Bio: Easton Chang is a world class automotive photographer specializing in advertising, lifestyle and stock imagery.
What was the concept of the shoot?
Just a few minutes in this amazing old Sydney location with the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG. I wanted to make the most of the natural lighting and atmosphere coming through the windows.
Cars are by their own nature very static and inanimate objects, I feel that it’s my job as a car photographer to make them more than just large pieces of metal and give them character. Adding that atmosphere is the real challenge in car photography today.
What setup and lighting did you use to get the shot?
I started out by setting up my Tether Tools Aero mounted on a light stand, and connecting my laptop up with my Canon 5DsR (with 24-70 2.8 II lens). To add supplementary light on the shaded part of the car, I used a single Broncolor Siros L 800 monolight (with standard reflector) on a rolling stand to light and highlight multiple sections of the car to stitch together in post. I find the best setup for speed and accuracy is having your camera tethered and your lighting wireless.
How did shooting tethered help you achieve the shot you wanted?
When I’m shooting for clients, without question will we shoot tethered. On major shoots, it’s critical for the client and creative directors to be able to collaborate on the image. But even on personal shoots like this, it’s important to tether when I can because I can focus on all the details. The secret to great car lighting is the attention to detail and the ability to scrutinize the quality of the pixels getting captured. It also allows me to perform rough compositing work on the fly. It’s often difficult to visualize the outcome when there are so many elements required to be combined. Tethering to a laptop eliminates that unknown, and you get higher quality composite shots that way.
What type of post-processing was involved?
The main component is stitching the multiple exposures together, there were 7 total shots combined to create the complete lighting around the car. I then enhanced the texture of the environment via clarity, and increased the saturation separating the warmer tones of the sunlight from the cooler tones of the warehouse interior. I also had to perform some general cleanup of the highlight and spot reflections on the paintwork.
What was the logistics and/or gear needed to achieve this shot?
Having a great location is paramount, 90% of the best car photographers work out there is from securing the right location. In this case I was being opportunistic as I had arrived almost an hour early on set for another job. I had some time to burn in this great location so I used it to grab this quick shot.
Who was involved and how did they play a part in the shoot (ex: makeup, assistant, digital tech., etc.)?
I setup, shot, lit and retouched the image entirely on my own. The A45 AMG was supplied by Mercedes-Benz Asia Pacific, and I had some BTS video captured with the assistance of Adam Hedgecoe.