Amazing Behind-The-Scene: Automotive Photography on Location and Post Production

One of the most complicated and at the same time interesting photography jobs is shooting cars on location. Therefore when we got a project with a goal of shooting a black horse surrounded by luxury cars in an underground parking we realized that it’s going to be the one of the most exiting projects in the year 2014.

Final image


Approach to phototgraphy

First of all we looked around in order to choose a composition of the image and understand if we can partly use parking natural light.

There were two different approaches to the shooting:

1. Set a lighting scheme for the whole thing and take two pictures: parking with cars and the horse alone with no cars around. 
2. Take pictures of every component of the future image separately and compose them on post production.

We decided to go the second way for these reasons:

In order to create a lighting scheme for the whole composition we’d need a lot of lighting equipment and some of it would be seen on photos and we’d have to get rid of it on retouching. 

There would be lots of undesirable reflexes on cars. Post production would become a nightmare. 

In general the second way would give more lighting options which will guarantee a great flexibility on a post production. 

As for the composition we decided to choose a location by the wall in order to have a clean background. 

At the beginning we put cars on their places and took some test pictures with natural location light in order to get an idea of light distribution.


After that we separately shot every car. One light was turned to a ceilling and a the second light was used for lighting different parts of the cars. By the end of the day we had around one hundred images for every car. 

Rolls Royce






Then was the horse’s turn. By that time he was tired and wasn’t really exciting about the photo shoot and it turned out the horse are really alike any other model. We’ve talked to him, explained that it’s not for long and finally got him to stand on the right spot in the right pose. 
One of the lights lit the ceiling and backed up natural light while few other lights were used for lighting details.


At the end we took a picture of the empty parking in order to have a clean background for post production.


Real ceiling didn’t look great but had a huge part in the composition so we build another ceiling in 3D software, rendered it and used instead of the real one. 

Final result


BTS video

Photography: Max Plotnikov, Alexandra Leroy
Post production: Max Plotnikov, Ilya Plotnikov

The Making Of: Advertisement Nescafe Advertising Photoshoot

Steam and smoke is a way less popular theme in advertising than splash but equally interesting. This is a short behind-the-scene from one of photography advertisement jobs we had in past for one of our clients. We made it for you to inspire and show a little bit of the creation process of Nescafe coffee, Enjoy!

Final image


1. Advertising photography concept

The idea was to create a coffee bean made out of steam went from a coffee cup.


2. Product photography

The image supposed to to be used in a variety of formats so we decided to shoot every part of the composition separately. That would allow us to compose object for all vertical and horizontal formats. Coffee jar had several absolutely different materials within itself: glass, plastic, glossy metallic paper and coffee granules. It was essential to make sure every of those parts would look the best of possible. Sometimes it make sense to set a lighting scheme for every part of the object and compose them in Photoshop.

As for the cup the only complexity was to take a few shots with different shape of coffee foam just to be sure there will be a choice.


3. Special Effects

For creating a nice steam we used Condor Foto special effect. There are two separate liquids that produces smoke while being put close to each other.

4. The final retouching of a composite image

Then we had to compose all elements together.


When the composition Was done we made final color correction.


Animated product photo retouching process.


Agency: McCann
Photography and post production: Ilya Plotnikov, Max Plotnikov

Advertising product photography Behind-The-Scene: Creating Aqua Minerale. Product photography Los Angeles.

This is an example of how we completed one of our commercial assignments. We decided to share the workflow with our readers and highlighted each major step we went through during this commercial photography job.

Splashes is a very interesting theme that have a huge attention among photographers, clients and viewers. One of our first projects was Aqua Minerale advertising with a splash around the bottle.

Final image

1. Advertising photography concept

The idea was to build water splashes grown from the bottle and support a new bottle design.


2. The Bottle and Drops product photography

The client wasn’t sure about water drops on the bottle so it was decided to create two images: with drops and without. There were also two options of water drops: perfectly round put one by one on the bottle and more natural. We started with the clean bottle. After the photo shoot we got rid of some unnecessary refraction and the bottle was ready.

The client wasn’t sure about water drops on the bottle so it was decided to create two images: with drops and without. There were also two options of water drops: perfectly round put one by one on the bottle and more natural. We started with the clean bottle. After the photo shoot we got rid of some unnecessary refraction and the bottle was ready.


The next part was to place natural water drops on the bottle. We used Condor Foto “Dew Effect”.


3. Water Splashes photography

Since the bottle shape was lost under the drops while the main idea of the advertising was based on it we chose the clean bottle with no drops. Having a approved sketch and understanding of what kind of water splashes we’re going to need we started with water splashes photos. Since we needed flat and wide splashes we used wide and not very deep cups.

Separate drops looked the best when we used hands instead of tableware.


4. Post-production, photography retoching

After we made sure we’ve got enough material we started a post production and created the first sketch.

After some comments and final approval of the splashes shapes the long and laborious process has been started. The most complicated part is that you should be ready that you could receive comments from Art Director and a client till the very end although it’s getting more and more complicated to make changes with finalizing an image. During the post production process you most likely have to change the initially approved shapes some deficiency in a sketch may look alright but doesn’t work for the final image. An advertising could be printed in huge sizes and it’s essential that every pixel of the image is on its place.

Animated product photo retouching process.


Client: PepsiCo
Agency: Mojo

The Making Of: Lipton Ice Tea AD, or How Product Photography Meets CGI

One of the most common reasons of using CGI in advertising photography is that the actual product is not yet on the market, therefore it’s simply impossible to photograph it. It was this particular case of why we’ve used 3D in Lipton project to create a product that was about to be released to the market. 

Final image


Advertising photography concept

The project as usual was started from an Art Director’s sketch.


Since the goal was to create a realistic and beautiful image at the same time with possibility of controlling every single detail according to Art Director and the client’s comments we declined an idea of putting the teapot in a real piece of ice. Instead we made some cubes of real ice and grew an ice cube form a special effect of Condor Foto. Special effect looks like an inch size jelly cube. Then you’d need to put it under water for about 5-7 days and finally you get a beautiful transparent jelly cube with 6 inches side.

Product photography

The first part was to shoot the teapot its different parts through a piece of ice. We took a series of shots and got enough material for post production.


After we made sure we’ve got enough material we continued with the jelly cube. The biggest advantage is that you can give it any shape you want by using a knife.


Retouching of product photography

Now it’s time for retouching. The easiest part it to make sure the teapot photography looks good. Working on ice was a way more complicated job.


3D Visualisation of the Product

Since the product wasn’t released to the market yet we had to build a 3D model of the beverage. The client provided us with layouts and label designs in vector format that we used to create the product.


Client: Lipton
Agency: 3sba