Here is a quick 40 second video showing all the little elements I touch up before an ad. In this case, I am working on an images of a new Jeep Grand Cherokee This was not a particularly complicated edit, but you can see a little bit of the process I go into, nonetheless. The before and after photos (lowres versions) are posted below. You may note that I use Nik Software’s Viveza 2 to bring out details in the clouds, brighten the arch, and even tone on the Jeep.
Lighting was pretty simple and straightforward. I used 2 White-Lightning x1600 and 1 x3200 strobes with 7″ silver reflectors connected to a 3k watt generator I rented from Home Depot. Fired the lights using pocketwizard transceivers. The lights rarely went over 2/3 power (estimate around 400 watts?). This goes to show you dont necessarily need a lot of fancy lighting attachments and high powered lighting to create a car ad. Just well planned location, flash angle, camera angle, and balancing the light output on the vehicle with the environment so one doesn’t look too much brighter than the other. I rarely point a flash directly at a car because it creates flash reflection. Most times I will point it off center or at completely the inverse angle from the camera (I believe that is the proper terminology. See the diagram below. Aside from the fill, the other 2 mail lights are at a complete angle. I don’t mind the flash reflection in the grill. Kind of gives it a cool sparkling effect.