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The Client | History Channel | Counting Cars | Danny “The Count” Koker | Count’s Kustoms
date | 07.30.2014
location | las vegas, nv | Count’s Kustoms
las vegas automotive photographer | john afravi
Assistant | White Rice Photography
las vegas automotive photography
Luck. Preparation. Faith in oneself. Call it what you want, but I landed a great opportunity to work with some cool guys. I remember the day as if it was yesterday. I was on set at a photoshoot, photographing some awesome cars for World Wide Classic Autos, when I received a phone call from James with the History Channel. At first I was in disbelief. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. James explained the situation. Counting Cars wanted to do a calendar photoshoot with 12 of their best cars/trucks! I was just blown away at the opportunity.
Fast forward to the following week and there we were….shooting. We hashed it out with the team from the History Channel to gather all details and discuss logistics of the shoot. After locking down the concept of the final product, we began. This would involve 2 days of shooting….or so we thought! The first day was a group photo with all of their cars and the cast members of the hit show, “Counting Cars”. Day 1 involved a whole lotta waiting around as the location we were shooting in was not ideal for the midday sun, so it was a treacherous battle of patience waiting the day out to get that nice even sunset light.
Rewind to a little earlier in the day. We had a couple major setbacks. I had brought 3 studio strobes with me. 1 of which had burnt out on set just as I was starting to shoot! Bummer. Strobe 2 was a victim of a horrendous dust devil. This devil was literally summoned from the gates of hell with the sole intent and purpose to grab a hold of my light stand and slam my strobe to the pavement. It was literally in pieces from the violent ground and pound! That devil snuck in to the shoot like a Commando, completed its mission, and was gone within a blink of an eye! So the reality of that matter was…..I was down to 1 strobe. Not good.
I had to think quick and bring resolve to the situation. We haven’t even began shooting, and I was already down two strobes! How does that happen! Nothing I could do about it now. Time to plan and react to this setback. I decided to change up the game plan. I turned to my trusty speedlights. Using my remaining studio strobe as a kicker while the speedlight became my key light. I have never loved my speedlights until that day. They certainly saved the day! Here’s a shot from day 1. DAY 1 turned out to be a success!!
So day 2 rolls around. On this day, we’re shooting 14 vehicles in a studio on a green screen. The plan is to composite the cars into different backgrounds. This was a really cool experience, and I even got on to TV!! See the clip to the actual photoshoot with THE COUNT BELOW!!!
I’ve never shot on a green screen before, as that’s something used for video compositing. The problem with photographing cars on a green screen is that you get a green cast on to the cars paint. This was a bit of a challenge to remove. Especially for one particular car. The Lincoln. But in the end and with some creative thinking to resolve this, everything came out looking great.
The shoot started at noon, and we didn’t leave until after 3am the next day! A hell of a shoot! But we definitely cranked out some hot frames! Stay tuned and be on the lookout for the calendar to come out for the 2015 year! Here are a couple samples to hold you guys over!