The Art of Close-up Automotive Photography, with Tim Wallace

Tim will teach you how to work with one light, one lens, and one camera to capture the most quintessential car detail shots you've seen in car advertisements around the world.

Get up close and personal with Tim Wallace and a Cadillac CTS to learn the art of close-up automotive photography. Tim will teach you how to work with one light, one lens, and one camera to capture the most quintessential car detail shots you’ve seen in car advertisements around the world. It’s all about detail, and Tim’s meticulous approach is packed with practical tips for keeping things simple, working fast, and nailing the shots you need to get the job done.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 03:44)

Join Tim at the Trolley Barn in Tampa, Florida with a 2011 Cadillac CTS where he sets up the lessons to follow and shows you how to identify the signature detail areas you want to look for before you shoot.

Lesson 2: Shooting the Grill (Duration 06:50)

The emblem on the grill is one of the most recognizable details on any car. It is a critical shot to get right, and Tim shows you how.

Lesson 3: Rear Brake Light (Duration 06:19)

Translucent and highly reflective surfaces present unique challenges to overcome. Your camera angle makes all the difference.

Lesson 4: Looking at the Bigger Picture (Duration 11:07)

While Tim sets up the light for shooting one of the wheels, he takes time to discuss some of the larger issues related to photographing cars.

Lesson 5: Rim Shot (Duration 05:35)

The devil is in the detail, and the time you invest before shooting pays dividends in your workflow down the road.

Lesson 6: Under the Hood (Duration 05:41)

The engine is the heart of the car and it is an important shot to get. It may not look like much at first, but Tim demonstrates how you can use the same one lens and one light to create a super sexy shot.

Lesson 7: Conclusion (Duration 03:14)

Tim wraps up the class with a few final words on the most important points covered in this class.

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…

32 Comments

  1. This is an AWESOME course. Its funny how it come about a week or so after the 5 harsh realities of photography and being #4 or 5 that every picture is photoshopped. Tim has done wonders WITHOUT photoshop. Straight out of camera shots. I am a car nut and this couse makes me want to go out and shoot my car. I can do it becuse the investment is minimal and the photoshop is nil. This will make me a better car photographer. Keep them coming. Also who ever decided on using the Live CAM during this course should get a bonus. It helps put us as the photographer there. Right there each and every time. You need a bonus, Steak Dinner, week off, pat on the back. True Genius!.

  2. Hey guys. This one is a burner!! I love the way Tim Wallace works - I love the way he thinks about photography. And so are his advices - clearly made for people with brains: on. Thank you very much for this one. Regards.

  3. Tim is such a great inspiration - I've learned a great deal from these sessions and I can't wait to put the theory into practise. Incredible images with a limited equipment list - achieveable by us all. What's the next lesson about ??? I can't wait to see?

  4. I might be nobody in the industry, but in my almost 2 years as a subscriber here in kelby training, Tim Wallace is one of my favorite among others. He's inspiring and down to earth and his teachings is easily absorbed by a typical student like me. I hope to see more of his tutorials aside from the next two that i've been waiting for patiently.

  5. So refreshing to watch a training session on my favorite subject - car details. I have instructed, written a book, and assisted groups with car photography, but never felt fully confident with lighting, the most important aspect. This presentation clarifies many concerns. Thank you,

  6. That has to be one of the best lighting classes on Kelby. Between the use of live view to see what Tim is seeing and the fact that you could do this in your garage with a pinto brings it down to the level that Joe, Scott and others miss because I don't have a model, assistant or thousands in lighting gear. The fact that I can practice this with one cheep strobe and a homemade strip box at my house is a great "practice project".

  7. I really enjoyed Tim Wallace's course. The information was valuable and clearly presented. I really like the way you used a DSLR on a boom/crane to give us Tim's PoV so we could see exactly what he was talking about. It was also good to see real cutaways, proper tight shots of the subject. But as usual there were those bizarre cutaways where Time is looking off camera while he is supposed to be talking to me, the viewer. This is not news/documentary, there is no reporter/host there that he's talking to. So why do it? It destroys the illusion that he is teaching me.

  8. Mr. Wallace I enjoyed both of your courses on automotive photography. I have been messing around with shooting me and my friends cars for the past couple of months and you just opened up a ton of ideas in my head. Thank you for the very informative and creative course

  9. Thanks guys for taking the time to feedback on this class, its great to hear that so many people have been able to take something from the class and most importantly get out there and be inspired to try things of their own, photography is always very much about enjoying the journey and not just a fast track to the destination, this way people hopefully will really build up there own unique knowledge of light and how it impacts on a subject either that being a car or indeed anything else, this way I firmly believe that we give ourselves the opportunity too build up that all important 'rolodex' of experience in our minds that builds not only professional ability but also allows us to create and develop our own unique styles which is essential in my view... Enjoy the other classes that will be launching soon and most of all enjoy your photography no matter what level you are at!

  10. I have seen almost every Kelby training video but have not been influenced by anything else like this did. Ironically Car is the last thing I would shoot but the impact of Tim Wallace is very profound. Thanks for this training.

  11. Thanks guys for taking the time to feedback on this class, its great to hear that so many people have been able to take something from the class and most importantly get out there and be inspired to try things of their own, photography is always very much about enjoying the journey and not just a fast track to the destination, this way people hopefully will really build up there own unique knowledge of light and how it impacts on a subject either that being a car or indeed anything else, this way I firmly believe that we give ourselves the opportunity too build up that all important ‘rolodex’ of experience in our minds that builds not only professional ability but also allows us to create and develop our own unique styles which is essential in my view…

  12. Fantastic course.Tim's direct, patient, and passionate approach to photography as art coupled with instilling the use of good technique really inspires and energizes. The use of the live view camera was brilliant; what a fantastic and well thought out visual aid for a visual audience. Kudos!

  13. Really love the presentation. The teacher transmits a sense of passion for photography and his work.The shortened format makes the program viewable at one sitting. Thank you. Paul Biederman

  14. Coming from an automotive state, I can really relate to automotive photography. I have shot both full automobiles and detail shots. It was interesting to watch this and hear the various tips and techniques. I really enjoyed this and will keep a number of things he mentioned in mind when I have to opportunity to do this again. Great segment.

  15. Tim is an amazing instructor. I have been seriously shooting cars for about 3 years and wished I had seen these videos when I started. But I learned a lot and find that I have been doing somethings right. I have been feeling a bit stale lately and Tim has re-inspired me. I will be a lot more thoughtful in my work. I will be getting back to basics and strive to be more creative in-camera. I believe that this will take my work to a new level. One thing that struck me as humorous was Tim telling us he avoided books and looking at others work to avoid being overly influenced by what they are doing, but if we all took his advise there would not be much demand for his seminars would there. I really liked the fact he stressed keeping things simple as much as possible.

  16. I absolutely love the work Tim Wallace does as a photographer and as a teacher of photography. He has a way of explaining the most intricate details in a simple, understandable way. He's truly a great (and my favorite) addition to the instructors on kelbytraining.com. Please make more videos!

  17. This was an excellent course and for someone wanting to learn more about car photography this was packed full of tips and information. I do have to say though Tim mentions that you can take these photos without a studio, but the car was in a controlled lighting situation. I myself would have loved to see an example of how to light a car to capture the same type photos in an outside environment. Perhaps the next tutorial :)

  18. Very honest, inspiring, to the point. Makes you want to grab your camera and go out and shoot cars, even though it never occurred to me before. The principles can be applied to almost any type of photography. Tim comes across as a very authentic person and it is fun to listen to his relaxed presentation style. Thank you!

  19. I love Tim's classes and their needs to be MORE automotive related photography course on this site by him and in general. More classes on editing, rolling shots, rig shots. I hope the powers that be see this and make it happen. Tim is a great teacher.

  20. One of the best instructors I've yet seen on any platform or subject matter. Clear instruction and portrayal of concept/desired end-product. Very good presence, easy to relate to and keeps it common sense and practical. The use of a 2nd body on an arm to show the shooter's PoV via live view to discuss the framing is perfect for the subject matter. Unlike many instructors who are better photogs than educators (or vice versa), he makes you want to watch the next segment. Keep up the great work.

  21. Great class on lighting, Tim. Love your style and I also believe that a great photographer creates in camera. There are a lot of people out there that think they are great photographers but are really great "tool users"...... Let's bring back the basics and go for the great "in camera shots"!

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