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Thread: Setup for Car Photography at night with Skyline as backdrop

  1. #1

    Default Setup for Car Photography at night with Skyline as backdrop

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm quite new to DSLRs so may need a little help here on tips and techniques. Have searched the 'net and found little that will help.

    I noticed recently that the space between the hawker centre next to the esplanade and the grandstand for the floating parade area is open and vehicles can drive in. In fact, you can drive right up to the edge of the water and park there right now.

    Whilst i wasn't equipped with a tripod and flash at the time, i tried to take photos of the car using the cameras internal flash and it is woeful... not much of the car is exposed properly. I have 1 external flash available but i do notice that this is a tricky situation trying to properly light up and expose the car on the foreground and yet get good exposures of the night skyline in the background.

    Can someone tell me what is needed so that a decent shot can be done? Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Setup for Car Photography at night with Skyline as backdrop

    Quote Originally Posted by GSiGuy View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm quite new to DSLRs so may need a little help here on tips and techniques. Have searched the 'net and found little that will help.

    I noticed recently that the space between the hawker centre next to the esplanade and the grandstand for the floating parade area is open and vehicles can drive in. In fact, you can drive right up to the edge of the water and park there right now.

    Whilst i wasn't equipped with a tripod and flash at the time, i tried to take photos of the car using the cameras internal flash and it is woeful... not much of the car is exposed properly. I have 1 external flash available but i do notice that this is a tricky situation trying to properly light up and expose the car on the foreground and yet get good exposures of the night skyline in the background.

    Can someone tell me what is needed so that a decent shot can be done? Thanks!
    What time at night you are shooting?
    Coolthought - 冷静思考 - クールだ http://xaa.xanga.com/0aba0666d143253.../t35917343.gif

  3. #3

    Default Re: Setup for Car Photography at night with Skyline as backdrop

    late. 11 plus when i was there. i think if you try magic hour (except morning) it will be too crowded...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Setup for Car Photography at night with Skyline as backdrop

    Quote Originally Posted by GSiGuy View Post
    late. 11 plus when i was there. i think if you try magic hour (except morning) it will be too crowded...
    then go for early morning.
    Coolthought - 冷静思考 - クールだ http://xaa.xanga.com/0aba0666d143253.../t35917343.gif

  5. #5

    Default Re: Setup for Car Photography at night with Skyline as backdrop

    well i was hoping to get the skyline with its night lights...

  6. #6
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Setup for Car Photography at night with Skyline as backdrop

    You try to combine 2 things: well-exposed car and well-exposed skyline at night. Since the latter one is much darker the long term exposure needs to be adjusted to match the brightness of the skyline. Once you have this, you "only" need to add enough flash for the car. Here, flash is not about duration (it's somewhere around 1/10,000s anyway, faster than any shutter), it's about power / output. And: it's about right direction. I doubt that hotshoe flash will give good results. Try to get a wireless trigger (e.g. radio triggers) and maybe a second flash and another simple tripod. Experiment with direction (keep an eye on reflections) and power (need to be set manually on the flash). Rear curtain (aka "2nd curtain") flash is used mostly.
    EOS

  7. #7

    Default Re: Setup for Car Photography at night with Skyline as backdrop

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    You try to combine 2 things: well-exposed car and well-exposed skyline at night. Since the latter one is much darker the long term exposure needs to be adjusted to match the brightness of the skyline. Once you have this, you "only" need to add enough flash for the car. Here, flash is not about duration (it's somewhere around 1/10,000s anyway, faster than any shutter), it's about power / output. And: it's about right direction. I doubt that hotshoe flash will give good results. Try to get a wireless trigger (e.g. radio triggers) and maybe a second flash and another simple tripod. Experiment with direction (keep an eye on reflections) and power (need to be set manually on the flash). Rear curtain (aka "2nd curtain") flash is used mostly.
    Thank you for the response.

    I still have alot to learn to make that work but i think the opportunity to do so would be limited bec i can't imagine that place to allow you to park your car for much longer... ok i will try to read up more on using the wireless flash and the rear curtain... do you think one flash offboard flash (+hotshoe flash) will be enough?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Setup for Car Photography at night with Skyline as backdrop

    Just adding on...
    General rule to shooting cars with the skyline as backdrop.. Go as low as possible almost as close to the ground. and facing toward the left or right corner of the front of the car. Get as much distance as you can between u and the car.

    As for lighting, you will need as least 2 off shoe flash with umbrella/softbox to reduce the Hotspot from the flash gun .. Wireless trigger is a must.

  9. #9
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Setup for Car Photography at night with Skyline as backdrop

    Quote Originally Posted by Luval View Post
    Just adding on...
    General rule to shooting cars with the skyline as backdrop.. Go as low as possible almost as close to the ground. and facing toward the left or right corner of the front of the car. Get as much distance as you can between u and the car.

    As for lighting, you will need as least 2 off shoe flash with umbrella/softbox to reduce the Hotspot from the flash gun .. Wireless trigger is a must.
    Long time no talk bro... nice to see you again...

    Saw that you have been busy with work..

  10. #10

    Default Re: Setup for Car Photography at night with Skyline as backdrop

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Long time no talk bro... nice to see you again...

    Saw that you have been busy with work..

    Haha.. but We have been "talking" on FB mah .. :P

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Luval View Post
    Just adding on...
    General rule to shooting cars with the skyline as backdrop.. Go as low as possible almost as close to the ground. and facing toward the left or right corner of the front of the car. Get as much distance as you can between u and the car.

    As for lighting, you will need as least 2 off shoe flash with umbrella/softbox to reduce the Hotspot from the flash gun .. Wireless trigger is a must.
    Hmmmm i've seen a website where this guy just uses an off show flash to "paint" light on the car thru a long exposure... maybe will try that first...

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Setup for Car Photography at night with Skyline as backdrop

    "hardcore" n difficult to work on this.

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