It’s pretty amazing what you can do with a cheap LED and a DSLR. Last weekend a friend visited and brought this beastly yellow machine, of course I couldn’t help but break out the tripod and snap a few shots.

Using my trust Sony A7 with the kit 28-70mm lens, I was able to produce some pretty spectacular images without a ton of work. To be honest, it’s mostly trial and error, with just a little bit of strategy (beer) sprinkled in throughout.

Sure, you could go out and spend 10 grand on Profoto B1 strobes and expensive lenses or camera bodies, but when you can produce images like this with almost any DSLR and a $20 LED from a gas station, why the hell not?

Basic Steps:

  1. camera goes on tripod
  2. ISO 100 for least amount of “noise” or “grain” in the image
  3. set exposure long enough to light the car (I used between 6 and 15 sec exposures for these)
  4. have a friend hit the shutter for you so you can light the car as soon as exposure begins
  5. keep the light on the car, experiment with how far away from the car you hold the light
  6. move as smoothly as possible while lighting as much or as little of the car as you please
  7. review your results and adjust your technique


It will take multiple tries, and of the handful of images I posted here, I had at least 10 throw-aways of each. Don’t expect to get perfect results on the first go, but you’ll never get anything if you don’t keep trying.

This Z06 is part of the CCC Manhattan fleet, go HERE to find out more about the club.


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