DIY : Car photography with simple tools – Dávid Kasznár – Medium

the final image and the tools I used to create it

Yes, that is an ancient Alcatel phone on the picture. No, it’s not some kind of life hack tutorial where I show you how to hack your DSLR, with “this crazy trick”. When I was making a trigger for one of my friends, this was the most random thing he could find to build it in. And why buy a trigger if you can build one yourself. Right?

In this post I would like to share the techniques behind the picture below.

the final image

The setup

My friend’s friend happens to have a very cool BMW and an empty warehouse, so place and the subject was all set.

The idea was to take multiple pictures in complete darkness and shine some light on the car by a small handheld lamp to bring out some interesting lines. Accidentally there was so many light from the near by road it painted the whole background red even on 25 sec shutter speed, so I decided to compose it in and I took a 5 minutes long expo for the base shot. Then I took multiple ~30 sec shots while shining light on different parts of the car hoping I can merge then later in a pleasing way. I was told I have to take a separate picture of the unimaginably cool “angel eye” lamps. I don’t know I’m not a car guy.

By the way I was using my trusty 550D( Rebel T2i) with kit lenses.

different expositions and lights


Yes I use GIMP, sue me! Then layers come and go all with different layer mask and opacity. Blending everything with lighten only layer mode. I think as most things in life it is best presented in the form of a GIF:

I have turned off long exposition noise reduction on my camera, because it works by taking a second photo after your main one with the same shutter speed but the shutter closed and subtracting the black image whit the permanent noise from the original shot. The problem with this is after taking a 10 minutes long expo you have to wait another 10 minutes before taking the next one. In this case it would have been a good idea to turn it back on. With the fairly old sensor comes quite a bit of nasty noise.

But there’s nothing that the clone tool can’t fix.

I hope you enjoyed my adventure throw creating this photo, if you would like to see some of my other photos and other stuff visit my site here.


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