How Some Amazing Composite Photography Was Done for the Fiat Car Brand

When Dave Hill was approached by car manufacturer Fiat to create a series of images for an advertising campaign that would be featured in Vanity Fair magazine, he was thrilled at the opportunity to work with the company a second time after his first experience with the car makers back in 2012. The new shoot would involve four different images, each paying homage to a specific film genre. Take a look at the mini-documentary for some behind the scenes footage and insights from the photographer himself:

To complete the entire campaign, each of the four film genre shoots was shot over the course of a day in various locations.

The Sci-Fi Shoot

The crew took to the desert where they transformed a section of the sand into a road and used lifts to hoist the car above the ground. Using various light sources, such as Profoto Octos and different colored gels, the car was lit to make it appear as though it was being beamed up to outer space.



The Film Noir Shoot

Hill says the film noir shoot was one of his favorites. It was shot on a Paramount Films back lot in black and white to create the moody feel the genre is known is for. The crew spent a couple of weeks getting the lot to look exactly as they wanted it. This included taking out some streetlights and adding in features, such as the neon cafe sign you see in the background. Fog machines added further drama. After all of the preparations, the shoot went off without a hitch.


Film Noir

The Thriller Shot

This photo required a lot of foresight, as many aspects that made the final image had to be shot individually and composited in during post production. The car was shot separately and lit using a large wall of white diffusion. The trees, fog, and the light in the window of the house were all added in post.



The Action Shoot

This shoot also required a lot of post production to create the final image. The cars were shot separately, as well as the actor jumping, who was actually suspended from ropes in the safety of a closed parking lot. The buildings, helicopter, and background elements were shot individually and added into the final image.

The Action Shot


For some of the shots Hill also used an inexpensive Sony HD video camera to broadcast a live view of the scene. This assisted with lighting and eliminated the need for taking test shots all day. This was a good piece of insight that could be applied to many different photo shoots.

“In the end it was a crazy month of production that resulted in four very different but fun images. I’m so lucky to be able to do car ads that are so far from the norm.” –Dave Hill

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One response to “How Some Amazing Composite Photography Was Done for the Fiat Car Brand”

  1. Andy says:

    Who is this “Hall” fellow the writer keeps referring to?

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