Bentley Arnage Studio Photography

March 19th, 2010

Another month, another Ne Plus Ultra detail. Bookings for our flagship detailing service have been growing steadily since its launch back in 2008, and this year we are very pleased to have completed two 150+ hour details already. This time round it was the turn of a four year old solid black Bentley Arnage to receive the Ne Plus Ultra treatment, and it soon proved to be our most testing challenge yet, requiring over 104 hours of paint correction work alone. As per usual, the entire process was photographed and recorded in HD, and at some point in the next couple of months when the spring rush is over we will produce another HD video feature for the blog. However, in the meantime we thought this would be a good opportunity to briefly show off another side of the Ne Plus Ultra service; studio photography.

We should make clear at this point that we are not professional photographers, and do not have any formal training in this area. However, we are keen amateurs and have invested heavily in good quality studio equipment, with a view to offering our customers the option of allowing us more time with their vehicle in order to capture a set of more carefully crafted images. We do not currently charge anything for this service when it is requested as part of a Ne Plus Ultra detail; all we ask is that we are granted full permission to use the captured images for promotional purposes. We are always delighted when customers request this optional extra, as it adds to the sense that the Ne Plus Ultra service is as much a transient form of art as it is a detailing service, and better enables us to capture a moment of perfection in time.

In this particular case, all of the images shown above were taken using a Nikon D300 fitted with a Nikkor AF-S 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens. All of the capturing was done at night in two different locations (our current studio and our new warehouse), and lighting was provided by a number of Interfit INT116 Super Cool-Lite 5 Heads on various stands. Manual metering (both spot and centre weighted) was used throughout, and most of the images were deliberately underexposed by up to two stops in order to throw the backgrounds into darkness as much as possible. Post processing work was conducted in Photoshop, and involved minor levels and curves adjustments to compensate for underexposure, a dash of unsharp mask and, where applicable, the addition of the vignetting and desaturation of strong colours.

Adding professional photography services to our repertoire is something that we are currently looking at for the future in conjunction with Tim Wallace at Ambient Life Photography. Being able to take things much further and capture world class images for our customers is something that we are very keen to offer, and we are excited to say that Tim’s first visit to our studio is now only a couple of months away. Keep your eyes peeled in May for the results!

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2 Responses to “Bentley Arnage Studio Photography”

  1. Peter says:

    Richard, I think it’s always important to highlight the products you have used in your pictures as opposed to giving details about the camera that was taking the pictures. I’m sure most of the people who buy from you would be more interested in trying to create the same magic on their own cars. Regards, Peter.

  2. That’s a fair point and one that we will bear in mind in the future. However, in this case we were trying to draw attention to one of the services we offer (i.e. studio photography) rather than products sales. It’s very easy for us to forget the wider picture sometimes and Polished Bliss isn’t just about product sales, so sometimes it’s nice for us to share other aspects of what we do. The good news is that we have plans to use the Bentley detail again on the blog, either in the form of a write up or another HD video feature – I’ll try to remember to include product references when this is eventually posted.

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