04 Dec auto photo shoot for vossen wheels: featuring ’21 Tesla & ’21 Mercedes-benz Models
Professional Auto Photography Featured Shoot: Vossen Wheels
2021 Tesla Model Y for Vossen Wheels
With a ton of new work projects coming through, David Glessner decided to share some behind-the-scenes action from his two recent photo shoots with Vossen Wheels — plus a few helpful tips and techniques from the pro auto photographer himself!
For David Glessner, the Vossen Wheels shoot began with quite a bang — of the high-voltage variety. The first of two car shooting sessions began with one day of photographing the luxurious Tesla Model Y. This was only his second time shooting any kind of Musk mobile, and certainly his first time tackling the Model Y.
According to Glessner, “Most wheel companies love parking garages and industrial locations, because it best compliments the wheels.” So the top level of a concrete parking garage was selected, and this is where the story — and the action — of Glessner’s latest project begins.
The rooftop parking garage location was picked thanks to a Google Maps-generated satellite view. The rest of the success, however, was up to this photographer. Denver-based Glessner never disappoints: His visionary strategy and dynamic technique, as always, were sound as he went about shooting two captivating luxury cars for Vossen Wheels.
Glessner decided not to shoot during golden hour, but rather midday, for two primary reasons:
- Since this particular Model Y is painted white, direct sunlight during “golden hour” isn’t ideal. The coloration of a setting or rising sun causes the paint of the car to display a yellow tint, and although you can remove this yellow saturation in post-production editing (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.), doing so actually removes all raw color from the shot.
- For the wheel shots of the Tesla Model Y, Glessner positioned the electric sedan so that the sun (light source) was located approximately 90 degrees to the right or the left. This is an intermediate photography technique used to create the illusion of a “strobed” or artificially lit siding on the vehicle. It’s also a lot easier to work on when you eventually go into editing stages.
For the majority of any outdoor shots in broad daylight, whether you’re capturing a Porsche or taking a portrait, aim to work in even lighting throughout the endeavor. How? Slightly overcast skies with a bit of cloud coverage produce slight shadows, which will be a lifesaver when you’re trying to match a grade in post-production.
Bonus Tip: Positioning the Tesla directly behind the sun created an even more dramatic shadow, and this is true for any car you photograph. To finalize your behind-sun auto shot, quickly spruce it up with a bit of layer blending in post. Boom.
For 95% of his work, David Glessner says he uses multiple exposures, first taken with a tripod and then blended by incorporating specific parts from each of these exposures. Ultimately, this produces quite an astonishing final image. His use of this technique, Glessner says, usually depends on the amount of work needed to achieve the shoot’s objective. In general, however, this blending technique allows more images and final shots to be generated, especially when you’re in a studio or fortunate enough to be dealing with artificial light.
It seems obvious to focus on just the wheels during a Vossen shoot, but wheel companies also love full shots of the auto body, since these showcase the car’s aesthetic when enhanced by the wheels. Turning the wheel in the direction of the camera is always a great idea. However, turning the wheels too much makes the car appear . . . wonky. Rule of thumb: when it comes to the classic wheel turn, a little can go a long way.
Many auto photographers, Glessner included, prefer parking garages as a shoot location because it is the easiest way to get top-down shots — shots from a higher viewpoint and a “bird’s eye” perspective. The final shot looks even cooler if you can create a dramatic shadow.
Professional Auto Photography Feature
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 for Vossen Wheels
After a decade or even a few years of professional jobs, capturing cars can begin to feel pretty repetitive, so to keep things interesting, Glessner suggests developing your own techniques and tips for automotive photography.
In this second installment of our featured Vossen Wheels shoot, we’ll have the luxury of “looking” up close and personal with the gorgeous Mercedes Benz GLE 580. The most representative shot — that is, the auto eye candy — is this side profile view of the GLE 580. Although it doesn’t showcase the wheels closeup, the frame shows a great view of the car and highlights the splendor of its Vossen Wheels and optimally adjusted ride height.
In both the past and present, Glessner is known to be a self-professed “huge fan of foreground.” So for the side profile shot of the Benz beaut, he reported using “a ton of foreground,” both in order to balance the image, and to lead your eye straight to the car.
Final Tips & Takeaways
Professional Views On Shooting For Vossen Wheels
Both of these car shoots were similar in style and composition, but they did have their individual differences as well. In some of his other work, Glessner loves to “break the photography rules” of standard-issue shooting methods and techniques, and he capitalized on that affinity while capturing both the Tesla Model Y and the Mercedes Benz GLE 580.
“Placing the car dead in the middle, tilting an image . . . All these techniques [and angles] help bring a new photograph to life.”
If you’re in need of commercial automotive photography or want to capture your own new wheels in the best light, contact David Glessner to learn more about his professional creative services in Denver. For special events and time-sensitive shoots, David also enjoys collaborating with individuals and businesses for out-of-state and high-priority photography jobs.