How I shot it: Porsche 935 (2019)

Here I will explain to you a simple break down of the planning and post production that went in to my Porsche 935 shot



December 30th 2019: After a short email discussion with Porsche Groep Zuid I was tasked with shooting this 935 in the middle of their showroom.

Brief was simple: 3 photos of the car for social media use but without the possibility of moving the vehicle. I knew straight away that a simple wel lit photo in the showroom would not do this car justice so I had no other option than to build up a composite in photoshop. My natural first choice was to photoshop in in to a similar coloured background (Seen below) but I was not happy with the result I got from this... I was a bit bland and boring which didn't match the car at all

The light blue 'void' really didn't match the car in my opinion thats why I pretty much scrapped the whole project and started over again by putting it in a darker more 'textured' environment that I created from scratch in photoshop but more on that later. The setup:

  • Canon 5D IV

  • Sigma 50mm 1.4 ART

  • Godox AD600BM

  • Bowens mount 20x60cm softbox (single diffused)

  • Manfrotto 190s tripod with ballhead mount

Worried space was going to be an issue I also packed my Canon 17-40 F4L lens with me just to be safe incase I didnt have the room to move back more, which I almost didn't but wanting to keep it on my 50mm lens was a priority for me as it's a much sharper lens to work with.


Framing the images was possibly the easiest part of the process, knowing I was going to change the backdrop in photoshop anyway I just had to get the car as large in frame as possible top maximise pixels and image quality in post.

After messing around with lighting settings to make sure they were just right, I set out round the whole car strobing it similar to light paining where you move along each side of the car but instead of a longer shutter I just took a step forward per exposure

Now that that the actual photographing of the car is done we move in to photoshop where I really got to work my magic. I started out by aligning all the layers (which is a step that really comes in handy if you're working with lots of exposures) and then making a selection of the car with the pen tool to make it easier for me later on in my workflow

Once I had selected the car I changed my blending mode to 'lighten' (Shows all lighter areas than the the layer below) and proceeded to mask in the exposures where I wanted them. After all that I took y selection and copied a flattened image of the car to a new layer and hid all other layers as I no longer needed them.


Now that I had a cut out of the car it was time to create the backdrop.

I took my final inspiration from a shot Richard Paradon took of a Bentley GT3R in a similar coloured CGI backdrop as the car with some depth and texture.

I'm not going to go in to full detail on how I created the backdrop but it included a lot of masking, colours and gradients to get it how it is. After the background was finished it was time to tone the car to mach the background a bit more by using curves, hue/saturation sliders and masks. Finish it all off by cloning out all spots of dirt, tarmac and hotspots from strobing that I missed and voila, you have a car in a whole different 'studio' style background.

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©Russell McKellar