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Harnessing Natural Light to Photograph Limited Production Sports Cars

Photographing Collectible Porsches

I love being a freelance photographer. I never know where my work will take me. Recently I was referred by a client to a very cool private car collector / reseller who deals in Ferraris, Mercedes and Porsches. He has an ongoing need to have them photographed. The challenge was to harness natural light to photograph limited production sports cars. Porsche produces about 100k sports cars a year with their engines largely assembled by hand – BMW production is somewhere in the millions. And the older 90’s Porsches pictured below have a precision build that is unlike their modern-day brethren. Thus highly collectible and prices in the $90k – $100k plus range, especially with low miles.
Photographing cars, especially high-end sports cars is tricky. Their surfaces, high gloss paint, chrome and glass, reflect like circus fun house mirrors. Two choices exist. Either photograph them in a totally controlled environment with huge softboxes or photograph them in a semi-controlled open shade environment. I chose the latter.
My weapon of choice for capture was my Sony a7s with a combination of lenses: FE 70-200 f/4 G OSS, FE 24-70mm f/5 Z OSS and the stellar FE 90mm f/2.8 Marco G OSS for macro and long shots that need compression. I chose to use the a7s. Below are recent images of 3 Porsches that were photographed over the last month. For the detail shots, I simply turned the portion of the sports car that needed to be photographed towards the light.
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Harnessing Natural Light to Photograph Limited Production Sports Cars

Vintage 96′ Porsche 911 with 11k original miles and custom stitched red leather interior.


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A canary yellow 93′ Porsche Targa with 38k original miles.

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A turquoise 96′ Porsche convertible with 9.5k oringal miles.