Post Processing for Automotive Photography, with Tim Wallace

Tim takes you through every step in his process of editing a series of exposures taken during his Environmental Light and Automotive Photography class and putting them into a final master image.

Commercial photographer Tim Wallace is joined by Kelby Training’s own Matt Kloskowski back at the computer to get a first hand look at Tim’s workflow after returning from a shoot. Tim takes you through every step in his process of editing a series of exposures taken during his Environmental Light and Automotive Photography class and putting them into a final master image. Along the way you’ll learn professional tips and tricks for using Camera Raw and Photoshop that you can put to work on your own images right away!

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 02:26)

Join Tim and Matt as they discuss the shots they will use in this class and Tim's approach to post processing.

Lesson 2: Analyzing the Frames (Duration 03:34)

Tim explains the purpose of each exposure he captured on location, and how they will all work together to create the final result.

Lesson 3: Car Exposure (Duration 05:08)

Starting in Adobe Camera Raw, Tim works on fine tuning the first photo to get the best results on the car itself.

Lesson 4: Tweaking the Front End (Duration 07:11)

To tweak the exposure on the front end of the car, Tim takes the original raw photo back into Camera Raw with the intention of blending it into the base exposure of the car back in Photoshop using a layer mask.

Lesson 5: Background Base (Duration 05:56)

Time for the capture that will serve as the background base layer to head into Camera Raw for basic processing.

Lesson 6: Blending the Background Layers (Duration 05:17)

The background layer is crucial to the atmosphere of the photo. Using a layer mask to blend the 2 processed versions together allows for the best mix of shadow and detail.

Lesson 7: Bringing Out Detail (Duration 07:58)

Tim shares a neat trick using blending modes to bring out detail with a great level of fine control.

Lesson 8: Merging the Car and the Background (Duration 09:13)

The surface of the car reflects the background environment, so it is important to blend the exposures together before making final tonal adjustments to make the results seamless.

Lesson 9: The Floor (Duration 13:09)

During the actual shoot the last frame of the day was made after wetting the floor with a hose to create a shot with the car's reflection in the surface of the floor. Now it's time to process the floor shot in Camera Raw, then bring it into Photoshop and blend it into the final image.

Lesson 10: Closing Tips (Duration 10:48)

Tim wraps up the class by sharing a few tips for adjusting the shadows and highlights without touching the color while working on a new photo from a different shoot.

Meet Your Instructor: Tim Wallace

Photographer Tim Wallace is the driving force and creative thinking behind Ambient Life. An award winning photographer his work is often described as both conceptual and dramatic. Tim works internationally…


  1. Wow! I am giving a standing ovation at my computer desk. What you did for cars and education, you nailed it on post production too. This is the icing on the cake! I hope this comes about on a DVD for a complete course!!! AWESOME!

  2. Great job Tim! Loved the techniques you use and that you don't waste time on pointless things. Great technique, especially watering down the ground to give a reflection. I really look forward to more courses from you!

  3. This was an amazing series of classes on automotive photography! Really enjoyed the lighting techniques that Tim Wallace used and then the reflection of the car in the water he brought into the post processing. Learned a lot! Thanks for such a great course. Hope to see more of Tim Wallace in future Kelby Training courses!

  4. This course is amazing and exactly what I am looking for as an enthusiast photographer. Especially when added to the other courses led by Tim for shooting the cars with or without additional lights. Lot of thoughts before and during the shoot, minimal work on PS.

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