Steve Demmitt http://motivelife.com Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:39:09 -0700 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Top 10 Automotive Images of the Week http://motivelife.com/topics/inspiration/237-top-10-automotive-images-of-the-week http://motivelife.com/topics/inspiration/237-top-10-automotive-images-of-the-week FredericSchlosser.de | © Frederic Schlosser

Gabrielmilori Mercedes1GabrielMilori.com | © Gabriel Milori

Gfwilliams Mclarenp1 1GFWilliams.net | © GF Williams

Visualechos Lotus1Visual Echos Photography | © Andrew Thompson

Emotiveimage Grandprix 1EmotiveImage.com | © Alex Wong

Seagrampearce Com Mercedes1SeagramPearce.com | © Seagram Pearce

Romanlavrov Com Prowler1RomanLavrov.com | © Roman Lavrov

Prestigesportcars Eu Arnaudtaquet Fordgt1PrestigeSportCars.eu | © Arnaud Taquet

Pepperyandell Com Jeep1PepperYandell.com | © Pepper Yandell

Notbland Com Mercedes1NotBland.com | © Webb Bland

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info@stevedemmitt.com (Steve Demmitt) Inspiration Thu, 25 Apr 2013 04:42:32 -0700
The Life of a Car Photographer http://motivelife.com/topics/life/230-the-life-of-a-car-photographer http://motivelife.com/topics/life/230-the-life-of-a-car-photographer The Life of a Car Photographer

A live feed of instagram accounts from various professional automotive photographers across the globe. Refresh to stay updated.

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info@stevedemmitt.com (Steve Demmitt) Life Fri, 22 Mar 2013 13:00:12 -0700
Falken Tire: Honda Tuner Cars - Group Photo Shoot http://motivelife.com/topics/work/224-falken-tire-honda-tuner-cars-group-photo-shoot http://motivelife.com/topics/work/224-falken-tire-honda-tuner-cars-group-photo-shoot

{vimeo}57100618{/vimeo}A behind the scenes video of the entire photo shoot produced and edited by Falken Tire | © Falken Tire

At the end of 2012 I was commissioned to shoot a Falken Tire advertisement involving forty-five Honda Tuner cars organized in a massive group photo. The final ad would be printed on the backside of Honda-Tuning magazine and shown for the entire year of 2013. The original concept involved shooting from a helicopter to achieve an aerial perspective of the ground with the group of cars laid out in the shape of an "F" for the Falken Tire logo. Due to time constraints, it was decided to forego that idea and find an alternative.

The Plan

Empty Parking LotThe empty parking lot at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana | © Steve Demmitt

As you can imagine the sheer scale of the photo shoot would involve some serious planning. After a few mockups and some back and forth discussion, it was decided to shoot the cars in a tight symetrical formation. A scissor lift would be used to achieve a high enough angle to position the camera so that all the cars were in view. To accomodate a large enough space for the photo shoot, we scouted various locations and decided on the parking lot at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. The camera used for the photo shoot was a Hasselblad H4D-60 w/ 80mm Lens. A medium format w/ digital back capable of capturing 60 megapixel images with a 8956 x 6708 resolution. For lighting, we used a combination of ambient light, Alien Bees B800 strobes w/ Vagabond power packs and PocketWizard remotes to trigger them.

IMG 0112Scissor Lift w/ Hasselblad H4D-60 and Tripod | © Steve Demmitt

The Layout

The cars couldn't just be positioned haphazardly without any flow so coming up with the right layout was key. Finalizing that configuration was done by utilizing Hot Wheels cars in various positions. Once a configuration was agreed on, a picture was taken for reference. A variation of seven cars was also setup and shot before shooting the forty-five car image. You can catch a glimpse from that set in the gallery below.

IMG 0097Hot Wheels configuration for the forty-five car image | © Steve Demmitt

The Assistants

IMG 7998John Zhang (left), Jesse Lee from Falken Tire (middle) and Richard Thompson (right) slacking on the job. | © Steve Demmitt

John Zhang and Richard Thompson, both accomplished automotive photographers were my assistants for the day. They were tasked with moving the lights (Alien Bees B800 Strobes w/ Vagabond power pack) around as well as helping in positioning the cars. 

Execution

A6541153Forty-five car configuration in an ambient exposure straight out of the camera | © Steve Demmitt

IMG 8012Looking through the viewfinder of the Hasselblad H4D-60 | © Steve Demmitt

Camped behind the viewfinder of the camera I was able to relay information to John and Richard via walkie talkie on where each car needed to be placed. From there the camera was locked down and the lights were brought in. The massive number of cars in the shot meant that externally lighting all of the cars would prove near impossibile to do in one exposure. Because of that, each car was lit (Alien Bees B800 Strobes w/ Vagabond power pack) seperately as an exposure and the images were later aligned and combined in post production. Over fifty exposures/images were used to create the final shot. 

Falkentire Honda Richard John AnimationRichard Thompson and John Zhang at work | © Steve Demmitt

{gallery}SD_FalkenTire_BTS_Gallery{/gallery}

Post Production

Taskmanager32gb of RAM.....Where did you go? | © Steve Demmitt

Having to work in Adobe Photoshop with over fifty exposures at nearly 9k resolution put my computer to the test. The 32gb of RAM I upgraded to just months before proved to be well worth it for this job. The computer maxed out the RAM on numerous occasions and I had to merge layers and condense the image a few times in order to go any further. The finished image was then sent to Falken Tire's creative department where they laid out the design/text for the ad.

Falken LGroup Honda Web1Final Image | © Steve Demmitt

FTC AZENIS HondaTuning 0513Falken Tire Ad | © Steve Demmitt

Other Notes

Next to positioning the cars I would say the most difficult part of the day was enduring the cold weather. Some of you may laugh at the notion of it being cold in sunny Southern California but I kid you not,  the temperature was in the low 40's that day and none of us were prepared for that. Having to stand on a scissor lift for much of that time without the ability to move around proved to be quite a challenge. At the end of the day I had to let my brain thaw for a good two hours until I was back to normal.

A6541244End of the day....the last car leaves the parking lot | © Steve Demmitt

 

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info@stevedemmitt.com (Steve Demmitt) Work Sun, 10 Mar 2013 05:50:48 -0700
Camera Tethering: The Mobile Solution - Part 2 of 2 http://motivelife.com/topics/gear/217-camera-tethering-the-mobile-solution-part-2-of-2 http://motivelife.com/topics/gear/217-camera-tethering-the-mobile-solution-part-2-of-2 Handheld in Portrait Position | © Steve Demmitt

In part one of this article we covered utilizing an Android tablet with the DSLR Controller app to tether with a DSLR camera. For many photographers having a Manfrotto Magic Arm connected to a 10" tablet protruding off their tripod might prove to be a hinderence rather than a helpful solution. Some may have no use for a tripod and instead prefer handheld shooting. And of course we have the budget minded photographer that would just find the tablet solution too expensive.

Sizing it Down

For this next installment we are subtracting the Android tablet in favor of an Android phone to create a smaller footprint and possibly a smaller dent in your wallet. The basic connection from phone to camera will still remain the same as it was with the tablet. The main difference being where and how we mount the device.

 Samsung Galaxy SII w/ Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2DSLR Controller App on a Samsung Galaxy SII w/ Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2

First step, you will need an Android phone preferably with the latest Android however anything above 4.0 will work. This phone must support a USB host connection. Most newer devices have this capability however it is best to check anyway before purchasing. If you have an older device without this criteria, it is time for an upgrade.

To create a connection with the camera from your phone without a mounting solution, you will need a USB OTG cable that plugs into the phone and a usb cable that connects from that to the camera. Most newer Android phones utilize Mini-USB but you may want to double check your phone anyway.

1 USB OTG Cable
http://goo.gl/pC1fb

2 9-Inch USB to Mini-USB cable
http://goo.gl/9oEZI

DSLR Controller

Next you will need the app and you can install it on the Google Play Store here.
Not all Android devices and cameras are compatible. It should be noted that the app is still in Beta so expect bugs as well as occasional crashes. To view a list of compatible devices, click here.

Main Advantages

1 Touch screen user interface provides quick access to all of your camera controls from image capture and video record to ISO adjustment.

2 Pinch to zoom for quickly checking focus and exposure areas upon image review.

3 Larger view external screen complete with live view that can be manipulated into various angles for viewing. Makes low or high angle shots a cinch.

4 Remote capture and image review with live view through a wifi access point (must have two android devices with the DSLR controller app for this feature to work)

P1090143Low Angle Shooting with Ball Head Adjusted | © Steve Demmitt

The Mount

Testing the stability of the mount by shooting the camera handheld, it was quite stable; granted you tighten everything down firmly. It should also be noted that it is possible to mount the device without the mini ball head but you are limited in your viewing options. Below are a list of items used to mount the phone to the camera as well as images displaying the system in detail.

Android Phone Item List

1 i.Trek Super Mount
http://goo.gl/O03ib

2 Mini Ball Head
http://goo.gl/IiVC0

3 Hot Shoe to 1/4"- 20 Tripod Screw Adapter
http://goo.gl/nqVZH

Connected via USB running the DSLR Controller App

A Few Notes and Tips

1 Shooting handheld with the phone connected via DSLR Controller won't allow you physical use of your camera's shutter button. Everything must be done through the app itself. If and when this is a problem a workaround would be to only run the app to review images.

2 If you are shooting a RAW workflow I recommend shooting RAW + Jpeg/Small to make the image transfer almost instantaneous when reviewing the images on your device. You will need to set DSLR Controller app to only import the jpeg files for review and you can find that in the settings section of the app itself.

3 Pocket Wizard or remote flash trigger users can purchase a rail mount to allow for additional shoe mount accessories. If you want to go with a cheaper method you can opt for Velcro reusable self-gripping cables and wrap it around your camera strap.

Rail Mount Velcro Straps Rail Mount
http://goo.gl/80CuG
Velcro Reusable Self-Gripping Cable Ties
http://goo.gl/hrjbe

 

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info@stevedemmitt.com (Steve Demmitt) Gear Tue, 26 Feb 2013 21:10:24 -0800
Camera Tethering: The Mobile Solution - Part 1 of 2 http://motivelife.com/topics/gear/213-camera-tethering-the-mobile-solution-part-1-of-2 http://motivelife.com/topics/gear/213-camera-tethering-the-mobile-solution-part-1-of-2 © Steve Demmitt

Let's face it: when it comes to tethering your camera in the field, laptops are the way to go. However even though they are considered a "portable" on the go solution they are not exactly a quick and simple setup. The alotted time for a shoot and the amount of space you have to shoot in can be a photographer's worst enemy. When shooting editorial projects often one is given little of either. So how do we achieve the benefits from tethering to a laptop but also provide flexibility and speed to meet these stringent demands? Enter the DSLR Controller app for Android.

DSLR Controller

Get the app on the Google Play Store here.
Not all Android devices and cameras are compatible. It should be noted that the app is still in Beta so expect bugs as well as occasional crashes. To view a list of compatible devices, click here.

{vimeo}58682908{/vimeo}

Main Advantages

1 Touch screen user interface provides quick access to all of your camera controls from image capture and video record to ISO adjustment.

2 Pinch to zoom for quickly checking focus and exposure areas upon image review.

3 Larger view external screen complete with live view that can be manipulated into various angles for viewing. Makes low or high angle shots a cinch.

4 Remote capture and image review with live view through a wifi access point (must have two android devices with the DSLR controller app for this feature to work)

The only thing this solution doesn't provide is a post processing workflow that would be available with your typical laptop or computer setup. But I would argue if you are keen on that feature, you will most likely have the time pre-shoot to set that up.

The Tablet Solution

Running DSLR Controller App

To start you will need an Android tablet preferably with the latest Android however anything above 4.0 should suffice. This tablet must support a USB host connection. Most newer devices have this capability however some don't so it is best to check before purchasing. If you have an older device like I do, (HP Touchpad) it may support a USB host connection but be unable to provide built in power to this connection. For this type of configuration there is a solution below.

Android Tablet devices that support a built in powered USB Host

To just create a connection with the camera from your tablet without any mounting, you will need a USB OTG cable that plugs into the tablet and a usb cable that connects from that to the camera.

1 USB OTG Cable
http://goo.gl/pC1fb

2 USB to Mini-USB cable
http://goo.gl/W1ia5

Android Tablet devices that support a USB Host but is unpowered ( e.g. HP Touchpad )

Along with the items above you will also need the items below. The USB Y Cable will connect to the USB OTG cable, USB to Mini-USB cable, and the Tekkeon Mobile Power Pack which will allow you to supply power to the USB host.

1 USB Y Cable
http://goo.gl/o4SGp

2 Tekkeon Mobile Power Pack and ( 4 AA batteries sold seperately)
http://goo.gl/o4zS2

The Mount

A list of items used to mount the tablet to a tripod as well as various images displaying the system in detail.

P1090155 Edit

1 1/4-20 bolt with washer
Purchase at any local hardware store

2 ProClip Mounting Plate
http://goo.gl/7c18B

3 ProClip Extension Plate
http://goo.gl/6ja2G

4 ProClip Swivel Mount
http://goo.gl/byPYk

5 Manfrotto 143A Magic Arm
http://goo.gl/wLs3k

6 Manfrotto 035RL Super Clamp
http://goo.gl/ak2mO

Mounted on a tripod

P1090128

A Few Notes and Tips

1 If you have a padded tripod you can mount the super clamp to the padded area. This particular tripod has carbon fiber legs with no padded area. I did not want to risk damaging the tripod legs so I mounted the super clamp to the center column. Mounting to a padded leg would provide easier center column adjustment.

2 If you are shooting a RAW workflow I recommend shooting RAW + Jpeg/Small to make the image transfer almost instantaneous when reviewing the images on your device. You will need to set DSLR Controller app to only import the jpeg files for review and you can find that in the settings section of the app itself.

In the next installment of this two part article, you will learn how to create an even smaller setup at less than half the price. Stay tuned!

 

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info@stevedemmitt.com (Steve Demmitt) Gear Wed, 20 Feb 2013 07:51:59 -0800
How it all started - The birth of motivelife.com http://motivelife.com/topics/inspiration/206-how-it-all-started-the-birth-of-motivelife-com http://motivelife.com/topics/inspiration/206-how-it-all-started-the-birth-of-motivelife-com

{vimeo}7059562{/vimeo}Video Edited by Brian Okamoto

An early teaser video shot in 2008 at the start of motivelife. The site initially was to review cars, offer live event coverage and also show the aspects of what goes into an automotive photography photoshoot. The name has since been revived and the site will now chronicle the life of automotive photographers around the world and the work involved.

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info@stevedemmitt.com (Steve Demmitt) Inspiration Wed, 13 Feb 2013 09:02:53 -0800