Where: Corner of Powell and Jackson – San Francisco
Between Meeting: After MacWorld
While many like to photograph the Cable Cars in San Francisco, I often find myself shooting the cable car tracks. Tracks with turns create a sense of elegance along with motion where there is no actual movement. Then its all about how to light metal.
While seemingly unintuitive, metal is not directly lit. Instead, an indirect light source via an incident angle lights the metal. In the studio this is be controlled with flats, fill cards and scrims. One of the masters of this craft is Andre LaRoche of Stage 3 where indirect light is used to photograph cars and motorcycles.
When on location the concept is essentially the same, but instead of using a 4 x 8 foot flat to bounce light in at an incident angle, you have to put the sky to work. In this shot I estimated the path of the sun and where the incident angle would make the metal of the tracks gleam. I then waited for the light to slow down and for the Kelvin temperature to drop for that golden color.