Learn Automotive Photography in a Flash, with Tim Wallace

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Choosing a Location (Duration 05:00)

Join Tim on location as he introduces the concepts covered in this class and jumps right into walking through his process for choosing the location that matches his subject matter.

Lesson 2: Essential Gear (Duration 04:01)

This class is focused on using a minimal amount of gear, and Tim walks through what he'll be using for this shoot.

Lesson 3: Positioning the Camera (Duration 10:32)

The final photograph will be a composite of multiple exposures, so the most important step involves choosing the location for the camera and locking it down.

Lesson 4: Begin Lighting the Car (Duration 09:18)

Start with taking a base ambient exposure (without using the flash), then begin systematically lighting the car.

Lesson 5: Adding a Rim Light (Duration 07:54)

Adding a rim light along the far side of the car will help set it off from the background.

Lesson 6: Lighting the Interior (Duration 06:50)

Lighting the interior is optional, but is worth considering.

Lesson 7: Lighting the Environment (Duration 05:36)

Using a red gel on the flash from the vantage point of the brake light can be used to simulate light from the car, while using a blue gel on the flash to light the background can be useful for adding a touch of color to the scene.

Lesson 8: Image Review (Duration 10:55)

Back in the studio it is time to review all of the photos captured on location, start making your selects, and then begin working on your base image.

Lesson 9: Layering in Additional Exposures (Duration 09:01)

With your base layer started you can begin going back through your selects and building up toward your final image.

Lesson 10: Bringing in the Interior Lighting (Duration 09:31)

Using the same layer mask technique you can combine the exposure of the lit interior with the base image.

Lesson 11: Bringing in the Brake Light (Duration 07:19)

The next phase is to bring in the exposures made to simulate the brake lights on the car.

Lesson 12: Bringing in the Background (Duration 12:41)

Tim lit the background in two different ways (once with blue gel and once without), and now has to choose which look he prefers before layering it into the base image.

Lesson 13: Enhancing Detail (Duration 06:38)

The final phase of the project is to enhance detail in the image.

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. Hi guys, Hope you have enjoyed the class and it has been of use to consider a method of working of you have very little equipment. I would just like to point out one small thing before I get a lot of mails about it...! There is indeed a wire going up my trouser leg throughout the class, its not your eyes deceiving you and contrary to popular belief I am not actually electrically powered ! lol The reason is for the sound mic, we had some very high voltage power lines close by when we recorded the class so we opted for a wired mic so that you would not have to put up with a constant buzzing on the sound track. Enjoy the class and hope it helps you enjoy your photography a little more. Tim

  2. Great articulated video, excellent for photographers starting off with and using a simple set of equipment (no high end lighting gear) and demonstrate how one can produce a high quality image. Enjoyed it very much and learned loads thanks.

  3. Great class! I love Tim's simple approach to the shoot and to the editing process. Tim used the same methodology in the previous classes, just the equipment was high end. This class is prefect for a hobbyist like myself. Again, great work and I can't wait to see more.

  4. Fantastic class Tim. I really like the fact you were able to show how we could achieve such a great results using relatively little gear. Its nice to see a pro who remembers we don't all own a heap of equipment. The end result looked great, I look forward to seeing more classes from you in the future. And its nice to see a fellow Brit on Kelby Training.

  5. Once again Tim, a really informative course from a true talent. Lots of options and alternative solutions shared - an inspiration rather than a recipe. Well done! I'm off out to try some of these, whilst it's all still fresh in my mind! Keep them coming.

  6. Very interesting to see what can be done with minimal lighting. I particularly like the way you emphasized taking multiple shots with the light so that it gave you many options to choose from when it came to blending the final image - a very useful tip! The way that you used the multiple layers to build up the picture was also very well explained and again something that can be achieved by most people with the benefit of your instruction. One question I have is - what sort of 'lighting pole' is that you were using (make and availability in the UK would help please)? I have tried using a monopod but it was a bit too heavy to hold extended across a car roof like you did.

  7. Very nice and informative class for someone like me who only has one speedlight. I can't wait to use this technique. Thank you very much for sharing this, Tim.

  8. Absolutely AMAZING! As usual, Tim brings a concept many of "us" consider out of our reach, either financially or talent-wise, and breaks it down into easy-to-grasp bits that make it seem not only possible, but easy.

  9. Tim's photography and this class on learning automative photography is amazing. There is so much to learn from Tim, I can't begin to explain it all. Just watch, learn, and get inspired to try on your own.

  10. Great course. I learned lots about using a single portable strobe for complex images. I appreciate the workflow section at the back end. Simple and straightforward that I can apply to layering multiple images. Thanks

  11. Absolutely love this class! I used the techniques from this class to shoot the Aston Martin Racing #99 sponsored by Valero late last year! I used 2 Flashes and layered about 20 shots for the final lighting. I have several other shots from that shoot I have been saving and plan to composite and polish this month. The images came out great and it all due to Tim's great training!

  12. Dear Tim, dear Community, is this also a way to light a car by night? How would you get your base exposure? The way I thought you light a car by night is to make 1 long exposure Image and run with your speed light, firing around the car. But I was never happy with the result. Any Tips on how to achieve a good looking light by night with speed lights? Thank you!

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