Photographing The Alfa Romeo

April 27th, 2022

photographing the alpha romeo

Car photography is a real passion of mine. Okay, so I’m a sucker for automotive photography of any description. And yes, I know I have said I really enjoy the big stuff, such as lorries or trucks, and buses for that matter. But take a lovingly restored classic, where the attention to detail is something to be marvelled at, and that makes for a really enjoyable shoot.

I wanted to make the car pop against the quite dramatic sky, and ensure the contrast in the clouds remained. Sunny sixteen rule would give me a good average exposure at f16 ISO 100 and 1/100th of a sec. To pop the car, I needed to under expose the whole scene, and then bring up the car with my Elinchrom ELB500s. I increased the shutter speed to 1/160th of a sec, which is under exposing the scene by 2/3rds of a stop. I then set my lights out to see how I was doing with the aperture.

Frame left, I placed an ELB500 at a height of seven feet, firing through a high intensity reflector at an output of 6.3 (Equivalent to 500Ws). It was pretty much straight on to the side of the car.

I placed a second ELB500 frame right, firing directly towards the bonnet. I was able to place it nearer to the car, without it fouling the frame. It was again about seven feet high, and firing through another high intensity reflector, with an output of 5.0 (Equivalent to 200Ws). The lower output was due to the fact it was able to be placed a little nearer compared to the one frame left.

The combined output gave me an aperture value of f18 for the exposure I wanted. This also gave me a total of one stop under exposure for the ambient scene.
Fujifilm GFX50s 1/160th sec ISO100 GF110mm f2 @ f18

Exactly the same lighting rig and values as the previous image.
Fujifilm GFX50s 1/160th sec ISO100 GF110mm f2 @ f18

With the car placed across the frame, it allowed me to bring the lights closer to the vehicle, without fouling the frame. I placed one ELB500 with its high intensity reflector frame left, and forward of the car. It was firing across the side of the vehicle with an output of 5.0 (Equivqlent to 200Ws). The second ELB500 was placed frame right, and again firing at an output of 5.0 (Equivalent to 200Ws), through the high intensity reflector. It was a similar distance from the car, both were aimed at the centre of the vehicle. The nearer part of the bodywork would be at my target exposure, and the centre of the car would have the combined light of the two units to match either end of the car. Inverse square law, and all that!
Fujifilm GFX50s 1/160th sec ISO100 GF110mm f2 @ f22

Same lighting rig as the previous image, although the lights were brought in a little closer. The output was reduced on both ELB500s, to 4.0 (Equivalent to 100Ws).
Fujifilm GFX50s 1/160th sec ISO100 GF110mm f2 @ f20

Same again
Fujifilm GFX50s 1/160th sec ISO100 GF110mm f2 @ f20

A change of setting. This was actually a (clean) cowshed, allowing me to shut down the ambient almost completely.
Frame left, I placed an ELB500 at a height of seven feet, firing through a high intensity reflector at an output of 5.0 (Equivalent to 200Ws). It was pretty much straight on to the bonnet of the car.
I placed a second ELB500 frame right, firing directly towards the side of the car. It was again about seven feet high, and firing through another high intensity reflector, with an output of 5.0 (Equivalent to 200Ws).
Fujifilm GFX50s 1/160th sec ISO100 GF110mm f2 @ f18

Same lighting rig and settings.
Fujifilm GFX50s 1/160th sec ISO100 GF110mm f2 @ f18

The following are a collection of the detail shots, all of which were taken with ambient light and a reflector.

This was a beautifully restored example, and a real pleasure to photograph.

I purchased my ELB500 kit from The Flash Centre.