aspiring image makers,” reads the announcement. “We believe that having a diverse range of ambassadors is important and expect these changes to lay the foundation for how we will continue to offer opportunities to image makers from our community for generations to come.”

Fuji plans to achieve this in three ways. First and foremost, the company will establish the FUJIFILM Creator Website by August 2020. This will be a “central location” where people will be able to learn all about the various Fuji Creators and Fuji X-Photographers currently in the program, and read instructions on how to become an ambassador themselves.

The current roster of Fujifilm X-Photographers in the USA.

Secondly, they’re de-mystifying the process of actually becoming an ambassador, which is broken out into three tiers: Fujifilm Collaborator, Fujifilm Creator, and Fujifilm X-Photographer. Instructions on how to become a Collaborator will be included on the aforementioned FUJIFILM Creator Website, essentially allowing anybody who qualifies to apply. From that point on, you can work your way up the ranks, applying to become a Fujifilm Creator, and then ultimately applying for the chance to become an official X-Photographer, a role that can only be held for 4 years before a new photographer “rotates” in.

Finally, the last step will be to expand the X-Photographer program by choosing 10 new ambassadors who will make the group “more diverse and representative of our whole community” and bring the total number of Fuji X-Photographers to 26. These 10 will be chosen from the “initial group” of Fujifilm Creators. Applications will open September 1st, and all 10 of the new X-Photographers will be unveiled on October 1st.

You can find more details about Fujifilm’s plans here, but that’s all we know for now. We expect to find out more about the application process in August when the Creator Website officially launches. As Fuji says in the announcement, “changes take time,” but it sounds like the company has come up with a detailed plan on how those changes will come about.

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