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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Transportation Talk 
Thread started 12 May 2008 (Monday) 14:04
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embarrassed Shooting cars inside a warehouse / indoors?

 
alkatraz
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May 12, 2008 14:04 |  #1

Greetings,

We're moving into a new warehouse and will be setting up a "interior car/truck/van dealership showroom".

One of the challenges is that we want to set something up that will not only make the cars look good on camera but in person.

I've done some research and know that lighting is the key to great car photos. Unfortunately, the space has next to zero natural light and the rest of the light is, uck, florescent. I've searched and searched for information on setting up a indoor showroom and haven't found squat. So I'm turning to the people who "see things with the most critical eyes", photographers, for advice.

Here are some quick pics of the space taken from a canon point and shoot. (but we have a older Canon DSLR for the car pics) The place is currently used for holding furniture which will all be cleared out and cleaned this week.

http://www.terra2impor​ts.ca …shop/Apr%2022nd​%20029.jpg (external link)
http://www.terra2impor​ts.ca …shop/Apr%2022nd​%20030.jpg (external link)
http://www.terra2impor​ts.ca …shop/Apr%2022nd​%20038.jpg (external link)
http://www.terra2impor​ts.ca …shop/Apr%2022nd​%20059.jpg (external link)
http://www.terra2impor​ts.ca …shop/Apr%2022nd​%20060.jpg (external link)


  1. What type of *fixed* lighting should we install?
  2. How high should the lighting be placed? (From the top of the 21' celing or closer to the car?)
  3. What colour(s) should we paint the walls?
  4. What colour should we epoxy the floor? light grey, dark grey, bright blue, etc. Black/white are out of the question as the cars will be moved all the time creating dust/dirt.
It's a big space, 4000 sq/ft so we don't want to paint this place twice!

Any advice/experience you can offer would be much appreciated!!

Please note:
Realistically, we don't have the time nor the budget to take studio quality shots. I can appreciate you guys take this stuff very seriously but for our purposes, we need something that we can setup once and forget about.

Edit: Don't know why it put "embarressed" in the subject? must be because i used that particular thread smilie.



  
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chauncey
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May 12, 2008 15:33 |  #2

It sounds like you guys are getting in over your head from a business point of view.

Do some addition: overhead, meaning rent, utilities, insurance, floor planning (do you know what that means?), your salaries (ya gotta support yourself).
Then cost of inventory.

With that number down pat, are you going to generate the income to do all of this.
Generally you need enough money in savings to support yourself for a year without drawing any monies from the business.

Don't take my word for this, go to any bank that gives small business loans and get information packets of what it takes to open a business.

BTW, the search button in that blue bar will give you plenty of posts on car photography.


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alkatraz
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May 12, 2008 17:44 as a reply to  @ chauncey's post |  #3

lol, thx but we've been in business for 4 years now and have outgrown our current location hence the need for this new space. I appreciate your concern though! :D

I've read a ton of info on automotive photography, but I can't find much on INDOOR automotive photography. (that doesn't involve a dedicated studio) Up until now we've been taking pictures outside which makes life easy, but we need to figure out the best situation for the cars to look good indoors.




  
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chauncey
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May 12, 2008 18:20 as a reply to  @ alkatraz's post |  #4

I totally misread your post and I'm sorry.

We are lucky to have, IMHO, one of the best car photographers in the business. http://home.comcast.ne​t/~fcizek/index.html (external link).

Check out his posts and responses by clicking here https://photography-on-the.net/forum/member.p​hp?u=15421


The things you do for yourself die with you, the things you do for others live forever.
A man's worth should be judged, not when he basks in the sun, but how he faces the storm.

My stuff...http://1x.com/member/c​hauncey43 (external link)

  
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iamaelephant
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May 12, 2008 21:23 |  #5

The fixed lighting could be a challenge and I'm certainly not the one who should be giving advice, but I'll be very interested to read the views of some experts.


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alkatraz
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May 13, 2008 01:42 |  #6

No worries! Thanks for the referral, I'll pm him to see if he can shed some "light" on this. (pardon the pun)

iamaelephant wrote in post #5512382 (external link)
The fixed lighting could be a challenge and I'm certainly not the one who should be giving advice, but I'll be very interested to read the views of some experts.

I've posted this on another forum and here's what one gentleman had to say:

Well, as for lighting, I think that you should concentrate on making the cars and showroom look good in person first. I would go probably install several rows of track lighting, closer to the side wall and along the center of the room. You want to light the cars separately from the rest of the room, so they are distinct and stand out just slightly. Now I'll bet that sometimes cars will change positions different cars will not always be the same place. You could get up on a ladder every time you move a car and refocus the lights, or you could pick several position where cars will usually be and install several tracks on two or three different circuits. That way when you put cars in "position A," you could flip one switch, and if you change the cars to "position B," then you could just flip a different switch. This setup would cost just a bit more initially but would save a lot of time.

For the floor, I would go with a medium to light gray. You don't want the tone of the floor to visually blend together with the tone of a car. For the walls If you go with a darker color, it will draw peoples attention to the well light cars.

Now for the photography, You can probably photograph fairly well with the show room lighting, but you will end up with some hot reflections from the lights. But this can still look pretty good. The other option, and it should be fun if you like photography, is to dim the lights very low so they don't affect the photo and use flash via the strobist method. Check out this link. You can get professional results on a shoestring budget.
http://www.strobist.bl​ogspot.com/ (external link)

Good luck with everything,
-Ryan

http://thephotoforum.c​om …php?p=1237711&p​ostcount=4 (external link)

So we're thinking very dark grey walls, light grey (almost dust colour) floor and track lighting with direction halogen spots.

Sound good?




  
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chauncey
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May 13, 2008 04:47 as a reply to  @ alkatraz's post |  #7

Enough with the internet advice, most of us out here have a habit of being completely FOS

Talk to a local professional, lighting/interior decorator.

Having said that, I like Ryan's suggestions.


The things you do for yourself die with you, the things you do for others live forever.
A man's worth should be judged, not when he basks in the sun, but how he faces the storm.

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Moppie
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May 13, 2008 06:21 |  #8

I can't help much with the lighting, but I have helped someone set up a similar space to sell exotic cars out of.

2 things you need to do first:

1. Get a proper (and that means expensive) hard wearing, heavy duty floor paint put down, and let it set before you move any cars in there.

It does 2 things, makes the place look better, and makes it easier to clean.
BUT, you have to use high quality hard wearing, designed for a concrete warehouse floor paint. Otherwise the car tyres will just lift it right off if they sit on it for more than a day.

2: When you paint the walls:

Choose a neutral colour so you don't have to worry about imparting a colour cast from reflected light when you take photos of the cars.
You can get away with cheap paint, and just slap it on yourself here.
Then keep some for touch ups as you need to. That way you can change wall decorations, posters, displays etc, and not worry about ruining an expensive paint job.


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PhotosGuy
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May 13, 2008 09:21 |  #9

Here's a good starting point on outdoor car lighting, which really uses the same principals as indoor lighting.
A few Car Lighting Tips - Updated
Note that there's a link to a studio at the top.

I'm out of town right now, & will add a few more links later.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
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PhotosGuy
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May 13, 2008 22:29 |  #10

From the "Tips" thread: We used huge 15' X 30' frames (on casters) covered with cloth to reflect into the sides of the car. Some were hung as overhead flats. These were lit with 20K lights. Smaller, highlighting reflections were lit with 750's.
Maybe a bit of direct light was used on just the tires to bring the tread up to the overall level of light, or we’d put a bit into the wheels/hubcaps to give them a little “pop”.

It's a big space, 4000 sq/ft so we don't want to paint this place twice!

Sometimes we painted twice a day!
Our studios were flat black & we moved the white flats to put the highlights in the body just where we wanted them. This doesn't mean that you can't have a white floor & coved background if that will work for you. It's just that the rolling & overhead flats gave us more fine control.

Car Studio Shots


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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