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Final: A master photographer gives the Model S his best shot

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by ToddRLockwood, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

    Sep 11, 2012
    Burlington, Vermont
    #1 ToddRLockwood, Jun 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013

    Master product photographer Rick Levinson asked me if I'd be willing to bring my Model S into his studio so he could work his magic. His studio is in Burlington, Vermont — not exactly a hotbed for studio car photography. Just the fact that Rick's studio can accommodate a car is pretty impressive in these parts. (His usual clients include ski and snowboard companies, Ben & Jerry's, and a variety of other nationally known Vermont brands.)


    With the help of two assistants and a lot of digital know-how, a gorgeous portrait of my pearl white Model S has been captured. I was in charge of buffing and tire cleaning. It was all done just for fun, inspired by an object of beauty.


    Details, details. I did my best to get the car looking factory new again. I received my Model S in March. And in case you're wondering, the car is Pearl White.


    Photographer Rick Levinson searched for the best angle and camera elevation. I find that the Model S photographs better with a longer-than-normal focal length lens.


    Ghost in the studio! An assistant moves a black card to create some darker reflections. When you're working with a white car against a white backdrop, sometimes it makes sense to nudge the reflections in the other direction. One of the main goals was to capture the beautiful sculpted shape of the side of the car.


    Assistants hold a board above the windshield to eliminate ceiling reflections. The plan was to later paste the windshield into the main image.


    Rick splices together the best "pieces" of the car.


    Voila! The finished product. Rick also shot some beautiful detail photos...

  2. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

    Nov 13, 2009
    #2 stevezzzz, Jun 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
    Beautiful, Todd! And it's always fun to see what other pros have in their studios: Rick's camera support system, for instance, is to die for. I can imagine what a monster softbox he has overhead (or did he shoot it with just the octabox that shows as a windshield reflection in one of the first photos?), and how big the studio must be overall. Looking forward to the 'rest of the story'.

    By the way: you're a lucky man to get a photo like this without having to pay Rick's day rate and studio fees. :biggrin:
  3. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    CA CA
    The looking down the drivers side shot is great!

    So hard to do.

    - - - Updated - - -

    From the 2nd shot in the thread it looks like he is bouncing light off a white ceiling. Then in PS cleaning up the reflected pipes and beams and piecing the car parts (side, windshield, etc.) together.
  4. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

    Jul 1, 2012
    Camas, WA
    Thank you for sharing, it was a great insight into the process of photography at this level.

    The only thing that jumps out at me is that in the final shot you lose the glass roof of the car, it looks white. All of the other angles and lines of the car are captured beautifully.
  5. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    I actually like the prep photos the best, especially the one of you buffing the tires.

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