My day job is Sales Manager of Specialist Cars of Malton, one of Europe's premier independent Porsche specialists. Recently I was asked by leading sports car website Pistonheads.com to shoot one of our stock cars, a Porsche 911 Turbo, for an upcoming article, this year being the 50th anniversary year of the iconic 911.
I used my Elinchrom Ranger Quadra battery powered studio flash equipment, a superb piece of kit which I love to use. Essentially you've got the power of a studio flash, in a light portable kit which packs up into a briefcase and can be taken anywhere, even packed into the back seats of a Porsche 911!
Mixed weather (in North Yorkshire? Surely not!) greeted the day of the shoot, we were interrupted half way through by a tremendous hailstorm, 15mm hailstones bombarded us and left the area looking like it had snowed.
My technique for this shoot was to underexpose the background and light the car with fill flash from the Quadra Rangers. This would give me a correctly exposed foreground with a nice dramatic background. I used a combination of a reasonably small aperture (between f8 and f13) and a graduated neutral density filter (ND Grad) to ensure the sky kept definition and also to add to the drama of the slightly stormy sky.
The journalist wanted an interior shot, so for this shot I used one of my Quadra Ranger heads laid on the passenger seat, to throw a touch of light onto the dashboard, and one looking over my shoulder as I took the shot to illuminate the steering wheel and instruments, this gives the shot an almost 3D effect.
Having taken photos of each angle of this wonderful sports car the next job was some tracking shots, that is to say shots showing the car moving.
Normally we would hang out of the boot of the camera car to take shots like this but on this occasion I chose to lean out of the car window, which gives a greater degree of safety and security. The key to shots like these is for the car being photographed to match the speed of the camera car, and then use a slow shutter speed to blur the background. If the speed of the two cars is different the shot won't be sharp, get it right and the car is pin sharp whilst the blurred road and background gives a real feeling of speed.
I was really pleased with the shots, Pistonheads was happy with them and you can read the article here