One of the most show-stopping cars to come out of this past year was the De Tomaso P72. It’s a startup supercar, claiming it’ll offer a manual gearbox, a supercharged V8 and gorgeous copper detailing. Part of what made me care about it, though, were the studio photos that not only looked as professional as any from an already-established company, but were straight up some of the best I’ve ever seen.
This comes as no surprise, as they were shot by professional automotive photographer, G.F. Williams. The inky blackness of the P72's studio background, though, really works in this situation. As does the soft, never-harsh and almost delicate way the car is lit. The light always seems to caress it, if you will.
Want to see how it was done? Williams uploaded a video to his YouTube channel yesterday, laying out his process.
The shoot itself didn’t take very long, only about 13 hours, according to Williams. But that’s 13 hours spent painstakingly setting up the lighting and deciding which details and angles to shoot.
After that, he used Adobe Bridge for selecting the files, opened them all to Photoshop to fix up the RAW files and then finally stacked them all into layers, where he polished up each individual details of the photo—and keeping the car smaller in the frame so people could crop it if they wanted to, thanks bud!—until he ended up with the finalized version. The whole thing was a 45-layer edit.
As a very, very, very amateur photographer who only uses Lightroom, has zero access to a studio, and wouldn’t even know what to do with one even if she did, this blows my mind. A 45-layer edit? A 13- hour shoot? I take my gear out for an hour to shoot, then fuck around with the exposure and shadow sliders in Lightroom and call it a day.
But that’s why Williams gets to shoot De Tomasos. I’ve included the full photo set below. One of these is currently my desktop background. I’m sure they’ll find their way to more after this.