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Car MagOnce, when I was training to be a mechanic, a lot of my youth was spent in, under and around cars. Numerous project cars (and bikes), its no surprise I brought the monthly car mags. Reading over tips, projects and general car stuff, I never really used them as inspiration for my own projects, but enjoyed them none the less.

One thing I always liked in the photos they featured in magazines like Fast Fours and Rotaries, or Performance Car was the shot of a car with the ‘see through bonnet ‘ (or hood for you alternate naming lot). Seeing the lines of the car, but also that beautifully detailed engine always made for a interesting and technical looking photo.

Years later after my transition from film to digital I had a play around in Photoshop and learnt how easy (and quick) it is to make a basic copy of this.

I’ve been trying to finish off a film these last few days, so short on recent images, I quickly caught the last of todays light to shoot my ‘performance car’.

Sony Nex and 16mm lens on a tripod I positioned the camera to where I wanted the shot. First I took a frame of the car with the bonnet closed. I then opened the hood and took a shot, still in the same fixed place on the tripod. Being a little dark I adjusted exposure and essentially took an over exposed image to get a little more engine bay detail.

Back inside I opened Gimp (Photoshop will do the same, but as discussed in the past, I generally favour Gimp to use). Discarding that first shot with the hood opened, I pasted the shot of the car with hood closed over the shot with over exposed hood open. I then selected the bonnet and reduced opacity to a level that we can still see the bonnet lines, but can also start to see ‘whats under the hood’ (nothing powerful I’m afraid).

So there we go. How to make a quick and simple version of the performance car shoot…with a economy focused car 🙂

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