Home > Automotive > Painting with Light

Painting with Light

So….there has been an abundance of  automotive fluorescent lighting threads using constant light sources, strip lights, and other types of baller lighting gear.  I was curious to see what kind of results could be had with LED light sources and fluorescent tubes  (stuff i have at home), but first I needed a car!  I called up Nick Dizon from Vegasdrift because well, simply he has the cleanest Z in town, and he’s usually down for stuff like this! Plus his car is black, and lets get real, shooting black cars at night isn’t always the easiest to do…(reflections are killer and lighting setup is different than other color cars…at least for me) so this would be the perfect choice! All I used was a portable power supply (could be replaced by a location with a wall socket) and a craftsman 2′ fluorescent garage work tube. I did a test pass with the LED’s and was not a fan, maybe if you light it from behind the cameras POV, but theres no point really and rather bust out the speedlites.

I tried all different types of passes on the car, just to see how it would result, and see what I liked/disliked, just an FYI, the final shot i’m going to post was about 25 seconds long, and I made about 4 passes on the car. I also took a still image w/out lights and used to the background for a composite in case I left a light trail somehwere (which I did) Later that night I came to a conclusion doing a composite  of each pass would probably be the best/time efficient. you can really get the type of highlights you’re looking for by doing so, just don’t plan on having a huge set, with this type of lighting, so shoot some off during daylight if you’re looking for more than one picture!

here is one of the first sets that we did, lots of harsh reflections in the body and uneven fluoro, this was  due to time, I didn’t know what to expect and these were the results.

This one was worth the night in my opinion.

Overall, I had a great time trying this out, and think the results are pretty cool for what little equipment was needed. This is something that anyone with a DSLR, a tripod and some garage work fluorescent lights can do, which is pretty awesome.  Yes the picture isn’t perfect and completely to my standards, as the front/rear bumpers lose detail at the bottom, but its not bad in my opinion for starters. I will probably work on this a little bit more, add a few things, try multiple light sources, etc. but don’t expect a “how-to” then!

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  1. September 19, 2009 at 2:34 am

    Photography experiments are awesome!!! almost instant gratification

  2. October 6, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. There are some good points here. 🙂

  3. October 9, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so, Excellent post!

  4. Slick Vic
    October 10, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Suuhhweet photos! Never seen any lighting photos done on cars… Can’t wait to see future galleries.

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