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Old August 11th, 2008, 07:00 AM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
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Default Mercedes-Benz 300SLR


The local Mercedes-Benz club has an exhibition of 2-door Mercedes cars over the years, and there were a couple of beautiful 300SL roadsters, and a very accurate 300SLR recreation, on show. Having extensively photographed the 300SL and gullwings in past occasions, I turned my attention to the SLR, a raw but beautifully formed car so stereotypical of the 'cartoonish' fast racing cars.

The event was particularly challening, because this was at midday in the incredibly harsh South African sun, which means the tonal range of any image is almost always far beyond any single capture. It's always a matter of deciding what information you want to throw away, and for what detail should you expose. RAW image capture, together with processing the highlights and shadows, means film could never touch the results I get from my 1D MkIIN in this light:

(Click to view larger versions)

Later in the day, the range was simply too overwhelmingly high, so I turned to HDR to capture + Mantiuk tone mapping to produce images which show detail from the brightest reflection to the tyre treads of the cars, all in the worst lighting imaginable (I actually had a headache from sun exposure). HDR, with not-over-the-top processing, can produce a calm and rich representation of such an extreme scene - but damn, it eats CPU! (the tone-mapping).

This was just a little experiment, I made this HDR without looking through the viewfinder - "shooting from the foot" so to speak, so unfortunately there is a strong lens flare:

Technical: All shot with the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L and EF 50mm f/1.2L. RAW developed with Apple Aperture, HDR done with qtpfsgui with mantiuk tone mapping. Each from 3 captures (-3ev,0,+3ev : never seen the need to start off with more images)
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Old September 15th, 2008, 06:06 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,391

Hello Dawid, are these cars from a private collection? Would love to get behind one of these!

Thanks for showing us these beauts.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 01:07 PM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
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Hi David,

Do you have photographs of the entire cars? I like these images but I long to see the whole of the car :-)

Alain Briot
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Old September 18th, 2008, 07:11 AM
Anil Mungal Anil Mungal is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 63

Originally Posted by Alain Briot View Post
Hi David,

Do you have photographs of the entire cars? I like these images but I long to see the whole of the car :-)

You may be interested in reading this Canon article on photographer Roman Kuhn about his 10-minute movie shot using still cameras ( EOS-1D Mark II N and EOS-1D Mark III ) showcasing the Mercedes-McLaren SLR automobile. The movie is viewable on the web page.
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automobiles, high dynamic range

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