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Practice. Learning to space your subject from walls and ceilings will change the way a picture looks. Learning to change the angle and type of light your painting with takes time, but really allows you to change the picture as well.



It took me a while to get used to the angles of keeping a light trail from being between the car and the lens. Sometimes it looks awesome with trails visible, sometimes its distracting.
With:

Without:


I'd say just practice. I typically use 20 second or 30 second exposures and am literally running around the car with an LED flashlight. Remember its not just about making light trails, but also aiming the light and slowly exposing areas of the car. I've ended up with some awesome shots just by sitting in the engine bay with an LED flashlight for 20 mins :lol:

This is a 30 second exposure. I lit the engine cover by reflecting the flashlight off the white hood for a send or two just to light everything a bit, then reflected the light from the windshield pointing in, making sure not to dip the light below the lip of the hood and expose the camera to direct light. It took a lot of practice, but I like how it turned out.
 

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most of my car photography its done with light painting. Check it out in my link in my sig
 

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Nice work Camere! Light painting has always intrigued me, you get something different every time and there's a lot of room for creativity and trying new ideas. Your light sources are important, I use a 4 ft shoplight plugged into a portable Duracell battery in my backpack. The light painting part is all about technique and experimentation. Once you get the photos back to your computer is when you can piece together different exposures, take something you like from one shot and add it to another. It's important to have an idea of what you want while you're out shooting (obviously). There's a great lightpainting tutorial out there by an Australian photographer, can't find it though. I'm sure someone's seen it, it's pretty thorough.
 

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A few samples of my work:

This is just one exposure, walked around the two cars, came out great - made cover of Winding Road ;)


Three exposures, two for the car and one for the surrounding area/background.


Another one shot wonder!


Merged a couple photos for this, one for background/surrounding area and one for the car
 

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As for panning, a wise man once told me, try to get a sharp shot at 300mm and 1/15th of a second...I've been trying ever since, and it's paid off!

Use a monopod, for motorsport I generally keep the focus on the driver so that the front and rear of the car goes slightly out of focus and the number/driver is sharp. It also helps, if you have a long/big heavy lens to keep your hand on the very end of the barrel, even on the lens cap - that way you have better control and leverage over your camera's motion. And don't forget to hold your breath, like a sniper.

 

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Very nice Chris. You sure got a lot of pics in that winding road 458 article.

I've yet to be able to get that slow a pan. 1/50th is my slowest with a monopod. Mind you I shoot at the track with a constantly changing car speed so that's a little tougher.

try a 3/4 front pan, significantly harder to achieve.

 

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Very nice Chris. You sure got a lot of pics in that winding road 458 article.

I've yet to be able to get that slow a pan. 1/50th is my slowest with a monopod. Mind you I shoot at the track with a constantly changing car speed so that's a little tougher.

try a 3/4 front pan, significantly harder to achieve.
It was a good month! The honeymoon is over though...mid-size sedans this month...haha
3/4 pan is tough, great shot of that 599.

Hey Bludevl/camere - what are you using as a light source, do you walk it on foot or roll it around on something? Very smooth and even reflections, I tend to get a lot of walking-bounce in the reflection. Maybe I just walk too fast.
 
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