It’s not as Fast as it Looks

February 10, 2010 | Category: Photography

This is a first second attempt at a type of photography that I’ve always wanted to get into: car rig photography. Kevin and I assembled all of the pieces and set out for a quick test with his jeep. The result isn’t too bad.  Basically the camera hangs off of a “rig” attached to the car. Using slow shutter speeds, the camera records fires while  the car slowly rolls along and you get a shot that emphasizes motion with the main subject frozen.

If there’s anyone in the Reno area with a nice car that wants some free shots, email or call me. I’m looking for more practice and nice subject matter.

Car rig photography, first attempt.

See how it was done after the break….

Nikon D3, 17-35mm @ f/22 (for a slow shutter speed), 1/10th sec, ISO: low-1. Next time I’ll use an ND filter or a CPL so I can stay at ISO 200.

The car rig: 2x manfrotto pump cups, 1"x10' steel pipe, manfrotto super clamp and a magic arm. (photo: Kevin Clifford) pumpcup

Here’s the car rig (and me looking stoned out): 2x #241 Manfrotto Pump Cups, 1″x10′ galvanized steel pipe, Manfrotto Super Clamp and a magic arm. That’s my d3 hanging off with a 17-35mm lens. Overall it was pretty stable considering the bumpy road. We found that the metal on the hood had a little bit of flex therefore I can see the use for a third suction cup to stabilize.

Black and white version

Figured I’d toss in a black and white version too.

Post processing

Here’s the original RAW file

Here’s the original RAW file

I tossed it through photomatix for fun

I tossed it through photomatix for fun

Here I got rid of the arm, spotting out the rig’s reflections, fixed the front of the hood and fixed the headlights

Here I got rid of the arm, spotting out the rig’s reflections, fixed the front of the hood and fixed the headlights

The background was a little distracting before so I replaced it with one from a photo I took a few years ago. I also fixed the shadow in the foreground, replaced the driver with a cloud reflection and spotted the image

The background was a little distracting before so I replaced it with one from a photo I took a few years ago. I also fixed the shadow in the foreground, replaced the driver with a cloud reflection and spotted the image

Finally, I tweaked the colors, fixed the blown out clouds and enhanced the micro contrast a bit.

Finally, I tweaked the colors, desaturated a bit,  fixed the blown out clouds and enhanced the micro contrast a bit.

If you’d like to get into this kind of photography, I’d recommend reading this article. And for some awesome examples check out Jeff Ludes, Dejan Sokolovski, Scott Dukes ,Josh Mackey and Dennis Noten.

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5 Comments

  1. Scott
    on February 11th, 2010
    1

    Very nice shot and processing mate. Love to know how you go about replacing sky so well. It fits the scene very well.

  2. Luke
    on February 16th, 2010
    2

    Amazing shot! Great job, and thanks for laying out how you did it!

  3. mr din
    on April 28th, 2010
    3

    indeed, great sky, the process is flawless but in the end, the clouds are so neat, I fear it makes it too obvious it was changed, as the clouds are the furthest elements, they should be the most blurred, no?

  4. robert
    on June 15th, 2010
    4

    Great photo 🙂
    I just have a couple of questions. I’m thinking of building pretty much the same set up, but for a motorcycle, do you think I would still need two cups or just one? Also any benefits of using steel over PVC or any lighter weight pole?

  5. pablo
    on October 6th, 2010
    5

    Cool project. Clouds look fantastic and not “fake” at all, good job. Also I think objects further away would be the least blurred rather than the most… as is suggested by the amount of blurring on the ground in front of the car vs the distant foothills.