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Golf GTi.

By paulbroad  
A 'C' plate Golf GTi, a real classic if you are a car fan. Trying a bit of an advertising shot for my son's garage and thus comments of interest. This is one of quite a few images with different lighting and treatment. The car had come in in poor condition and this is the end product of 4 weeks work and a very large bill.

Stripped down, paint job, engine rebuild, new wheels and so on.

The setting is always going to be difficult and a nice country scene would be nice, but this is to advertise the garage. Ambient light reading with Sekonic hand meter, 1/30 @ f11 and ISO400. (Not very bright!) Flash on manual on tripod to the left rear quarter, hand held flash to the right high up looking down. Both with diffusers and radio trigger.

EOS 7D on tripod with 10/20 Sigma at about 28 mm actual. Some work with dodge and burn tools which may be a bit obvious and too much? But done to accent car with darker surroundings.

Does it make you look? That's obviously the idea. The sign will be readable on the A3 prints. Whilst any comment is relevant, of course, remember what is the intent - 'come and have your car worked on at this garage.'


Tags: Test Flash Image Car Transport Trial Advertise

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Diggeo 8 13 Greece
17 Mar 2013 9:12AM
Paul, this is an excellent job. I would have definetely been interesting in viewing the car as a potential buyer.
But if your goal is promoting the garage, I would have expected to see at least a part of it in the photo.
paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2013 9:55AM
The car already has an owner and he commissioned the work but was happy to have his car used as a prop. I've sent him a CD of the images. Including the garage is not easy. It has a huge yard, used by a local main dealer to store new cars. Helps to pay the rent, but not a good background, just a mass of vehicles.

martyn_b 16 20 1
17 Mar 2013 10:42AM
it does what it says on the tin, as you mention the burning around the car could be more subtle,the only thing i might have done differently would be to go for a higher vantage point to show the whole of the sign in the background but if your like me you only spot these things after the event,Smile cheers martyn
iancrowson Plus
11 215 168 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2013 12:38PM
Really good image, super car. The one point I would make based on this being advertising image is that the website address is not in view.
paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2013 12:53PM
Good point, Ian. Some other versions, it is fully visible, but needs consideration.

mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2457 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2013 1:45PM

Quote:it does what it says on the tin,

Precisely. For such purposes the image needs to be clean, simple, easily read. My only query on that front is - do you not want the website address to be fully visible?
If it was mine I think I'd want to get rid of the twigs, simply because they are an unnecessary complication, they might take the eye away from the car and the message.
Edit - Oops, just realised Ian has got in already re the website.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2457 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2013 3:39PM
Just one more thing (and I don't think I'm duplicating a comment here... ) - when I've seen pictures of real cars used in this way the registration plates have usually been blanked out - is that an issue to consider here? To be discussed perhaps with the car's owner?
NDODS 11 5.2k 127 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2013 6:08PM
Photographing shiny surfaces is one of the most difficult type of image to get right, and is most suited to high end studio or location shoots involving shed loads guys with loads of gear.

In a perfect world you could have driven this iconic beauty into a studio and fired away until ones heart was content. However in reality you have used what you had at hand, and IMHO you gave done a cracking shop trying to meet your initial objectives.

One thing that I would not be to worried about is the quality of the finish to your image. If you are intending on getting the image printed then a lot of that wonderfully worked detail will be sadly lost if poor quality paper is used.

On the other hand if it were to be advertised in a top end glossy, then the image would not look out of place.

One little point that has not been mentioned is the reflection of the advertising sign on the cars bonnet. This does distract the eye somewhat from the high quality finish.

There are many great tips and tutorials at ePz to help you get where you ultimately get where you want.

Regards Nathan
pablophotographer 10 1.9k 411
17 Mar 2013 7:46PM

The team (and that includes you as the photographer) have done a nice job.
You have lots of things to consider .
Time and Space are two basic ones. I don't know how much time you had available until you give the car back.
As I don't know how much space there is at the invisible area where the calera is located.
I shall make my suggestions, hopefully they may prove of some use.

The picture shows a shiny classic car, it could be that this polished beauty (I prefer the Mark I) is an advert for a car wash.
I don't see a direct connection of the work done in the engine/performance aspect, unless this was not that worth looking, which I suspect it isn't. But I read from the sign (will come to it later) that the garage tweeks performance and sells evolution chips, kits for making the driving experience more rewarding. The concept of the non visible full website name at the bottom is not such an issue for me (although I have a suggestion for that also). I can read the above line and can make a safe guess it is called I hope it will look clearly on the prints. Well at least teh phone numbers are bigger, I may be a bit old I would prefer to speak over the phone than type...
So, so far I have some hints of what the company may be doing. (Car polish?) You have to think commercially though. Does your picture differ from picture of car sellers??? many of their picture are like "here's the car, here's the garage under the sign name". Autotrader may be full of these ads...

Think what do you want to exhibit in your poster picture. The sign is a good point, but what more to that? A greatful customer? Friendly staff?
As you do your thinking I am finding time to discuss the sign. As a concept the sign on the wall in my working experience at signmaking has a conceptual fault. Well known branded logos normally go ahead of letters. Less known ones can be placed the other way around. The chequered flag logo should be at the end. It is waved at photofinish point. And most photofinish pics show the firstcrossing it and the ones trailing behind, not in front. So name first, from left to right, chequered flag at the right end. Fin.

Let's talk about the pic a bit more. Currently there is a bit of shadow under the car, not very flatttering. If time constraint was not an issue I would play around the car at night time. (You have got manipulation softeware so you could do this). Parked car. Light from top as you have now. Smallest aperture. Low ISO. Let it be darkish. Go around the car, place a flash light underneath the back of the car, take another shot. Do the same with the other dark side. The flashes should trigger from your camera. You have three images to stack. Play with the overall lighting.
Car positioning. I think if you could drive it to be on the right side, all of the crucial lettering on the sign could be visible.Do you want ot show customer gratitude and friendly staff? Have an employee of the garage, in his clear working clotheswaving goodbye to a happy smiling driver (both door windows should be down to eliminate flash reflection).
These are my thoughts and suggestions. As I said ealier a lot of it depends on the time and space available. Good luck.
paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
18 Mar 2013 7:42AM
The owner was there waiting to drive it away! So, little time, but there is a plan and I take on board the comments. The intent here was a shot of the car to give the customer as he was spending a lot of money, so a bit of advertising thrown in. Lighting set up thus thrown together, but I need to develop a standard set up so that we can do this in a few seconds with a consistent return.

The mechanics were in there working gear. No posh uniforms at this type of garage. Good trained lads, but not the television type technician in logo'd overalls. Workers. We do have a couple of shots with owner and the garage staff in, but whilst happy, not necessarily web site/poster stuff.

I shall do the A3 mounted prints. I have an Epson 1400, which does a pretty good job. The possibility of a poster has been suggested above and we might do that. The 7D has plenty of pixels. I have a 5foot x 4 foot banner print at home of a steelworks shot, printed from a 10MP 40D and it is very good indeed.



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