Here We Go.....
Next to subject matter and composition, off camera flash is the most important aspect to getting an amazing automotive photograph. I center my work around the use of lighting and have been refining my signature style for the past 5 years.
Once the in-camera work is done, post production will either make or break the shot. Too extreme or too subtle, and the message is lost.
Post production completely alters how the viewer interprets the image. Background swaps, paint correction, object removal and clarity enhancements are major changes that have an enormous impact.
Subtle changes like colour toning and altering highlights/shadows will push a viewer to have speific feelings toward an image that were intended.
Have a look at the changes in the below images. The left side is a basic "Straight-Out-Of-Camera" snapshot with no lighting; The right is my completed image. Look closely at all reflections, distracting elements and colour differences between the two.
Erik Nyman provides an automotive photography retouching service for RAW images. The latest versions of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC are used.
It's always best to "get it right" in the camera. Sometimes, that option just isn't available. Location, time and weather constraints can always have an effect on a shoot. Some locations have distracting elements that take away from the photo. A background change or clutter cleanup can enhance the look of the image.
Other times, cars are shot in a studio or in a plain location and need to be virtually placed in an exciting scene. With a bit of planning, almost anything can be achieved.
Post-production becomes key. It can really create and enhance what didn't happen in the camera.
Below are some before and after examples of retouched images that came from a supplied .RAW file.