The shots behind the image - BTS
Limited Production Ferrari Monza SP1
A behind the scenes look at a recent shoot of the Ferrari Monza SP1.
The original shoo for this should have taken place a few months earlier however due to covid the SP1 didn’t make it out of the factory at Ferrari until a little later than expected. We finally got it into studio after its build was complete and were tasked by our client to shoot a series of images that showed the cars design and body lines.
Lighting is a very personal thing and in truth its simply not possible to copy a lighting set up and get the same result. The way that I approach lighting is very simple, in cases where you will have multiple lights in play it's important to 'light up' to the subject slowly, what I mean is do not over light the car, throwing huge belts of light at it from different directions, a lot of my work I like to look as if it's not been lit at all, subtle so to speak. The best way to do this is to set up each light one at a time, do a test shot and when your happy with the result move onto the next and so on, also consider however that where lights contaminate into each other's area's that meter readings may need to be re-evaluated as light intensity increases in these area's as you would expect.
There is no easy answer to lighting, it's simply a piece of the puzzle or indeed a piece of the photographer's tool kit that makes his work look different to the next guy, a style, a mood, his technique, it's personal and it's what each photographer must develop for themselves to achieve development as a photographer.
All the work was completed in studio using Arri continuous lighting, as I always do when shooting in vehicles in studio, and the lighting on this shoot ranged from 10k heads through too much smaller softer 1k units. Some of the overall body shots has up to 8 lights in play and I tend to light major sections of the car, for instance the front and upper body in a shot and the do some separate work for the wheels and say sill line down the side of the car. The reasons for this are purely creative choice as some lights just cannot work in the conjunction with each other and can cause a slightly less sculptured overall final look to the shot.
The car has been cleaned for a few days before the shoot and is not driven at all. You may notice a few shots where it is sat on wheel skates, we use these to move the car around the studio without needing to move the wheel alignments or start the car and it's all great as long as you never get a skate wheel over your toe while pushing it with gloves on… ;)
When lighting cars in studio the golden rules really are simple. If the you want a softer broader light, then you would lighting into the actual studio cove or suspended ceiling and if you want a harder punchier light the you go direct into the car. Direct lighting of this sort can be very harsh so I don’t use it too much but sometimes it is required if you want paintwork to pop and of course there is always the possibility that you could go direct but use some diffusion material over the front of the light.
Sounds simple I guess and for me I have been doing it for many years but one thing that is great and also a nightmare with continuous lighting is that if it's on point and in the right place then the light is just sublime and magical, however if the light is 1 or 2 inches off the right spot it can change a lot and not be as good. That is why I light the car and then go back to the camera position and have lighting assistants move the lights and tweak them in the final setups so that we work together to get everything in the right place.
Camera - Hasselblad H5D
Lens - Hasselblad HC50-110mm, HC35mm, HC80mm
Exposures varied from 5 secs up to 30 secs
BTS shots all done on my favourite camera to use for this, the Leica Q-P