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(September 20-24, 2006)

Sasa Sekulic

Lonely Highway Ramp at Midnight

John E Schwarzell

2006 BMW X3 Interior

Woodland Hills, California, USA

September 24, 2006 4:00 pm PDT in Open Shade

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© 2006 John E Schwarzell, All Rights Reserved.

For the WWP Equinox shoot Transportation, I decided to challenge myself and figure out how to shoot a car interior. It took a superclamp to hold the post of my VR rig tripod with a large format Bogen tripod weighed down with sandbags - a cheap basic boom that just reached into the driver's position through the window. A studio boom is the way to go: I lost my nodal point due to gravity and the weight of my own hand trying to steady the rig. Fortunately none of the series of 3 exposures of 5 frames were unregistered, and the severe parallax was overcome by several methods. For me, the driver's posittion is better than the center, because, (a) the rig wouldn't extend any further into the car, and more reasonably, (b) most car buyers want to see themselves in the car, and the most natural perspective is that of the driver's seat. Most car VRs are from this perspective. The exterior is stock footage of Cancun in Autumn.

Equip: Nikon D100, Sigma 8mm, Bogen 3051 and superclamp and post of Trekker with a Kaidan head and ball mount, weighed down with two sandbags. Method: not the sturdiest rig in the world, but it worked with a shutter release plunger and while steadying the rig and holding the head in place at each detent by hand and with patience to shoot 3 exposures each in five directions. Stiched: with PTMac, composited, and Adjusted 90 yaw -90 roll to get to a normal view. The rig was inserted through the driver's window, and the pano was shot on a horizontal axis rather than the standard vertical. The zenith of the pano goes out the front passenger window. The pano was shot in open shade in the afternoon to get good highlights and the most even of lighting. Open shade is with blue sky above, not next to a building or anything, else the lighting would be more contrasty and dark. Most VR car interiors are shot in a very large studio with lightboxes up to four times as long as the vehicle being shot.

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