How You Shot It is a series where you show us how you shot an image. Many who use our presets love to share their special processing recipes. You can join the SLR Lounge Textures and Presets group on Facebook and share your favorite images and recipes as well! For our wedding and portrait photographers, please join the SLR Lounge Wedding and Portrait Photographers group.

Today’s post comes from David Hill, a photographer from the UK who took up photography about 18 months ago and has “been using it to help fund [his] lifestyle since.” He specializes in portraits, but enjoy the challenge different genres of photography.

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Background & Vision

I was asked by this client to record his recent purchase, an Audi R8. In this instance, I approached the shoot knowing that I would be creating a collage, which is a great way of telling a photographic story and also great value for your client. The R8 has many great design features that I also wanted to capture from the large alloys to the gear stick. I felt that when they were all combined along with shots of the car I would have something special and original for my client.

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Being a keen car enthusiast myself, I knew of some good local roads so we headed out to those. On the way, we discussed ‘The Brief’ which included the car in motion and my client featured in a few shots.

I am very used to using the SLR Lounge Preset System now, so I had a very good idea of how I wanted the Post Production to go with this shoot. That was for high contrast black and white images. I felt that the HDR Heavy Grunge setting was going to be my ‘go to’ Preset in this instance.

Original Images

When I was taking the detail shots, I was able to get the compositions pretty  much how I wanted them with the exception of the V10 badge. I just couldn’t decide how I wanted this to look, as there were so many reflections/highlights. So I simply took a wide shot to give myself options in Post Production. Time was also limited.

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Lighting and Set Up

Most of this shoot was shot in natural light. We headed out quite early to avoid any harsh midday sun. I did use a scrim to shade areas of the details shots. We shot those back at home. By the time the sun was quite strong.

I did use a Nikon SB800 Speedlight for the shot of my client in his to slightly lighten his face. This was fired using Pocket Wizard triggers. I wanted the effect to be subtle just so you could make out it was him.


Gear and Settings

I shot with a Nikon D700. I used a NIKON 50MM F1.4 lens for all the detail shots, as with most of them, I wanted a shallow depth of field. The majority of time I used my Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 but with the shot of my client in the car, I used the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 as I was keen to compress the distracting background.

Though they don’t feature in this collage, I took a number of images of the car in motion where I wanted to create a sense of speed. I simply set the camera to ‘Shutter priority’ at around 1/40th of a second and panned as they car passed me. The car doesn’t need to be traveling that fast. I find around 20 to 30mph is fine.

Post Production/Final Image

I use the SLR Lounge Preset System. This was my recipe for this particular shoot:

Preset 37b – HDR Heavy Grunge B&W.

Preset 72d – Vignette heavy.

With the exception of the image where my client is stood by the car where I used:

Preset 41c – Neutral fade B&W. The Heavy Grunge just didn’t suit this image.

Preset 72d – Vignette heavy.

I made a few local adjustments, but was pretty much where I wanted to be in just a few clicks. It was then just a case of putting the images into Photoshop and producing the Collage.

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I had a very clear idea of how I wanted this shoot to go both in terms of images to capture and processing. I went with a list of shots that I wanted to capture and simply ticked them off as I shot them. I also helped my client with how to pose and made some clothing suggestions the day before the shoot. My client then decided to change the Quattro image to one of the Speedo instead. We were both very pleased with the final product.

About the “How to Shoot It” Series

This educational series highlights amazing images from our writers as well as our community. The goal is to not only feature inspirational work but to provide valuable education for our photography community. If you would like to submit your work, please click here for more info on writing for SLR Lounge.