Behind the Scenes: Cobra Photo Shoot

Posted by Frank

KWIKFILMS attended a 6 am shoot in National City, CA today.

Photographer Cesar Andre, who works with KWIKFILMS on lots of projects, shot the black '04 Cobra owned by Eric Burgos.

Fresh off his first place trophy win at last weekend's Queen Mary Mustang's show, Burgos was happy to show off his detailed ride. Enjoy the behind the scenes access to the photo shoot. 

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Posted on: 9/26/2010 at 10:05 AM
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Toyota Sports Car Family Welcomes FT-86

Posted by Joel
The Toyota FT-86 will be remarkable vehicle when it's officially released. With the increase buzz from the media regarding the recalls Toyota needs to find a way to create more passionate vehicles. While surfing the net I came across an interesting photo. The photo depicts a family portrait of the FT-86 in the context of the Corolla AE86 (its most obvious predecessor) as well as the Celica and Supra. I'm quite surprised that the MR2 didn't appear on this photo.


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Posted on: 3/29/2010 at 12:30 AM
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Categories: Cars | Photography
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Creative Inspiration: Car Photography Rig Shots - Part 2

Posted by Joel
Building & Mounting The Rig Assembly
The basics of it are simple - attach the cups to the car, roll the car, take a photo while it's moving. I'll go over some of the specifics below.

First of all, attach two super clamps to the end of your cups and then one to the end of the magic arm. The cups should be arranged on the car and positioned. Remember to put as much distance as you can between camera and car so that you don't have to shoot at the widest angle possible - this helps avoid distortion.

You want to find sturdy, flat sections to attach the cups. Try putting the cups close to the edges of the body panels where they are most sturdy, not directly in the center where they have less support. If you aren't careful, you can dent or flex a panel and possibly crack the paint.

Remember to always use the covers on your cups when you aren't using them. I clean the surface with spray on glass cleaner before I apply it. These cups can leave small pressure rings on paint, and if any dirt is on the cup you can cause deep scratches so be extra careful. Warn the owner of the car that a slight buffing may be needed afterwards. Never apply to a freshly painted surface.

If you have it available, the spray on clear bra can help prevent many issues with paint damage if you apply it before you apply the cups!

Next, you'll want to pump your cups up until they grip and the red line is no longer visible. Now you can apply your pipes to the clamps. Tighten every knob on the cup and clamp, and give it a firm tug to make sure everything is sturdy. Now you can attach your sections of pipe using the compression couplers mentioned.

Attach the Manfrotto Magic Arm to the end of the pipe via the super clamp. Position the camera and set it to shutter priority mode, or manual mode. Attach your wireless shutter trigger or set the camera to timed shutter release. Now you're ready to take the shot! Its time to push!

When pushing the car, you'll want to move very slowly. The slower the better, to prevent camera shake. Make sure the engine is off, and if possible lock the steering wheel in place to keep it from moving.

Taking The Shot
The technique to taking the shot is to take a long enough exposure to show a sense of motion while still showing detail in the background. This is really up to you and your own preference - try a few at a slower shutter, and try a few at a longer shutter. You may need to use a neutral density filter to get the exposure times you need - the fastest shutter speed I'd recommend is 1.5 seconds. I've done as long as 20 second exposures.

Set the timer or use your wireless remote, and slowly push the car and take the photo. You may want to take a static shot first so you have a sharp image of the body of the car you can merge and blend into your moving shot if it doesn't come out as sharp as you desire.

Post Processing
Notice you don't see the rig on any of the car shots. You will need to post process the rig away. As far as the post processing goes, it takes a little creativity - practice with your clone tool! Remember, use the biggest and softest brush you can get away with. Practice makes perfect, and never rush the job!

Below is a YouTube video of the rig removal in post production.

Also, take a look at some of James Evins Rig shots on his flickr when you get a chance. His rig photography is awesome..
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Creative Inspiration: Car Photography Rig Shots - Part 1

Posted by Joel
Just grab a copy of D-Sport Magazine and you'll see these low angled type of car shots. These low angled shots with the wheels in motion captures the essence of motion. Sure you can duplicate these type of shots using Adobe Photoshop but it doesn't look natural. After countless hours of searching forums I discovered a post from Popular car photographer, James Evins on how to shoot these shots.

Getting The Parts
The basics of a suction cup mounted rig are as follows:
All these parts can be purchased by clicking on the links below The concept is simple. You have a few sections of pipe to use as a boom, couplers to hold them together, two suction cups to attach to the car, three clamps to attach the suction cups and the magic arm, and a magic arm to allow more flexibility in positioning the camera.

Let me show you the parts in more detail.

Here are the cups and the clamps attached to them. The clamps bolt down onto the studs coming from the cups. If you notice, the cups have a small blue extension - this is where you pump them up. You pump until the red line is gone, if it shows up again it means suction is limited, pump some more.

The cups are Avenger F1000s, and the clamps are Manfrotto Super Clamps.

Next is the piping, as well as the clamps & cups. The piping is the only "custom" part of the rig. You can use a lot of things. I purchased electrical conduit piping, 1.5" in diameter, and used the matching compression couplers. I have three sections of around 5' feet. This can be found in Lowes or Home Depot (or similar hardware supply store).

(Note: there are better boom options out there, this is the best option that is immediately available. Otherwise you'll want to go shop your local metal supply yard for certain piping)

Here is the Manfrotto Magic Arm.

The clamps shown on the cups. Use one of them here, and attach to the stud on the magic arm. Attach magic arm to camera. This can also be replaced by a tripod head, which you could drill the pipe and attach, that would be sturdy as well.

I forgot one thing you need! A friend to push! Just get a smart one that knows how to get out of the way!

** Photos courtesy of

To Be Continued...
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Posted on: 3/11/2010 at 9:30 PM
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Ferrari 360 Modena San Diego Photo Shoot

Posted by Joel
We shot a stunning red 1999 Ferrari 360 Modena for a client last week at a San Diego State parking garage. KWIKFILMS previously produced videos of his 2006 Dodge Viper Supercharged and his 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo. This time he wanted us to produce a video of his 1999 Ferrari 360 Modena. I shot photos inside and outside the parking garage. The parking garage lighting made the red color of the Ferrari 360 Modena stand out. Having a tripod in the parking garage was essential in providing a sharp photo.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about the photos.

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Posted on: 3/7/2010 at 11:29 AM
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