How to Photograph a $380,000 Car with $60,000 in Lighting Gear

How would you go about photographing a $380,000 Lamborghini Aventador? Here’s an interesting behind the scenes video in which photographer Blair Bunting presents a step-by-step walkthrough of how went about doing it. He uses $60,000 in lighting gear, but also demonstrates how you can achieve similar lighting by light painting with a single softbox. Another neat trick is using a small light and a model car to plan your lighting setup prior to working with the actual car. The finished photograph can be seen here.

(via Fstoppers via DPS)

  • OSAM

    A little much in the editing for the wheels and tires for my liking, but it works.  I actually preferred the seamless look, but the BG works too.

  • John Milleker

    I liked the car better before they tonemapped or topaz’ed it – didn’t watch, just fast-forwarded to the final shot. Not a fan.

  • Joey Duncan

    ya, It’s a little hard to talk about lighting, then look at the pic and see an overly edited car. What was the point of spending all that time in lighting if you were just going to photoshop it anyway. I greatly disapprove of this commercial look we have on cars today. Every time you see an add for some basic car they always photoshop it to look like a rendering, it’s upsetting. Then you see the car in real life and it doesn’t feel the same. I realize it “sells” but to the same effect of PSing female/male models on mag covers to the degree the picture looks like it drawn. too much if you ask me. 

  • derekdj

    The original out of camera shot was much better, if you’re going to do that much retouching you might as well go with a CG rendering.

  • Brandon Skinner

    yeah seriously, WTF… All that real lighting and technique only to give it a look like some HDR’d the shit out of it. So weak.

  • Vladimir Byazrov

    so basically all the work was done by retoucher. 

  • Lee Harris

    I agree, they ‘over-egged the pudding’, way too macho.

  • me

    agree to everyone here. It was really nice lit. But the final overprocessed result is ugly. 
    Sorry – this HDR look is really becoming ugly

  • CS Films

    Looks like a cheap HDR remake or a nasty solarize filter. Shot out of the camera looked better. 

  • Tttulio

    I hate when people say: ” I’m gonna teach you how to…”
    Please use: ” I’m gonna show you how I do it…)

  • Sebastian Soiden

    I don’t know if this is to show us how to photograph with $60,000 in lighting gear, or how we can go the cheap way and use Photoshop.

  • CB

    What a shame, totally ruined in post. And the front wheel isn’t even lined up!

  • jdm8


    Using $60k in lighting gear to what end?  To overkill a photo shoot?


    “How to ruin a decent picture with 5 minutes of shitty HDR-like overprocessing in Photoshop”

  • Dave

    Another image pounded into the ground with a ham handed hdr treatment. I would love to see this car photographed by a photographer.

  • Bob

    why shoot a real car to look like cg?

  • 11

    I agree with everyone’s comments, the end result is terrible.

  • Ghislain Roy

    The problem is… the finished result isn’t all that good. Kinda looks like some guy just discovered LucisArt. No angle, no detail, Comp is fair at best. The photo just isn’t very dynamic and the treatment is…overdone

  • Anthony Luke

    Video should be called “How to take a gorgeous car and make it look like sh*t with tacky overdone post work.”  

  • ZZ_Don

    Just Awful.

  • Dave

    Although the real butchery was performed by the post processing guy, even the photographer made some blunders. Namely, he used lighting only to illuminate the subject. Lighting is about sculpting your subject. He aimed lights in any areas that had shadow and then explained he was doing it for ‘depth’. If you fill in all of the shadows, you have the opposite of depth, you have flatness. The second rule of light should be understood and used when lighting products, portraits or anywhere it is possible: the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflectance. This guy should take drivers license and passport photos for a living, he would be perfect for the job.

  • Merv

    You forgot the 3rd rule of lighting…
    If all else fails use a hugemongus softbox [/SARCASMOFF]

  • Killermotion

    no one here got paid to shoot the car. nuff said.

  • Flgraphics

    the post is way overtop, but I like Blair. He seems down to earth. No ego.

  • AdventaBore

    Yeah, disappointing final image and the all the work done in Post.  I found it to be an interesting video which explained why the final product was not really very interesting.

  • CG

    jesus christ. the art of knowing how to light a car has been lost. When will people get that over sharpening and high contrast is a pretty probable attempt to mask average photography. This guy should not be telling anyone how to light….. anything

  • Patrick Hall

    the ironic thing is Blair makes more money with commercial photography than anyone reading this blog :)

  • Dave

     And you know this how? Justin Beiber makes more money than Leonard Cohen… is not necessarily a sign of accomplishment.

  • CG

    certainly not true. and regardless, the boy is just not a car photographer

  • Roy van der Woning

    Amazing how a successful company like Lamborghini would hire such a hack when they had an army of armchair experts at their disposal to do a better job.

  • Michael


  • Greg W

    A better picture could’ve been taken with free lighting equipment (the sun). This lighting takes away from the dimension of the car to the point it doesn’t even look like a photograph anymore.

  • Windsor Underground

    (Shim-air-a) hahahaha!!