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Automotive Lightpainting Again!

Sometimes, I start these posts with long-winded exposition before coming to a thesis statement about the week's photos. Not this time.


The subject of this week's shoot was Scott's 2014 Ford Mustang GT, a silver smorgasbord of speed, tire smoke and noise. We took the car down to a small sidestreet off of a highway that sinks down towards the Passaic River. There, we found some dirt, trees, and a random piece of construction equipment; perfect, then, for taking some lightpainting shots.

The setup was rather straightforward: take a base exposure for the sky and distant background, one for the car's lights, then a single "lightpainted" shot. This consisted of setting the camera at a 30 second shutter interval, during which I would aim the Icelight at the car and slowly walk around it, never really altering the height of the light. A polarizer on the lens and a consistent beam of light resulted in far less streaking on the car than in my previous attempts. Finally, these shots are composited in Photoshop and then toned upon re-export to Lightroom.

No backhoe...

...with backhoe. I prefer without.

They aren't perfect, and I suppose we could've taken more, but for what it's worth, I'm happy with the result. As you can see, I went a little overboard with the lightpainting and ended up lighting a backhoe behind the car, some ways into the woods. I posted two versions of the shot here (one with the backhoe, and one without). Personally, I prefer the version without. But then, that's quite a bit of empty space. 

The Westcott Icelight is expensive, but is proving to be wholly worth the money with excellent battery life, perfectly daylight-balanced color, and a smooth, silky spread of delicious light. More lightpainting to come.