About a month ago, I set out to shoot an image for the light-painting contest put on by this site. I was lucky enough to get the perfect subject for the shoot, but that luck would quickly run out.
After lining up a rare Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera I started brainstorming and thinking of locations all over town that might be fitting for this car and ones that would work with the rules of the contest. In usual fashion none of that mattered as conflicts between my schedule and the car's owner, mixed with Florida rain shot all of that out the window real quick. We ended up bringing the car to a small garage and got to work wiping it down as it had begin to rain on the way (of course).
Stage 1: Ambient Light Photo of the Car
I used a 4ft florescent light purchased for about $8 from the local hardware store plugged into my vagabond mini - turned the lights out in the garage and started making some passes on the car.
I ended up shooting settling on a 8 second exposure at f/6.3 and ISO100. After a few passes and figuring out what height and angle holding the light on the car worked the best I thought I had that about figured out for the shot. With the ambient light not looking very flattering on the car I setup the strobes to go off and giving me a low base exposure to build off.
...and now it was time to mix them. I set the 10 second timer on the camera and waited for the strobes to go off then ran past the car with my florescent light-painting in the darkness after the flash. After about a dozen or so times I thought I had it.
Main Exposure of the Car | © Garrett Wade
Stage 2: Adding the Wheel Exposure
Next I used a small softbox to strobe the wheels and make them pop.
All of these images along with a few bit from other passes where then combined to make my base image.
Main Exposure of the Car w/ Wheel Exposure | © Garrett Wade
Stage 3: The Background Swap
Finally coming together, but still rather boring I started digging through my old photos to see if I had some sorta background I could swap into this to make it a little bit more interesting. After a little bit of digging I came across a a few long exposures I did on a rooftop in NYC a few years back. With a few quick adjustments it looked like something that would work well for the image.
After dropping the old shot as the new background the image was finally almost there.
With a little bit more work in cleaning up and coloring the image I finally had a final product.
Final Image - Lamborghini Superleggera | © Garrett Wade