I’m a big advocate for planning your shoots ahead – location, time of day, and lighting. But when a local Lamborghini dealer near me decided to run a social media contest based on a photoshoot of one of their cars, I found myself in a bit of a tough spot – you had to shoot one of four cars as they sat, either in the dealership or outside, depending on where they had parked the car.

The situation was not ideal , and it was even worse when I arrived, since the best car was parked up against the dealership building, limiting my angles even further. This is similar to shooting at an auto show because site lines were very restricted. As I walked around this blue Huracán, I thought about the options available, and came up with three:

  1. Shoot the car as is, and add dramatic lighting in post
  2. Use crazy abstract angles
  3. Make a composite

Let’s go over each step by step, keeping in mind that this was a contest, so the photos really had to stand out.

Shoot the car as is, and add dramatic lighting

Let’s start with the most basic of the shots – getting low and far. This was the only really good angle with which to shoot the car, and the Huracán looks best from the side profile to show off its aggressive shape.

Lamborghini Huracan
Shot at f/4, 1/80 shutter speed, 70mm, ISO 100.

Since it’s an active dealership, keeping other parked cars out of the frame was also key, as they were all over. This angle gave me just a sliver of sky with which to use as a light source for a lens flair in post. The building and shrubbery made for an acceptable backdrop, but the car was the star. I tried a few other angles but found this to be the best.

Lambo Huracan
I liked this one enough to edit it, but only after cleaning up a lot of the area behind the car. There was not much to do about that unfortunate truck in the background.
Lambo Huracan
Getting high produced a nice angle of the car, but the highway limited the view. A nice option, had it been possible, would have been to do this same angle at night, with a long exposure, and the car lights on the highway streaking by.
Lamborghini Huracan
Another nice angle of the car, but the glass background made it just to busy.

Once I decided on a shot to submit, I added in my usual drama, turning the colors more amber with some sunlight streaking in to give the appearance of sunset.

Lamborghini Huracan
The final shot, edited for a warm tone.

Use tighter, abstract angles

There were still some other cars to shoot for the contest, but the crowded dealership showroom meant a crowded shot. Given that modern Lamborghinis have very aggressive, sharp angles, I thought getting low and showing just the details of a car would be a nice change of pace. Sometimes it’s best to think of yourself as simply an observer – I’m not there to buy a car, but to see what interesting things might be going on, so this image has a bit of a voyeuristic feel. And, it’s fun to simply walk around and take a shot to see what comes out of it.

Shooting between 2 cars, showing off only part of the car and focusing on the wheel gave an abstract image.

Make a composite

I’ve shown how to make composites before, and this seemed like a perfect situation for one, so I kept in mind that I’d be doing this from the start and shot the car on an angle I thought would help make it easy to fit in a scene.

Lambo Huracan
The original image, shot from hip height. This is the most common height / angle you’ll find background images for.

A sports car like this requires a tropical, Miami-type background, so that’s what I went with.

Lambo Huracan edit
The Photoshop edit coming together.

When doing this, it’s key to match the light source for realism. It also helps to add shadows and some depth of field, since it’s rare that the entire image would be in focus if it were real.

Lambo Huracan composite
The final composite image.

We’ll see if I won, but I had fun taking and making these images, and that’s what matters most to me.

Feel free to email me at mike@machineswithsouls.com with any questions.

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