Several years ago a friend and client of mine purchased a new 2021 Corvette. Keep in mind that he is a HUGE fan of Corvettes, as well as fighter jets. He knew that I did light paintings and so he hired me to come document his latest purchase. We decided to pose his latest vehicle in his garage. As you can see, he’s got quite a collection of die-cast and other models.  

Before Light Painting

We photographed it at night, of course, but had to be mindful of street lights. I used a Canon 5D MKIV with a 24-105mm f/4 L lens set at f/16. My reason for shooting at f/16 is that this would not only give me a decent depth of field, but would reference the F-16 fighter jet and make my friend chuckle. I used a Wescott Ice Light 2 with barn doors as my primary light source. I also used a small hand held flashlight for smaller detail areas. 

PPA Showcase Book selection – “Boys Toys” © Chris Hanoch

This, like most light paintings, is a combination of dozens of individual exposures combined in post processing to create ONE final image. It took about an hour or so to photograph the vehicle and scene. Of course this varies on the complexity and size of the subject and surroundings.

I took upwards of 60 images at around 10 seconds each to merge into the final image. Having a stable tripod and a remote trigger are vital for keeping all the separate images in perfect registration. Of course, things happen and sometimes you will have to adjust images in post.  

Speaking of post production, this is where the time suck can happen. Depending on your timeline and OCD level, you can spend from an hour to several days working on the final image. I like to really narrow down my final images, but I never delete useable images…just in case.

Through careful selection and proper masking and blend modes, I merge them all into a final piece that is fit for not only image competition but also printed on metal for my client’s wall…and my pocketbook!  

Check out more of Chris Hanoch’s work here.

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