Friday, June 19, 2009

Cool Car Pictures Using HDR

One of my favorite things to do for fun is take car pictures and run them through a post processing procedure called HDR. HDR stands for high dynamic range and boy can it make car pictures pop. Its a process where you take multiple exposures at different exposure values and then blend the results together. Depending on the photographer you can either go for a very realistic looking photograph that just has more detail in the highlights and shadows, to a very amped up effect that looks like a painting or cartoon. When I shoot cars I love to play with the more extreme settings.

A couple of months ago a huge vintage and custom car show was here in Austin. The Lonestar Kustom Car show (yes, they spell it with a 'K'), is one of the top 2 or 3 shows of its kind in the US. It draws hundreds of custom cars and thousands upon thousands of visitors. I had wanted a couple days to shoot it but the weather only gave me a window of a couple of hours.

These cars are amazing. Many of them cost over $100,000 to build. The paint job on one car I shot was $30,000 alone. I consider this type of photography 'automotive portraits' in a way, and occasionally I do get clients who want portraits done of their cars. If I had a car like some of these folks I wouldn't blame them for investing in some quality shots of their pride and joy.

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