Category Archives: cars

Rolling Shots: RoadTrip Edition

This last weekend, I, and another six Genesis Coupe’s and an Elantra drove from Ottawa to Whitby for a Charity KDM meet at Ontario Hyundai. A great time was had in general. But, as is the case with any good car meet, there’s opportunities for photography.

What I’ve wanted to do for a while is Rolling Shots. This is different to panning (although the effect is similar): basically, in panning, you focus on a subject as it goes past you, and track it while you open the shutter: this blurrs the background, but keeps the subject sharp. The photographer is stationary. In a Rolling shot, you’re shooting from another vehicle, and are attempting to match the speed of the subject, focus on them, and the movement of the photographer and subject causes the background to blur.

Obviously, keeping the two objects, subject and photographer, moving at the same speed for long enough to focus and expose creates challenges. Especially when you’re driving as well.

So, to combat this issue, I set up a rig. I should have taken a picture of it, and I will the next time I use it, but this is basically what I used: Simply, a Fat Gecko dual suction mount, an extension pack for the same, my trusty Nikon D70s and Nikon 18-70mm f3.5-5.6, and the Nikon MC-DC1 remote shutter release. I mounted the Fat Gecko on the inside of the passenger side windshield, the camera on it, level with the car/window, and aimed out the passenger side window at about 60 degrees. I ran the remote release cable from the camera, and put it next to the shifter so it was in easy reach, set the camera to autofocus, and (I thought) to shutter priority, with a 1/50th shutter speed.

It’s a pretty simple set-up, all given.

What I got was … tolerable:

KossMan Rollin' I

Pwned Rollin' I

Anto Rollin' I

Sketched Rollin' I

Keep in mind, these are cropped a lot: I had a lot of my car window/door/b-pillar in the shot. As you can see in this one:

Pwned Rollin' II

Or this one, with rather more of the door/arm rest in it than I’d like:

TJCid Rollin' I
I got my GoPro in the shot, too. I left it in the crop because, well, it’s kinda interesting. It’s interesting for a single shot. However, I want to show more of the road-blur in the shot, and no ‘shoot car’ showing up in the shot. So, it means re-organizing how I shoot.

Because obviously, I mind screwin’ around with this stuff.

I had to do a ton of post-production. It turns out, I hadn’t set the camera to Shutter priority, I’d set it to manual. So, what I’d ended up with was f/8, 1/50th sec. I had a ton of blow-out and over-exposure because of this: the sun came up around 7am, and got bright quick. It was most problematic on the white Genesis, and the black elantra (which was surprising to me, I’ll be honest: white is tough to shoot and equalize, but I expected the black to not be an issue. It was so well waxed, however…) I had also, unfortunately, locked my focus point to the RIGHT, rather than center of the field of view, which meant I was getting focused shots of the cars, but with a lot more B-pillar in the shot, and then losing focus when they got up closer to where I expected and wanted them to be.

Live and learn. And check yer damn settings.

In the future, I’ll shoot with proper settings (shutter priority, center focus), and I want to move the camera further up the windshield, and out a little, so I can shoot at a 45 degree angle out of the window. that’ll get me the shot I want more, I think. Also, I’d kinda like to extend the length of the arm of the mount that the camera is on, but Fat Gecko don’t make a longer extension, which means I gotta improvise. I wonder if anyone I know can make the piece I need on a metal lathe?

Hmmm, it occurs to me I could close the sunroof, and attach the FatGecko to that, and ‘hang’ the camera from it. That might get me more where I want to be AND be able to verify my angle by getting my head behind the camera/viewfinder before we go. This is the only issue with my older camera: no live-view on the screen, it’s review only, so, for setting up, I have to be able to get my head where the camera is, or take random shots, review, and move based on that. It’s a little trial-and-error-y for me, so if I can find a better way to do it, I will.

Still, these are all the things that make this stuff fun. Experimenting with the hardware until I get the kind of set-up I want, leading me to be able to get the shots I want with less drama involved in shooting them. More consistency, that’s what I’m looking for.

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2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

I love high-contrast automotive photography. So, when I went out with a few of the guys in the local ‘coupe group, I knew I’d be shooting some B&W high-contrast.

What I’d forgotten, the last year, is that the high-contrast work gets more interesting when you get down to changing the temperature of the black & white shot.

And this is where I ended up.

The Hardest White

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[CAR PORN] Genesis at Sunset

I shot a good number after the Rideau Carleton Raceway Slots Cruise Nights (those pics, coming soon), but this one, this is my absolute favorite.

Also, I love that I shot ’em on High Road. yes, I took the High Road. Quit laughing at me.

Sunset on the High Road III

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Black & White: From Above

One more from my shoot the other day. I wanted to separate this one, because it feels different.

As always, I love my high-contrast black & white:

From Above I

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And Speaking of My Car…

One of my buddies from the Genesis Coupe forums installed his lowering springs, painted wheels, and wheel spacers, and asked for a photo-shoot.

How could I not?

I found us two locations (one, behind a high-school, where there’s always grafitti, which is an excellent backdrop for shooting cars, and the other, a quiet sideroad south of the city.) and we headed out.

Mine’s blue, his is white.

Pwned88 From Above I

Pwned88 I

On the Corner I

And, finally, my favorite shot of the day. I think this one just really works well, for the car, and the surroundings.

Pwned88 on the Corner

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Old Shots: Before The Race

Autocross season is starting up again shortly, and I’m hoping to take part this year, finally.

I got this one in 2010 though, of my buddy Chris waiting in line for his shot.

Gamz #222 eye of the Tiger

You gotta take some time to get your game face on.

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And The Weather Turns…

Yup, a little sunshine, and hanging out in the country and what becomes important?

Beer and cars.

A Good Weekend

Got some great shots of the dog, too, but those’ll come later on, when I’ve finished editing. I do love the convenience of my Canon G12 sometimes.

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Shoot In The Fog

Heavy fog this morning, and as we were going out anyway, it was a good time to take a few shots. Made the choice to only bring my G12, rather than my Nikon. One in black and white, one in color. Not sure which I prefer.

Genesis in the Fog

Last Winter Shot - Genesis Coupe

Soon the winter tires will come off, the new summers will go on, and it’ll be a different looking car. There’s a few other cosmetic changes planned for this summer too, but I’ll leave them for when they happen.

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Old Shots: Autocross

BMW #48 B&W

I know. It’s all blurred. All of it. It should be on the cutting room floor.

And yet.

And yet, I like it. I’ve got lots of sharp-subject panning shots. But I like this one.

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