I found myself in need of a new mid-life crisis, so a while back I found myself at a Ford dealership trading my 2012 Mustang in on a shiny new Ruby-red GT. I’ve been wanting to take some pictures of it, but the combination of good weather and a clean car has been elusive. I had a few minutes the other day after washing it to stop in an empty parking lot, so I pulled in and snapped a few quick shots. This quickly uncovered another problem, which is that car photography is hard. Reflections, glaring highlights, backgrounds…not to mention it was a crappy time of day, with the sun high in the sky.
There were only a couple shots that weren’t completely useless, but even the best was only marginal. My favorite of the bunch was the one below. I posted it on a couple sites, one a photography site and the other a Mustang enthusiast site, and in both cases I got some nice feedback, which I didn’t expect. A question I was asked was how I managed to avoid harsh highlights and weird reflections, esrecially given the time of day. The answer was that I didn’t. The SOOC shot was pretty messy, and it took a lot of good old-fashioned Photoshop to fix it up. I spent a LOT of time getting it in the state it’s in now. In fact, it turned into a bit of an obsession. I spent probably 15 hours over several days working on it. I thought that it would be fun to show the original shot, along with a number of intermediate iterations I went through before I got to the final version. If you’re interested in seeing the progression, click here. Please note that the shots are large, and they’ll take a while to load. Just click on the small versions to see the full-size ones.