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Titans of the Night in Moscow
Russia – Moscow-based automotive photography specialist Denis Minchenkov used eight Astera Titan Tubes to enhance fine details like colour, shape and texture and intensify the drama and ambience for a night-time photo-shoot featuring an Audi Q8 SUV for auto tune-up company MTR Design.
MTR Design’s tune-up body kit underlines the stylish Q8 factory design with subtle changes. Made of ABS plastic, it gives the front apron a large spoiler while the rear bumper is elegantly emphasised with a diffuser-look attachment. A carbon spoiler lip for the tailgate can also have – on request – matching tailpipes for the rear recesses.
Vehicle photography is a crowded and highly competitive market even for an expert like Denis, and the trick is for your images to stand out from the millions of others (professional and otherwise) that swamp the internet, especially on social media platforms like Instagram, where users voraciously and constantly consume a daily diet of vibrant visual art.
That quest to capture vivid colours, glistening reflections and the richness of the dark, stark and deliberately wet floored environment of a low-ceilinged parking garage beneath an office block saw Denis choose Titan Tubes for his primary light source, having used the Astera products extensively in his work over the last couple of years.
He is always seeking to find new, different and more innovative looks for car shoots other that the ‘standard 2020’ daylight photo fashion and, inspired by the action-adventure environment of video games like Cyberpunk for this one, he wanted to create something “more intricate and tantalising” than could simply be captured by a camera on a tripod.
This shoot with MTR Design, one of his regular clients, provided the perfect opportunity.
Night shoots require careful positioning and high-quality light sources, so with eight separate multi-functional Titan Tubes at his disposal, Denis was already in a different league than working with traditional night photography tools like flash or a single source LED stick.
He positioned the Titan Tubes around the car, some hung from the ceiling of the parking garage on catenary wires and others on the floor on stands.
The Asteras were all run wirelessly and controlled using the IR remote which was a perfect solution.
Elements like the colours were worked out in advance, inspired by Cyberpunk and some retro themes. The light grey of the car body and the greyscale environment of the parking lot with the water-filled concrete floor were ideal for extracting the rich shades of blue and purple that shimmered so beautifully, subtly and yet dramatically on the car’s body.
As soon as the initial position of the Astera’s was completed and they delivered the first test shots, everyone was impressed, from Denis to the client and everyone on the crew.
Generally, Denis works with quality light sources that give him a good and stable colour temperature range of whites and no flicker, so an Astera system ticks all those boxes and offers the flexibility of synchronising multiple light sources like this.
“The IR remote control means I can shift the setting of the whole shoot in a matter of seconds,” he declared, adding that the light weight of the Titan Tubes plus the array of practical rigging and mounting solutions that come within the box mean they are ultimately deployable anywhere! “I can think of so many ways to combine these lights together and get even more creative,” he commented.
The Titan Tubes were supplied by Zoom Prokat Company.
Denis first encountered Astera Titan Tubes during a night shoot for Porsche, when the Astera’s were suggested by a colleague as additional lighting for some specific projection effects they wanted to capture on the car’s body.
He’s not looked back since!
Titan Tubes are now a regular on his projects. He also uses the original Astera AX1 LED pixel tube and is starting to integrate the newest two metre long Hyperion Tube into his work which he’s finding, combined with Titan Tubes to be great for creating ‘Tokyo nights’ and other lively and dynamic vehicle backgrounds at night and in the dark.
photos: Denis Minchenkov
6th November 2020
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