Dom Romney on the Road
We’ve looked at the exciting work of Dom Romney previously. It seems like his love of American cars remains undaunted. Here’s some very cool behind-the-scenes photos which accompany Dom’s story of how he got the final shot, in his own words.
This technique is fairly unusual. What you do is mount the camera to the car, roll the car along the road, and then—when it’s moving—trigger the camera with a long exposure to give the concept of moving with speed.
To create the illusion of speed is difficult. When I shoot, it’s normally just me and a driver. I have to push the car, so I use the PocketWizard to fire the camera while I’m busy pushing. Below is the unedited picture showing the rig, and also me pushing, to give a better idea of how its done.
Shooting cars can be quite tricky. They are, by there very nature, designed to move, yet you are quite limited when it comes to shooting a moving car and showing movement. You can pan as the car passes, however this can often leave the viewer feeling removed, as if the car is passing them rather than them actually traveling and being with the car.
You can shoot what we call “car-to-car,” where you hang out of one car and shoot the other. This gets you moving with the car you’re shooting, but it’s limiting to the angles you can shoot. Additionally, because the car and camera are moving separately, getting sharp images at very slow shutter speeds is tricky.
This is where a car rig comes into play. It allows you to move the car with the camera, keeping the car sharp, while also giving you the opportunity to place the camera in places you couldn’t get to with a car-to-car setup.
Car rigs have been around since the mid 90’s but it’s only recently that advancements in composite technologies have brought rig photography out of the realms of high-end commercial photography and opened it up to the entire market.
The rig is 7 meters long in total, and is an off-the-shelf product produced by U.K. company Car Camera Rig. We then mount a Canon 5d Mark II to the end of the boom with a stack of ND filters and a polariser to keep the ambient light down. A PocketWizard FlexTT5® is used to fire the camera while I hold a MiniTT1® for triggering.
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