Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Playing with Toy Car

Today I would like to share my experiences of taking a picture of my toy car. After being inspired by David Hobby's blog, I have decided to start to learn on how to light my photographs. (If you're a loyal reader of David Hobby's blog, then you will know that I'm inspired by him just by reading the title of this blog). After struggling to find a good bargain on speedlite for me to use and learn, finally I've managed to borrow an old Nikon SB-20 of which now I can play around with. Well, enough with chit-chat and it's time to do the story telling part. Yippie.
BMW FinalAfter I got the required gear, I was looking for inspirations of what to shoot and how I'm going shoot it. After spending a few moments of thinking and looking for objects to shoot, I've decided to shoot my beloved BMW diecast toy car model.
Below you can see the final picture that I've managed to get from my car model. The idea here is to make a great picture with the available gears that I have at that time which is only one light (my borrowed SB-20, I feel sorry for my self). In order to create a two lights setup I used a reflector as a fill light for it.
I set the shot by placing my main light (the SB-20) on the right side of the camera, being diffused using a plastic tupperware container. As for my reflector fill-light, I used the lid of the tupperware which I covered with alumunium foil. After firing away several test shots, I have noticed several problems in my shot which are harsh reflection on the windshield of the car and the tyre became too dark for my liking. In order to overcome these problems, I used a tissue paper to softens the light and as for the tyres, I added a small mirror to reflect more light onto the front tyre.
Setup shot of BMW Final
I was really happy overall result of the shot now EXCEPT that the background is a bit blown out for my taste. I then decided to Gobo the right side of the flash to prevent the light spilling too much on the background and causing it to be blown out.
Another learning experience that I've got from shooting my BMW model was the composition wise. In terms of the focal length, I need to use a wide angle to create the feel that the object would look bigger. Another thing is that, I wanted to fill up my frame, so I was shooting pretty close to the car and this leads to another problem which is the limited Depth of Field (DoF). To overcome this problem I stop down my aperture to f/16 which leads to sacrificing sharpness (diffraction problem) and also I need to power up my flash.Anyways, this is a great learning experiences for me. This could've been easier if I have two lights or more. I know this is not a perfect shot, but I am quite satisfied with it. See you on my next post.


  1. nice pic bro... (*o*)
    "(my borrowed SB-20, I feel sorry for my self)"
    i can imagine that.....

  2. Thanks for the compliment bro. ^^
    Haha, welcome to the club. Poor photographer club? *sigh* I hope someday we can get out from this club.

  3. Mantap van! Well, nothing's good comes from abundance.. :D
    Just build up to it. Nicely taken photos!

  4. Thanks for the compliment Jp...

  5. Waahh.. Ivan and Ronny. Keep up the good work here.

    Dan benerin link David Hobby's blog-nya dong. Semestinya ke kan? *hasil googling*

  6. Thank you San, wah apa kabar nih?

  7. Kabar baik Ron. Fotonya keren2 euy.

    Ikutan belajar foto bareng dong kalau di Indonesia. :)

  8. @Irsan: Alo San, wah dah lama ga ketemu. Btw, jadi blogger jg nih. Hehehe..

  9. Sipp2 dah San, thank you2 for the compliments, ntar klo lg pas di Indo I'll let you know.