Lighting an Antique Chevrolet Truck (in the dark)…


…is not an easy task. In fact I destroyed my softbox in the process.

I am very fortunate to live in an area of New Jersey where farmland is still abundant. In fact, right down the street from my house is a piece of property that has two barns that date back to the mid 1800’s. I recently noticed that one of these barns house’s a 1930’s Chevrolet pick-up truck. I was immediately determined to photograph this beauty!

After receiving permission from the owner to shoot I finally made my way over to give it a whirl.

With the truck in the barn I was limited to shooting from just a few perspectives which in turn made it quite complex to light correctly. Made worse by the fact that it’s my first time using my lighting equipment outside, in the wind.

Here’s the results and I’ll explain the lighting set-up down below…


As darkness was approaching I had the challenge of getting enough light into the barn without illuminating every detail inside, while getting focused light on the truck to accentuate it’s features.

By trail and error (quite a few I may add) I lit this as follows…

  • My main light was a speedlight attached to my tripod utilizing a Rogue flashbender. It was held by me directly overhead to illuminate the top of the truck.
  • A second speedlight was attached to my lightstand (which was available only because my softbox blew over, even with sandbags, and broke the aluminum rod) and was positioned knee high in front of the grill.
  • I focused my camera by lighting the truck with a flashlight app on my smartphone.
  • And finally I set my camera to a ten second delay to allow me enough time to pick up the other flash and get it positioned.

I think I get just enough separation of the truck from the deep interior of the barn buy positioning the overhead light just right. This took about half a dozen tries.

Now I have to decide which softbox to get to replace the one I destroyed in the process. Oh, the life of a photographer!


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