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Nissan

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2016 Nissan LEAF

Not much has changed on the outside for the 2016 Nissan Leaf but Nissan says that the electric car will be getting a new, larger battery option and a step up to what it claims is best-in-class range. I had the opportunity pop up several months ago to shoot the 2016 Nissan LEAF. The LEAF was the first mass-produced electric vehicle in the world. I wanted to challenge myself so I decided to use a technique called light painting. Light painting is a technique where you place the car in it's spot and then use a strobe light to paint each part of the car, one shot at a time, and then blend them all together into one amazing image using Photoshop.

So the image you see above is twenty seven (yes, I said 27) different layers (images) blended into one image. First, I shot the image at an average exposure setting. From there, I shot images using a 1K strobe with a six foot strip box to expose small sections of the car and background until I had everything I need to complete the final composite image. The last image was a thirty second exposure of the sky. The sky was not shot at the same location, I used an image of the sky I had shot about a year prior at a different location.

You can see how I used the strip box to light the car in the image above. Basically, I walked the entire car and kept clicking the shutter every two seconds as I walked.

Once in Photoshop, I brought in each image as a new layer. Created an inverted layer mask and painted in whatever section of the car I was working on at the time. Once I had the entire car painted in I moved to the background and used the same workflow.

This was definitely an interesting project. The LEAF is the ultimate high-tech product. I love high-tech toys so it certainly was a pleasure working on this project.

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PROJECT TITAN - Wounded Warriors Project Truck

Nissan North America contacted me a few months ago and asked if I'd like to shoot some product shots of a heavily modified Nissan Titan they were going to use to send wounded warriors on adventures within Alaska. The request came in on a Wednesday. The challenge was that the truck needed to leave the following Monday for Alaska. That is an extremely compressed time frame to plan and execute a product shoot of this size. I told them that I was all-in for the project.

Automotive Photographer John Murphy Project Titan

I remember hanging up the phone and immediately calling the folks at Vulcan Materials in Franklin, TN. Kevin McCarty answered the phone. I told him about the project and asked him if I could shoot the truck at their rock quarry in Franklin. He jumped into action. This was not a simple request. Rock quarries are heavily regulated by the government and have some of the strictest safety guidelines you'll ever encounter for a photography location. Kevin was a true warrior in the way that he was able to (a) convince his management team to allow us to do it, and (b) convince the government regulators that it could be done safely. In my opinion, Kevin worked a miracle. He called me back in the late afternoon the following day and told me that he was able to work it out. He only had one request. He wanted to be able to bring their veterans down to the shoot location to see the truck. I said no problem, let's do it. I told him that I would even shoot some pictures of Vulcan's veterans with the truck for their internal news magazine.

Looking back on the project, there was no better location for this truck. This thing was a beast. When I pulled into the quarry there were rocks the size of houses. It was the perfect location for the shoot.

Automotive Photographer John Murphy Project Titan

As you can see from the photos, this was a spectacular location. One of the constant challenges during the shoot was trying to keep the truck clean. At the very end, we didn't even try to clean, we just shot it dirty. And, wow - it looked good dirty!

This was an amazing project to work on. One of the best moments of the day was when the veterans that work for Vulcan joined us at one of the locations to look at the truck. They were so happy to be a part of this project. I really enjoyed getting to meet them and hear their stories.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this shoot a huge success. The folks at Vulcan Material really went the extra mile to make this happen, and I couldn't have asked to work with a better group of guys.

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