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Recently, I decided that my “Surface Vehicles” portfolio needed to be changed to an “Automotive” portfolio. Sure, I actually do photograph all vehicles, but something about the “Surface Vehicles” portfolio seemed, for lack of a better word, corny.

The thing was, to do an automotive only portfolio, I needed more automotive photos. Eventually, I decided to not wait until I could arrange something with someone with a super cool car. So, I decided to flesh out my portfolio with images of my Dad’s reasonably new Jeep Patriot. The first set of images I made were detail shots. I could stand to improve light placement, still I really like the resulting images.

As soon as I had the opportunity after that, we did a shoot that was more extensive. We went down to the nearest state park and my Dad drove his Patriot behind my Jeep Liberty as close as he felt was safe. I had climbed into the luggage area of my liberty and was shooting out the open back window, while my Mom drove. I’ve always loved these sort of automotive shots with a blurred setting and a sharp car, and gave it a try.

These images were followed by a whole car shot using techniques I learned from Tim Wallace’s class on Kelby One about using a single speedlight to make images of this sort. This worked fantastic except I think it would work better with wireless sync for the flash. Stretching the wires out all the way moved the camera ever so slightly, making aligning the images in Photoshop quite difficult.

Finally, I finished with a shot of my Dad with his car with a wide angle in your face look to it. This is the sort of photo that best characterizes my photographic style in my opinion. The resulting photo has only one problem, the sky had lost all drama by the time we shot this and drama in the sky makes this sort of photo much better. The funny thing was the cloud conditions that made the sky kind of bland also made the light on the car real nice. The sun was filtering through some thin clouds, retaining direction and color that you would normally have around sunset, while being softer than usual.

In the end, I am quite excited by the results. Although, I still consider this portfolio a journey and fully intend to improve it.

Take a look at my current Automotive portfolio, or a closer look at the Jeep Patriot gallery.