Back Modifications (3)
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Mazda MX5 Sport Cabriolet.

By paulbroad  
For general comment, of course, but there have been a couple of car shots recently, so this may be of use. The background is not ideal, but to disguise this the camera is on a tripod and set on manual 2 stops less than correct exposure. The main light is thus from 3 flash units also on manual and on supports suitably placed. Front, center, rear. Exposure arrived at by experiment.

Some dodging and burning in. The idea was to add a bit of impact and drama,

EOS 40D with 10/20 Sigma, manually focused. 1/125 @ f16 ISO100, Radio flash triggers.

I realise there is a reasonably high cost involved but I wanted to show what can be done at home with little effort. For those interested, this is my MX5 just after buying from brother in law. He had it from new. Only real problem with he Mk2 MX5 was the wheels. They corrode! These are the originals but changed almost immediately.

05 plate special edition. Leather heated seats and interior, Bilston sports suspension, 6 speed box, 1.8 tuned to 146 bhp. Few other extras. Nice car I think. But I would!


Tags: Sport Flash Car Transport Lighting Mx5 Effect

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1 May 2016 9:13AM
modification done!

paulbroad Plus
14 131 1294 United Kingdom
1 May 2016 12:08PM
It's a mod, OK, but I'm not sure it looks right on a parked car! See what others think but rather too mch for my tastes. Jiust look wrong and blurred. Don't forget, the idea here is to show the car off, not attempt toreplicate speed.

banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4307 Canada
1 May 2016 3:12PM
Its a good demonstration for the recent uploads on a different approach.
dudler Plus
18 1.9k 1928 England
1 May 2016 3:59PM
Thanks, Paul - this shows the painstaking 'proper' way to shoot.

The crucial thing is that the lighting pulls the car out from the background, and the dimness makes the suburban skyline lok mysterious (and maybe threatening).

It's also instructive that you've used a tilt to make the car look poised and active.

Interestingly, it also makes hte most of the lovely sweep of the sidelines of hte car - I hadn't noticed that up-down-up-down to the profile before, though I've seen a lot of them out on the road.

(Mental note: get son to wash his car and go out in the Peak District for some piccies - he's got the engineer's Mazda, an RX8 - and hope for deep grey skies, water, and sunlight...)

My one suggestion for improvement is to reduce the foreground.

It would be interesting and instructive for those interested in doing similar shots to know how many flashes you used here, and somethign about hte triggering arrangements. I can see, I think, five different lit areas...
dark_lord Plus
18 2.9k 811 England
1 May 2016 4:43PM
Illustrates the point well Paul.
Even the reduction of the prominence of the suburban background to something more of a supporting role, keeping attention on the car. In fact suburban drives are where you'd mostly see these so the hint of the location is sufficient.

Only one minor niggle, the neighbour's van on the far left of the image. A couple of hefty guys needed to shove it out of the way.
paulbroad Plus
14 131 1294 United Kingdom
1 May 2016 4:53PM
Three flash units. There is a bright evening sun from the rear.

Radio trigger from Ebay. Three units for the guns to sit on, one that goes on the camera hot shoe and triggers the guns. Cost About 30 from Hong Kong. You take a chance but it works perfectly. Aimed the guns and fired on manual, then adjusted flash power on each gun on manual to balance expose. Tried a few shots, making changes for each sequence. I think the answer is simply to experiment.

The RX8 is an interesting car. By the engineers car, I assume you mean you need to be an engineer to keep it going. Abit like an Alfa! They are superb proving the twin rotor Wankel engine keeps going. Fast and smooth. They are quite cheap to buy because of the mechanical issues. The rotor tips wear away very quickly. Few engines exceed 25K without a rebuild and many hard used examples don't get that far!

They are more spacious than the MX5 with passable rear seat as you know. My son prefers not to work on them due to the complexity. Back in the late 60's' when I was doing my Metallurgical degrre, we had several Wankel engines in the lab for tests due to extremely rapid rotor failures on early production engines. The work was to try and find suitable alloys for the tips that might last longer.

paulbroad Plus
14 131 1294 United Kingdom
1 May 2016 4:58PM
THe van! Don't get me going on that one! He now hs a bigger van which he seems to use to make it difficult for everyone else to back out, yet most of the time he has an empty drive himself. My terinology for himcannot be written here but I would more than blow the bloody doors off!!!!!!!!!

dudler Plus
18 1.9k 1928 England
1 May 2016 5:53PM
Thanks for the details, Paul. I must be suffering double vision...

Engineer's car - actually, because it's both so interesting, in being different, and rather well done. And exceptionally rapid. He doesn't do that many miles, as he's a keen cyclist, so the horrendous fuel consumption isn't a big issue.

I've driven it a couple of times, very enjoyably, and have trouble fitting: very low: so I'm not being tempted away from my diesel Impreza.
pablophotographer 10 2.0k 423
13 May 2016 12:08AM
A car of ''eternal youth''. I still recall the advertising message of the first Miata (U.S. name) or MX5 (Europe).
It said: ''Before the house, the spouse and the children you have one chance''. I am glad you had all these and the extra chance to enjoy such a nice car, a car that revived the old category of ''cabrio'' sports cars. I like how the lighting has been reflected by the body surface of the car. Taking of lighting I would be also tempted to shoot it with the headlights turned on, making it look ready for night driving. And to be on the safe side I would also check the pressure on the front tyre(s) as I see the back tyre is sitting properly but the front either because of the shadow (created by lighting) or the engine weight seems to be needing some pumped air to make it stand properly.

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