Jaguar XK-R / by Neil Alexander

Immediately after returning from Skye, I was scheduled to shoot a very rare Performance Blue customised Jaguar XK-R for Jaguar World magazine. The brief was fairly straight forward - get some wide images of the car from the front, rear and sides; the interior & under the bonnet; and if time permitted, some motion shots.  

Jaguar XK-R by Neil Alexander

I used a pair of Quadras for all my lighting. Where two lights weren't enough, then I shot multiple frames with the lights in different positions and composited them in Photoshop. The image below is a prime example. There are two lights, camera left and right but I also wanted a little separation at the back of the car. So I moved one of the lights to the rear of the car and made another frame with this light only. Then it was simply a case of layering and masking in post.  

Jaguar XK-R by Neil Alexander

Over the last few months, I've been experimenting with various different car rig setups. Aluminium I've discovered is simply too heavy. Carbon Fibre is the only way to go. So I've borrowed my brother-in-law's 8 metre carbon fibre fishing pole. I don't need the whole length. In fact fully extended, it's far too springy but with just two or three of the thicker sections assembled I can get 2 or 3 metres from the car and with a degree of rigidity sufficient for a 1/4 sec exposure. I'm nowhere near the 6 second exposures that GF Williams can get with his Car Camera Rigs but my current set up has cost me significantly less (read £0) compared to the £2k for the cheapest that CCR do. The problem is bounce. Even with the lightest body and lens combo I own, the combined weight with the clamps and ballhead to hold the camera creates a significant amount of bounce. So a more rigid pole is definitely in order in the not too distant future.  

The other problem doing these shots is learning to use your camera upside down. In order to get a nice low angle, you have to hang it upside down from the end of the pole. No matter how many times I do this, I still find myself struggling to find dials and buttons, and then turn them the wrong way. Might just try sitting with the camera in front of the TV in the evenings and see if I can master it the wrong way round...... 

Jaguar XK-R by Neil Alexander

Jaguar XK-R by Neil Alexander