Carrozzeria Carbon BMW M3

Automotive Photography is always tricky. There will come a time when you want to use a spot you know you’ll never get access to. You would either A) Need a rather large budget or B) Giant balls to sneak off a few shots. One way I’ve been able to overcome that issue is to composite a photo into the setting by using previously shot back plates. It’s not ideal, nor a particularly fun way to go about getting the shot you want/need, but sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands and just get it done.

The back plate – Raw.


The back plate – Edited.

Collage of all the different lighting styles and angles I chose to light the car.

The composite result of the car.


Shadow Matching.



Some fine tune adjustments on the car, cloning, airbrushing, color corrections.



Final product, after some more color and contrast adjustments, lighting/flares and more cloning and cleaning.

Automotive Photography Automotive Photographer Carrozzeria Carbon BMW M3


Hopefully now you can see that even though it’s pretty easy to spot and understand that this is a composite, it still takes quite a bit of work to even shoot in the most simple location. We’ll always improve on our flow and ability to make something surreal/real with practice. This is only the first in this set, stay tuned for more image builds in the future.

Thanks for reading!



About the author

Photographer, digital artist, automotive enthusiast, colleague, entrepreneur, mentor: these are all words that describe Josh Mackey. Known worldwide simply by just his surname, Mackey’s roots lie in the automotive enthusiast culture of the Pacific Northwest.

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