Project 52

Assignment 33 - Speed

Realizing that due to an upcoming vacation I needed to get ahead of the assignments, I frantically jumped into the final conceptual brief, "speed."  The image was to be used in billboards and magazine ads for a local motorcycle and bicycle delivery company.  I quickly assessed the time available against the "props" I was looking for and realized I didn't have an Olympic runner, a bicyclist or a motorcycle owner handy.  So, tabletop photography it is.

I dug out some Hot Wheels cars from our niece and nephew's toy bins, and determined that while I could practice with the ones I found, they were a bit too "loved" to use in a photo for the assignment.  Before running to the dollar store, I brainstormed a few more ideas and thought I'd buy a pinwheel, i.e., the concept of "faster than the wind" and maybe some dominoes.

To show "speed," I wanted to get streaks showing up behind the car.  In order to do this, you need enough natural light in the image to show the streaks before the flash, set on rear curtain sync, flashes to give you a crisp car.  After about 50 attempts to release the car in time for it all to work out and not having any luck, I decided to tie the cars to fishing line and lower them slowly down the incline.  I shot each car being lowered independently and blended them all together in Photoshop.  All I had to do was to edit out the fishing line, which was a quick process. Here is the resulting image; does it say "Speed" to you?

I wrote a tutorial on the creating of this image, and it was published at for any photographers who want more details.  I've also included the behind the scenes image at the end of the post.

Next week's assignment is to create a "period piece" from the 1920's, 1940's, 1950's or 1960's.  The ideas are coming fast and furious, but the key will be having time to execute the shoot since we leave for vacation before it is due and Easter sits between now and then too.  We'll see what I can coordinate!