Mini Cooper: Bumble

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Not only have I not taken figure photos in awhile, I haven’t taken many pictures at all!  So when a friend asked about getting some photos taken of her car, I said to myself, “Oh, what the hell, I’ll do it!”

I normally like using my wide angle lens to take pics of cars, especially from a lower perspective – but since another friend borrowed my EF 16-35mm f/2.8L, I borrowed his 15mm f/2.8 fisheye.  While I love playing around with fisheye lenses, I can’t say I like using it too much when it comes to car photography.  Great for some angled shots and maybe interior, but not entirely useful due to all the distortions.

I’m glad I remembered to take the photos in RAW which allowed me the camera to capture all the colours and exposures for that HDR effect.  You might thinking to yourself, “well d’uh, of course to use RAW”, keep in mind that I haven’t taken any sort of “official” pictures for almost a year and my mind could’ve been stuck in “lazy mode” and left it as JPEG.  With the setting sun that day, it made for beautiful colours that matched my friend’s yellow Cooper, it would’ve been a shame if I couldn’t capture those vibrant colours.  Needless to say, Lightroom and Photoshop helped with making the colours pop more.

Since it was my friend’s last day with her Cooper, I wanted to make sure I capture the car in a memorable way.  Plus, she said she wanted to print the photos out and perhaps hang it on her wall – all the more reason to do a good job and not slack off!  Parking the car within the city center, we were able to catch some of the skyline and buildings, I just wish the mesh wasn’t there in the parking lot… while taking the photos I kept reminding myself to look for obstructions, distractions and the horizon line.  The latter wasn’t that much of an issue as Lightroom can fix up the alignment rather easily, but I still rather be careful with the horizon.

Going for these low angled shots is probably one of my favourite angles when taking car photos.  You lose out on the entire body (car dependent), but you get a better view of its stance – or lack thereof!  But it’s not her fault, her car is stock.  :)  Normally the 16-35mm wide angle would be perfect for this with minimal distortion around the edges, but since I didn’t have that, I reverted to my EF 24-105mm f/4L for the shot.  It’s a little tighter than how I would normally take these, but c’est la vie!

The below image is probably not all that flattering for the Mini… as said earlier, some cars can handle the fisheye better than others.  It kind of reminds me of a beluga whale.  LOL

Can’t say I like the interiors of the Mini all that much, but it’s not bad.  I do like the fact it has a distinct flavour of its own and not bland like many other cars out on the market.

The sun was starting to set and it lit up this wall in a very saturated peach-orange-ish colour.  While I thought the colour looked beautiful, it was fighting for attention with the car.  I wanted the yellow to pop – it is the focus of the photo afterall!  Also, the buildings behind the windows felt distracting, so I decided to de-saturate the background to help combat the viewer’s focus.  You can actually see the orange-ish colour of the wall in the reflection of the Mini’s hood.  I’m just not good enough in Photoshop/Lightroom to edit out those colours.  =P

As with the above, I decided to de-saturate the walls and buildings int he background.  I left a little bit more colour in the bottom image though as too much de-saturation felt a little weird when I looked at it.  It didn’t have the same effect as the above image.  Maybe it was due to the fact the above image had more concrete to make for a grittier image?  Hey, I’m no pro!

The below image probably better demonstrates what I said earlier about stance and a lower angle – the Mini just look more aggressive in the image, in my opinion.  Maybe I should get some sort of commission from Mini Markham for the advertisement?  I think the below image is one of my favourite in the whole set, the car looks like it’s glowing!

I think I probably cropped the image a little too tightly here, I did a similar shot with my car a long time ago that made the perspective look more “artistic”.  Probably not so much here, or is it because the background is too busy?

It was getting dark so I decided to pack up and get my friend out on the highway for some rolling shots.  I wanted to help provide her some unique shots of her car, something she probably wouldn’t have taken before – well, rolling shots definitely fit the bill.  How often do you get a picture of your car while it’s in action?  :)

The lack of traffic was really nice, what really ruin rolling shots are other cars or road objects that cut into the lines of your subject.  Luckily there was minimal traffic and any road signs, posts, trees in the background that got in the way, I was able to clean some of them  using Photoshop  Content aware really helped expedite the work.  ^_^’

Since I already had a few good quality rolling shots of my friend’s car, I decided to play around with the colours a bit in the below shot.  I don’t know what I was thinking or what kind of effect I was aiming for as I was half asleep when I did it, but I think I was trying to make the car seem B&W and driving into an explosion of colour.  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight… <_<

So we get to a local shopping center and saw Best Buy… hey, why not?  The colours seem to match rather nicely!  Maybe Best Buy should’ve used these Minis rather than the Beetles as their Geek Squad cars?  LOL

Again, more fun with lower angle perspectives – I started toying with the lines in the parking lot and how to incorporate them into my car photos when I first got my car.  In my opinion, it adds a little more flair to the image as it’s not just a static, straight-on shot of a car.  Anyone can do that!

Speaking of distractions earlier, I guess I forgot to Photoshop out the reflections in the window!  I forgot about it while editing this picture, but now that I look at it, those lights in the windows are pretty distracting.  But hey, it’s the “ONY store”!  ;-)

I edited out a bunch of reflections in the last picture and got rid of the texts on the store sign in the background.  I think it creates a cleaner image overall – plus the last picture pretty much put into effect many of the techniques I mentioned earlier, such as perspective, angle and working with lines.

As for the car, my friend no longer has it so I hope she likes the pictures.  Because there are no re-dos here!  Who knows, maybe we’ll get together again later on and take pics of her new car.  Either way, I hadn’t seen her in awhile, so it was nice catching up with her.  It’s nice when you’re still friends with those you bonded with back in high school, especially after so many years after graduation.

Goodbye, Bumble!  Hello, Smurfette!  (Yes, those are the names she gave to the cars).