Thursday, October 21, 2010

Playing with Toy Car (2)

Last week, I post the steps on how I took the photograph of my BMW die-cast toy car model. The result satisfied me, at that moment. But after I browse through images of cars on Flickr, I started to realize that my picture was good but lack of the 'wow' factor. So, this week's post will be about my journey to find the one that give me that 'wow' factor(OK, I know. Not that 'wow'. But hey, I'm still learning.*self defense*)

After browse through the images on Flickr, I realized that the white background is the weakest link from my previous photo. So, I want to remove the background and change it with black. I still love the reflection, so I will keep it. I even tried new technique, I used a snoot to limit the light so it won't spill to the background. And the journey began.

The first thing I tried was to create a similar 'pose', with black background. I snooted the flash so that the only thing that was lit was my BMW. I shoot the flash through a Tupperware on camera's right as my diffuser, and put a piece of paper on the camera's left as the reflector.

The result is good I think, but the problem is... The dominant light comes from behind of the car, while the front part of the car and the headlight is not well lit. It's a bit strange since usually, the front part of the car is the brightest one. Another problem with this picture is the lack of Depth of Field.

BMW_dark_smallSo, I tried another shot. I remove the Tupperware, and use a piece of paper to diffuse the light from the right, and the Tupperware lid covered by alumunium foil (the one that I use on my previous post) on the left as a reflector. I still snooted the flash, and feather it so that the car won't have hot spots. I dialed the aperture to f/16 to get better DoF.
BMW_dark_small Setup Shot
Better result. I got the DoF issue covered, the front part of the car is well lit. The headlamp looks like shining. But still not that wow. It still can't make me say wow, how can it make other people say wow? (Even though I feel that this picture has been better than the one with the white background)

And finally, I decided to change the 'pose' of the car. I put it side-way and I want to emphasize the shape of the car using my light (My one and only borrowed SB-20). For the key light, I fire the flash through a diffuser from above the car, just outside the frame. And on the left and right side of the car, I put two reflector. And the result, is the first picture on this post. I find it the best picture I've taken so far, and I'm quite happy with it. With one light, I think this is the best that I could get. I couldn't think of another way to fix it. Well, of course I can soften the light, but I'm afraid if I soften the light furthermore, all parts of the car will be well lit and that's not what I want.

I'm sorry because I didn't take the setup shot for the final picture. But actually, I think the setup for this final picture is a lot easier than that of the previous two. Well, another lesson learned. Nice picture doesn't always come from a complex setup. But, an easy setup that carefully executed will give great result as well.

Thanks for reading my post guys. If you have any questions, critiques or anything, just drop me a comment and I will try to get back to you. See you guys on my next post.


  1. Nice one van... perhaps you can blow some dust on the black glass table a bit... ^^ (it doesnt looks like it comes from a dirty lense... so must be the table) Lil' "detail" such as this, will help you achieve that "WOW" factor...

    Nevertheless... great job bro... keep it up. ^o^


  2. @Calin: Thanks for the compliment.

    @Bertho: You got that right bro.. Noted and will put more attention to it. Thanks for the advice. :)

  3. 1st pic looks very nice, surely black background plays its part.
    but somehow, I like the angle from 2nd shot better tho..

  4. @pram: I see.. Well, I think it's a matter of taste. Or maybe I had enough with the 2nd shot angle. Hahaha.. Since I've done that angle so many times. But thanks for the input. :)