Reflections On The Model As A Subject
If it was just depiction of the scale models in a bare space the problem would be easy - I would take home a Glanz light tent, pop the car inside and flood the outside with flash light. The reflections that bounce back from the little chrome bumpers and shiny paint surfaces would be an even white with no hot spots. Good advertising picture but not the artistic effect I want.
I set the little cars in little scenes and then add more in Photoshop, but the surfaces of the cars can betray the position of the lights...and the surroundings of the studio...in little vignettes all over the model. Silver slab surfaces, flat windows, and chrome hubcaps are like little mirrors reflecting the tripod, camera, walls, curtains, and me. A dead giveaway that it is fake.
This recalls the story I heard at the AIPP convention a couple of years ago*. The chap who shoots roadways and scenes for Mercedes and Dodge so that they can strip in their studio shots of the latest cars also takes a panorama sweep picture behind himself so that the digital artist can put elements of the scenery into the shiny bits of he real cars. I thought it was a little over-complex when I heard it but I am not so sure now - I can see the problem.
I am going to have to deal with it in-studio and preferably in-camera in one shot - 'cause I ain't that good a digital artist. The next series of coffee-fuelled experiments will involve large panels of Superior backdrop paper in sky-blue or light-grey to simulate the sky in various forms and some vague shapes to suggest mountains or buildings pinned to the panels. I shall crouch behind them and fire the camera with a cable release.
And then we shall deal with the sun. Creating the sun in the studio with a flash tube that is larger than the sun in the sky...
* Name dropping.