On a quite Sunday afternoon on the 2nd April, I decided to do some lighting tests with the PIKA200 which I recently purchased from Essential Photo. A family friend had purchased a new BMW some months back, so I requested that we should do a photoshoot of his car as it would give me the perfect opportunity to try out the PIKA itself. I have done many car shoots since going into photography and even worked as a photographer for a fast car showroom previously. So, part of my job was to take pictures of the stunning cars so that they appear in fast car magazines. Even though I have moved on from my previous job, shooting cars is something I love doing and I have photographed different cars in the past such as Ferraris, Bentleys and even. So, my car images give more of a commercial look such as the ones you see from this shoot.
Bearing in mind, these images are only a teaser just to try out the new PIKA and also the LUMI which I purchased sometime back from Essential Photo. The car was parked in the back garden of the owner of the vehicle, I requested not to take it anywhere to a fancy location yet as it just to test out the lighting results etc. However, I will be working on my first video with this car and also a proper final photoshoot on the BMW. This is where we will be taking the car to a location with nice scenery. My aim is to use a nice background with some sky showing as the backdrop where I will get more of the PIKA involved on HSS just to bring the backdrop of the clouds out, but for now I have decided just to experiment with the lighting in the owners back yard.
I had the PIKA sitting on the stand (also purchased from Essential Photo) and this was a few feet away from the car. I normally would use some sort of diffusion cloth or even a beauty dish just to avoid harsh light, but of course I didn’t have anything until my recent order which I will be testing out when it arrives before my final images. However, I could not increase the shutter speed above 1000 on HSS because the image shows completely black with nothing to see (maybe because it wasn’t the right environment for it besides it was getting dark anyway). The image above is shot with the PIKA and F stop of F/6.3 ISO 100 and shutter speed of 1/50. Even though the image has been edited slightly you can see it showing a bit of darkness, so you can imagine with the HSS it gets even darker. But hopefully in the final shoot, I should be able to get better results with the PIKA.
As I packed up the PIKA for another day, I decided to use the LUMI instead, the light was diffused using one of the easy open grid boxes (purchased from Essential Photo). The image below shows how beautiful the lighting has made the interior look. Bearing in mind this image has not been edited, in other words straight out of the camera. This shot was at ISO 400, shutter speed 1/30 sec F/4. This was the sort of result I was looking for, thanks to the help of the LUMI and grid box. Sometimes it is not always promised to get the same lighting depending on the time of day etc. but I’m hoping to get something like this image (below) on our final shoot especially when no editing has to be done.
The image of the steering wheel below also shows the same method (again no edit whatsoever) used with the LUMI and grid box, with no harsh lighting.
Going back to the PIKA, the above image shows what happened when I raised the shutter speed back up from 1/50 to 1/60, even though it darkened the image to give it a moody touch to the picture, notice how the reflections of the clouds are showing on the window, this is something I couldn’t get before but this can also depend on the different angle I was stood to get the shot.
Last but not least, the image (below) shows what happened when I raised the shutter speed on the PIKA to shutter speed 1/200, notice the darkness in this image? And of course, the location didn’t matter in this case as its only for experimenting.
Sometimes shooting cars can be very tricky especially on the inside as there is only a certain limit of natural light to play with, so it is important to have the right lighting setup at its best.
As I mentioned earlier, I will be spending a lot of time with the shoot on this car and making a professional video using video lights. I will also be creating a second blog to share with everyone about how I went on with the final results. This is where I hope to get more of the PIKA involved and the beauty dish with it. I am excited to share the results with everyone even though anything can go wrong on shoots and it not always promised to get the best but fingers crossed and hope things will go well. I will be looking for a special location for the final piece and share my blog.
More car shoots and other shoots available on my website under “portfolio” on www.aaphoto-designs.com