Give it up for Perth glamour model Vickie! Vickie was already high on our list at Perth Street Car Magazine to be featured in the magazine, but we had to call her in one issue early due to a last minute cancellation. So a huge props to Vickie for rising to the occassion and helping us produce a seriously hot feature for the readers. Not to mention saving my butt and getting me out of a real pickle at last minute!
I have actually photographed this Nissan S14 200SX before many years ago and back then it was quite well known. You may remember it if I told you it was pink ;). For a long time now though, it has been in hiding undergoing its new build which is what you see below. The car has had a complete transformation and I have to say I’m a big fan of the matte black finish.
This car photoshoot proved a lot harder than I was anticipating. I think we may have cracked a new record for the number of strobes being used on a car. We got up to 8 maybe even 9 from memory! I can’t be sure. See if you can break down the lighting from the photos!
Black is always a pain in the butt to photograph. Its known for reflecting everything, aswell as absorbing light so you need more power. Just in general black is a bit of a pain. Matte black is much friendlier though because there’s no reflections! It’s great like that, it just offers a nice diffused surface, but it still takes a lot of power to light it.
Using a smoke machine in photography can offer a lot of creativity but it can also be an excellent problem solver. I am always using my smoke machine and I have been saying I’m going to buy a second unit for a while now. They are brilliant!
For problem solving, smoke is a really good tool to cover up any unwanted unappealing backgrounds which in turn helps direct the viewers attention to your subject whatever it may be. As photographers we dont always get to choose where we shoot and I find I always have to problem solve on location and make the best of a less than optimal situation. If I ever encounter an unflattering background, or perhaps there is just certain elements in the background I want to hide, I have often used my smoke machine to cover it up. Obviously, I can’t always do this, because not every scenario would make sense to have smoke in the background.
On the creative side, I love backlighting smoke, especially with colours. There’s so much creative potential and its a lot of fun. This is what I set out to do in this photoshoot. I had a vision in my head of a big red cloud of smoke behind the car. That would help the black car stand out in a dark warehouse and also cover up the background. As you can see in the photos my idea didn’t quite come to life as I imagined. We needed a lot more smoke and a lot more control, not to mention time. However, we really did get some great shots and did a lot of experimenting. Huge thanks to Paul Backers, Karl Pearce, Steve Scally and Darius Pavry for all their help trying to coordinate it all.
Smoke does have a mind of its own and it is not predictable. Working with smoke can be difficult at the best of times and it’s not something you can do if you are on a strict schedule. One of the reasons I want a second smoke machine is so I can achieve the smoke effect I desire much easier and faster before the smoke machine runs out of puff. You also need to pay close attention to your surroundings. We had to lock everyone down in a huge warehouse in order to control the flow of air to avoid the smoke moving around. Then had to vent the entire place every 20 frames once we couldn’t see each other anymore. haha. Good fun though!
Magazine: Perth Street Car Magazine
Photographer: Brodie Butler
Assistants: Karl Pearce, Steve Scally, Darius Pavry
Hair: Bianca Schulz
Car: Nissan S14 200SX
Owner: Paul Backers
Took a few behind the scenes photos on this one, and so did Karl Pearce. Check them out below!
Incredible car and shoot. I feel your pain on black cars bud. I almost want to say to when folks ask me to shoot their bacl rides.