Using the sunset to your benefit creates a warm, soft glow on your portrait subjects. Does it work for photographing vehicles? The Slanted Lens shows how to use the sunset to create a stunning portrait with a truck. In this case, the sun sets behind a mountain near Los Angeles, but the advice given here still works with a standard horizon line:
Photographer Jay P. Morgan positioned himself at an incident angle to where the sun sets to capture the sunlight across the side of the truck. The setting of the sun creates a beautiful glow on the side of a car if you correctly position yourself. As the sun breaks the horizon line, it should appear on the side of the car as a reflection.
Set your color balance to match your surroundings. In this case, Morgan set it to Shade. The warmer color balance complements the colors of the sunset and creates atmosphere in the portrait.
Morgan’s first shot was at f/10 and ISO 100 to use the sunlight to his advantage and keep the strong detail in his photos. If you’re using a strobe light to light up your subject, you can place it on the sun’s side so that it appears natural on your subject and the vehicle. However, feel free to change up your angle and lighting position to create a variety of effects until you find the look you are going for.
Throughout this video, Morgan used several pieces of equipment to set the scene and photograph his subject. They included the Tamron 35mm lens, Tamron SP 15-30mm lens and the PhotoFlex Medium Softbox.
If you haven’t tried photographing a portrait with a vehicle at sunset, now you know where to start. So, get out there and try it out!
“It’s all about incident angle and how you get that sun to work for you on the side of the vehicle and then put a little strobe light in to open up his face and clean up the portrait.”
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