How to Shoot a Professional Car Photo with Just One Light

Photographer duo Joachim Guanzon and Marden Blake (AKA aesonica) created this short behind-the-scenes video showing how they recently shot and Photoshopped an Audi A4 photo for a print advertisement. You can read a longer how-to over on the aesonica website:

The goal is to make it look as if you had 20+ lights, grids, flags and reflectors to shoot your project. There is nothing better than hearing someone ask how many lights were needed to create your shot and revealing that you used only one. The trick is by doing something that could realistically be done with enough equipment and lighting skill, with only one light.

On the other hand, if you get too carried away, there is nothing worse than someone asking if you used Photomatix to compile your HDR garbage shot followed by “My 13 year-old has that program too!”

Recently we shared similar on how you can do composite lighting on homes and on an airplane.

Composite Lighting Photography (via ISO 1200)

  • Wing Wong

    OMG, I want his wacom tablet screen…. that rocks!

  • rzg0002

    Neat video, but kind of misleading title.

  • Anonymous

    Misleading how? This video was exactly what I expected from the title given.

  • Graham Case

    I see what you mean. It isn’t a “how-to”, it’s a “look what we can do” video. Neat, none the less, but less informative than what you (or I) were expecting.

  • Joachim Guanzon

    Blog post title is misleading, video title is a behind the scenes that provides a quick and dirty look at how we did it… It is not a full on tutorial. Not really a strobist/beginner type of technique… but if you already know how to light and how to edit, this quick and dirty look would make some sense.

  • Marden

    No problem, the process we go through is all posted on the website. If you have any further questions, let us know.

  • Jeremy Bechthold

    Phenomenal job guys… sorry I couldn’t be there.

  • Mike Gamble

    thanks for the tips.

  • Dexter G.

    layer-over-layer photo editing.. cool! 
    great job!

  • bd5400

    Cool video though I don’t understand why they’re shooting an old A4 as the 2012 model. 

  • Igogosh

    Good job on the edit. I’ve seen this done, yours is a fine example. 

  • Marden

    It’s a mock ad, with spelling errors, and we were teaching a class about it two days before hand, and none of us have exotic cars just chilling around that we could use, and an old A4 was the best we could do at the spur of the moment, and it was better looking than a Toyota Camry or Pontiac G6.

    It’s just to give people an idea of what is possible.

  • Anonymous

    Great work. I don’t know why people are complaining about the title. Get over it, what these guys achieved is awesome and not easily done.

  • Scott K

    I have used one light for years, it’s called the sun…

  • Mentat

    I think he is referring to the professional part of the title. This was not shot for Audi.