Leonardo Loves Location Lighting Luxurious Cars.

Cool Cars + Great Friends + Canon + Godox = Amazing photos.

Visual storyteller and Photojournalist, Leonardo Carrizo, shoots some environmental portraits of his friends with their luxury cars featuring Canon and Godox gear in this piece for Mpex-Experience.

I have very cool friends with very cool toys! And by toys, I mean cars. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to hang out with my friends and take a few environmental portraits of them with their cars.  At the same time, I was able to play with the new Canon RP mirrorless digital camera and some Godox lights.

I shot in two locations at two different times of day. The first photos with Vitor and his Lexus were taken at noon on a sunny day. With no planning, I knew that I needed to use fill flash. I knew I wanted to use the sky as part of the background which we needed to find an open area to accomplish. So, we went to the top level of a parking lot. For this set of images, I used Canon’s RP camera with the 35mm lens and just one bare AD200 attached to a Godox S-type bracket mount.

This configuration was a very easy set up and it only took about a minute before I could start making images like the ones below.

Portrait of Vitor Oliveira and his 2016 Lexus IS 350 F-sport (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

The exposure on the Canon RP was 1/180 at f/ 11 and ISO 100. If you look closely, you can see the AD200 flash reflected on Vitor’s sunglasses. One thing you’ll notice is that I was shooting from a low angle. This was so I could include more of the sky, but it also creates a very cool look on cars. Don’t forget to shoot verticals! As far as posing the subject, I like to see angles and create lines leading to the subject. So, the same composition that you know will work in this situation as well.

This was my first time trying the Canon RP therefore, I pushed the wrong buttons on a few occasions as I was trying to change the aperture. I was searching for the wheel dial on the back like on my Canon 5D. The viewfinder was very clear, but the focus system was not set to my preferences and I didn’t want to stop shooting to look in the menu to make my changes. It’s always better to have more time exploring a camera and its settings before you go to an actual shoot but since I didn’t have time and I was doing it for fun it all worked out and the photos are impressively sharp.

Portrait of Vitor Oliveira and his 2016 Lexus IS 350 F-sport (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)
Portrait of Vitor Oliveira and his Vitor Oliveira’s 2016 Lexus IS 350 F-sport (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

Just a few more poses and then we were done.

Portrait of Vitor Oliveira and his 2016 Lexus IS 350 F-sport (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)
Portrait of Vitor Oliveira and his 2016 Lexus IS 350 F-sport (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

My next shoot was with my friend Etienne and his 2017 Audi A3 2.0t Quattro APR StageII+. Even though we went to a new location, I still wanted to create a similar look on top of a parking lot. The time of day was much later, we met at 7pm which made the light different. I was hoping for a sunset background. Instead I got a cloudy evening but the clouds had good texture and it was a good opportunity to use all of the lights (Godox AD400 and the two Godox AD200s). For this shoot, I went back to my Canon 5D Mark III and I mainly used my Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 II lens.

Now, we were going to focus a bit more on the car. I like the details of the Audi logo and “IPPON” license plate. IPPON is a reference to the highest score you can achieve during the Olympic sport of judo to win a match. Etienne and I have been practicing judo since we met at OSU and now he is a judo instructor. That detail was important to include in the photo session.

Etienne Otero and his 2017 Audi A3 2.0t Quattro APR StageII+. (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

Here is a lower and more dramatic look. The closer you get with the 16-35, the more distortion you get on the image but in this case, I think it works.

Etienne Otero and his 2017 Audi A3 2.0t Quattro APR StageII+. (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

Here is the light set up. Notice how the two Godox AD200’s softboxes were turned horizontally and behind me was the Godox AD400 with a big 48” parabolic softbox.

Etienne Otero and his 2017 Audi A3 2.0t Quattro APR StageII+. (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

Here is another nice low angle shot. You can see the reflection of one light on the front rim, the parabolic softbox on the car lights and the other softbox at the right of the frame.

Etienne Otero and his 2017 Audi A3 2.0t Quattro APR StageII+. (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

Knowing myself, I could not just photograph the car and I had to get my friend in the photos. The image below has almost the same light set up as the image above. The main difference is that we place one of the AD200s inside the car to light up Etienne. Having the remote trigger for these lights and the ability to control the power without having to go to each light source is great.

Etienne Otero and his 2017 Audi A3 2.0t Quattro APR StageII+. (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

Then we moved the car and tried different poses and lighting. Once you have your lights doing what you want the only thing to consider is where you have shadows, where you don’t want shadows and fill in any dark areas or where you might want to have the light reflected on the car. My suggestion is to move around the car with the subject and lights and explore the opportunity while having fun. 

The later we stayed the darker the sky became which was great because it created more contrast once we lit the cars and subject. I used the Godox AD400 as the main light source to light Etienne. The only issue we had later was that the wind picked up and for the safety of the equipment we took the softboxes off and left the AD200s on the light stand.

Etienne Otero and his 2017 Audi A3 2.0t Quattro APR StageII+. (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

Here you can see in the image below everybody had a job!

Etienne Otero and his 2017 Audi A3 2.0t Quattro APR StageII+. (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

I really like the versatility of the AD200, they are very easy to handle, and they have a good amount of power.  Ailin and Vitor helped with the AD200s as walking light stands. Believe it or not, I wanted to include them in this image. The idea was to do a nice photo including them in the background. I think it completes the image and yes I do have an image without them.

Etienne Otero and his 2017 Audi A3 2.0t Quattro APR StageII+. (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

Finally, the money shot! I knew I wanted to get the two cars and owners together for a final portrait. Here is the photo without the flash. As you can see it was getting dark but the sky did open up a bit to show some blue compared to the previous photos which made colors in the last image more impressive.

Etienne Otero and his 2017 Audi A3 2.0t Quattro APR StageII+ and Vitor Oliveira’s 2016 Lexus IS 350 F-sport (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

And here it is!

Etienne Otero and his 2017 Audi A3 2.0t Quattro APR StageII+ and Vitor Oliveira’s 2016 Lexus IS 350 F-sport (photo by Leonardo Carrizo)(photo by Leonardo Carrizo)

Cameras:

Canon EOS RP

-Canon EOS 5DMark III

Lenses:

Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS

-Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 II USM

Lights:

Godox AD400 Pro

Godox AD200 TTL Pocket Flash (2 units)

Godox XProC trigger for Canon

Godox S-Type Bracket for Bowens Mounts and two speed rings

Godox P120 47” Deep Parabolic Soft-box

LumoPro 16×48 Stripbox Soft-boxes (2)

LumoPro 13’ Light Stand (3)

It’s not uncommon for me to take advantage of my friends and their toys. Check out these previous posts on environmental portraits, cameras and lights: https://mpex-experience.com/2018/05/04/like-motorcylces-leather-jackets-the-new-tamron-28-75mm-f-2-8-di-iii-rxd-the-sony-a7riii-are-a-perfect-fit/ And also this one https://mpex-experience.com/2018/02/12/a-triumph-of-triangles-part-ii-magazine-style-photo-shoot-with-a-1957-triumph-tr3/

I also did an earlier post about using the Godox AD400Pro here: https://mpex-experience.com/2018/11/15/the-power-packed-portable-solution-godox-ad400-pro-review-by-leonardo-carrizo/

Also, you can join me Sunday, June 9th from 1:00pm-4:00pm at the Midwest Photo Learning Studio where I’m going to give a lecture on Travel Photography and visual composition.

Midwest Photo

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