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A MASTER OF CAR PHOTOGRAPHY - Peter Harholdt's set up

December 03, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Image - Peter Harholdt's brochure

 

If you're attracted to the idea of photographing beautiful cars – vintage, classic, racing or whatever - you might think about buying a 30' trailer first. That's what top car photographer Peter Harholdt needs to transport his mobile studio. 2014-12-03+10561+14-25-112014-12-03+10561+14-25-11

A car in the process of being lit in Peter's light tent

Peter, who told me that he used to be a jazz drummer, combines his passion for racing cars (he has raced the 24 hour circuit at Daytona) and other types of cars with his skills as a professional photographer. He also photographs works of art for museums and collectors and has worked for clients like the Smithsonian, the White House and the Louvre. He photographs for private collectors, private or public automotive museums and on books about cars and motorcycles. His photographs combine technical expertise with intimate knowledge of the styling and engineering of top flight cars. 2014-12-03+10556+14-22-022014-12-03+10556+14-22-02

One of two battery racks powering the flash units

Peter has developed a portable studio based on a 30' trailer that allows him to transport a professional studio virtually anywhere. This way he is able to take a fully-equipped studio to the car collections, where he will typically photograph the entire collection. I met him in the Revs Institute in Naples Florida where he is currently spending two days a week on an assignment to photograph the entire collection which was initially started  by Baron Collier and which now comprises over 100 vehicles. In another project, more than 100 cars were photographed by Peter for 'Art of the Hot Rod' at 25 sites across the United States. 2014-12-03+10559+14-22-482014-12-03+10559+14-22-48

Exposure is controlled and monitored from an imac on site

Peter uses a demountable light tent long enough to accommodate even the largest vehicles. The tent is lit from above with a flash tube and from the sides, creating an even light over the car. White reflector boards on the floor fill in the light to the darker areas around the tyres and the lower bodywork.  I assume these are removed post. The flash units are powered by 6 car battery-like cells on portable trolleys. 2014-12-03+10539+13-59-432014-12-03+10539+13-59-43

Peter checking the color balance of a shot

Peter controls the set up using an imac. He shoots tethered and controls the shutter of his medium format equipment from the screen. The flash units are fired by using optical transmitters. He takes numerous shots and builds up the final image optimised for exposure and color balance from a number of shots. 2014-12-03+10557+14-22-252014-12-03+10557+14-22-25

Various reflectors control light spill

I looked at some of Peter’s prints and the quality is astounding. You can see his work on his website at www.peterharholdt.com

 

 

Date 3.12.2014

Copyright   © All text and photography (other than where indicated) Alan Ainsworth Photography 2014.

Citation   Alan Ainsworth, ''A MASTER OF CAR PHOTOGRAPHY - Peter Harholdt's set up', 3.12.2014 available at http://www.alanainsworthphotography.com/blog/2014/11/pwa-moderne---us-depression-era-post-office-architecture

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