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A guide to "Capturing Motion" in low light situations

5 Min Portrait Cars and Guitars

In this 5 min portrait I set out to capture some cars and guitars. Like I said in the video these are just test shots as if I was to really set out to shoot these cars and guitars I would bring in a ton of studio lights and modifiers.

In this case I was asked last minute to come down and just grab some quick shots. Isn’t it funny how that tends to happen, people ask for test shots and we as photographers are never fully satisfied? My first response was I really need to bring in some lights and modifiers but I will shoot these this time for you since they are just for a specific need.

Now I want to let you know I know pretty much nothing about cars especially sports cars like these Shelby Ford Mustangs and Cobras. The one thing I can tell you is these cars are beautiful and works of art.

I like to look at all my shoots as if they are assignments. In this case it was my job to capture the cars and the guitars for a made up magazine article. Again my first comment is if I was to capture these images for a magazine I would need to bring in lights and probably take the cars to a studio. Now that that is out of the way and I made the point that these are just test images lets talk about the shoot.

Click Here to view all the images form this shoot.

To start off they wanted pictures of the guitars and the cars all lined up in the garage. The first issue I had was the extreme backlight that was coming into the garage. As you know its not the ideal situation to have light coming from behind the subject you are photographing.

The first images I took were from straight on just to give the client what they were looking for. I also thought it would be best to get onto s tripod and drop my ISO since nothing would be moving. I did not want to be up at 4000 ISO because I wanted a larger depth of field. There is always a trade off though being on a tripod. I personally prefer being off of a tripod because I can change my angle much quicker to get what I am going for.

After I captured those images I changed angles to try and get around the backlight issue. I stayed on the tripod so I could get a higher aperture so that everything was sharp from front to back. In this case I am not overly worried about blowing the background out since I had to get all the cars and the guitars in focus.

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My favorite images of the shoot came when I finally got off the tripod and started to capture images of Nick and the cars. That is more my style and how I enjoy capturing and seeing images. There is something about the freedom you get when you are off the tripod that I love. I can free flow much quicker but don’t get me wrong there is a time and place for both. In this case it helped to be on the tripod for some and off for others.

I hope to one day go back into the studio with these cars and guitars and fully built the lights to capture them professionally. That is the ideal situation for capturing the images in a more professional way. But for the client this time around they were extremely happy with the images I captured.

Click Here to view all the images form this shoot.