Preview: Shooting Dale Earnhardt Junior’s Official 2014 #88 National Guard Nascar Team Photoshoot

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Just wrapped the 10+ hour official 2014 photoshoot for Dale Earnhardt Jr and the #88 National Guard Nascar team down in Hammerhead studios in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was awesome! I’ve always wanted to take Dale Jr’s portrait. He’s one of my favorite NASCAR drivers, so I was really honored when I was contacted to do the team’s new photos for 2014. I can’t post the final photos yet, but I can tell you a bit about my setup…

The photoshoot day required a combination of individual portraits without car, portraits of people with the race car, and the race car from various angles. We had to cram in a LOT of photos in a short amount of time. Many of the photos would be used for future composites and promo material throughout the year so the lighting had to be clean and even on a lot of the images. I noted the ceiling in the studio was black, which is not conducive to clean in-studio car photos. I hired a local grip with grip truck (essentially a truck loaded with c-stands, reflectors, extension cables, and everything support-related that I would need) to show up and build me a 20 foot by 20 foot white panel to hang from the ceiling. I would fire some of my Profoto D1 Airs up into the 20×20 panel to create a beautiful soft even light onto the car, essentially treating it like an oversized bounce card. I should also note that the power output in the Profoto D1 Airs can be remotely adjusted from the Air Remote on my camera’s hotshoe, which REALLY helped make my life easier since all of the lights were placed so far apart. I’ll show the results in greater detail when the official photos come out!

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I shot all of the images with my Phase One IQ140 digital medium format with my favorite 75-150 Schneider leaf shutter lens, which is incredibly sharp and one of my favorites. I shot while tethered to the blazing fast new brand new 2.3ghz 16 gig Retina Macbook Pro using Capture One Pro software. I used my Tether Tools kit to setup my laptop (the “tether table”) and backup hard drive underneath. I also used Tether Tool’s iPad mount (Wallee Case and Wallee Connect) on an extra tripod so I could transmit the image previews as I photographed using Phase One’s Capture Pilot software for life client review.

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