Behind The Scenes – It’s Often A Mess!

It always amazes me how messy a studio can get in the process of a shoot, especially a car shoot, yet the camera’s frame remains clean, uncluttered and pristine. Here are some shots of some of my camera and lighting set-ups. I can’t show the final shots yet as they have not been published.
Here’s a typical interior set-up.The camera is sitting on a solid block of aluminum, locked down by triangulating so it’s rock-solid. Why do we need such a set-up one might ask? I do lots of exposures and bracketing so I don’t want ANY camera movement. In fact once placed, whether it’s a camera, light, flag, or whatever – I don’t want it moving. So, I insist on the crew using alot of sandbags even in the studio. We almost always shoot irreplaceable prototype vehicles so we don’t need to be having things falling or getting knocked into the car. We often will drape the car in black cloth (where not visible to the camera) to further protect it.

We are using a medium format Hasselblad H2 with 35mm lens and a PhaseOne digital back for this shot.

Notice that piece of tape on the c-stand arm? Anyone know why that’s there? It’s there just an extra visual cue that there is a stand sticking out there and to avoid it. It’s for safety of the crew mainly, but also so no one bumps that, which is connected to ┬áthe camera.

I like to use a lot of smaller lights. My favorite is the Dedolight 150. When one uses alot of lights, this kind of spaghetti mess of wires is a common sight in the studio. This was a security code red vehicle – thus the wheel covers to mask the car’s identity. Yes, even in the studio.To reach the center of the car, we had to remove the two front seats, the rear seat and make a double-plate rig to mount the camera. For this shot we used the Canon 5DMk2 with ┬áthe 24-70mmL lens. I still use that lens to find shot angles most of the time, but will often swap out for Zeiss prime glass for the final shot. Yes, I am somewhat of a perfectionist.

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