First Attempt at Shooting some Volkswagen Golfs

Okay, I have been procrastinating this for quite a bit but when the opportunity arose for a quick shoot at night, I thought let’s go for it! Completely unprepared, I prepped my gears and head off, into the night, where I had totally NO idea on how to shoot cars at night.

First of all, I had to thank Kar Heng for organizing the quick shoot and for Jack Tan who has tonnes of experience shooting cars. Kar Heng as well for lending us his car, even though he was half drunk (*wink*).

So shooting at night, first thing I had in mind was cool lighting. Then when I arrived at the first location, totally lacking of ambient lighting as well as I don’t have any sort of external lighting. I didn’t have a tripod and a shutter release cable. Man, there is so much I got to learn when it comes to shooting cars at night. My bag ended up as my “tripod” and I had to use the timer function to ensure that there isn’t any camera shake.

Funny thing was that I needed to get a lower angle in order to capture the reflection but any lower and I would have grass blocking the frame. Definitely was a hard thing to navigate in the complete darkness. Even the curious fisherman onlooker was wondering what the heck we were doing. Note to self, get a tripod, a good one which can go to an extreme low angle. Note to self, bring a torch light especially for night shoots to navigate around dark areas.

After realizing that it might be a lost cause, I quickly took a last shot of the twin cars before heading off to another location, where we wouldn’t be disturbed as well as have more ambient lighting. Too many cars were coming about and we had to move our cars a couple of times to allow them through.

At first I started out using the natural light from the street lights but it seemed to not illuminate the car enough. So after that, Jack recommended that we tried mixing both natural light and torch lights and flashes. Didn’t seemed to have enough kick though. After that we then decided to try out putting the car in complete darkness and then tried a little bit of light painting. That resulted in the images below.

At the end of the night, I learned lots of valuable lessons. Definitely would want to try shooting more as well as put more effort into planning. I think I will aim for an early morning shoot as well as shoot during sunset. Once I managed to get those done, I should also consider trying out automotive photography in the studio as well and finally to tackle the night shoot once more!

Verdict: Not entirely too satisfied but definitely room for lots of improvement!

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