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Old 01-09-2010, 10:37 AM   #1
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When starting out, don't get frustrated comparing your work to pix on the 'net

I don't know if anybody else starting out has gotten frustrated when starting out. I know I did back when I started. I actually made a post in another thread about this. However yesterday, I got a new car to work on. In person it's just amazingly swirled out and looks pretty crappy. The car is nasty dirty that you can write your name in the dirt.

I snapped some pix trying to capture the problems. (If you'll notice in another one of my threads I'm still learning how to take high quality pix and my T1i isn't here just yet.)

Anyway, after looking at the pix, some of the pix look like the car has actually been detailed but in person, from where I took the pix, it looks really bad.

With that I wanted to post these for others starting out as proof of don't always believe what you see in a picture.

Here's a pix of the shady side of the car and it is nasty. I'm just amazed that the dirt & swirls don't show up in the pix.



Ok, here is a shot on the sunny side. I got up close and thought, this will really show how dirty and swirled the paint is.



It really doesn't. If you look you at the right side of the picture you can make out some swirls. But the entire door is pretty bad and couldn't believe they didn't show up in this shot as it was one of the better angles to my eyes.

Here is a rear shot I thought would also show swirls on the rear. I should have gotten closer but also in this picture, look at the bumper under the trunk and you can start to see how dirty the car is.



Two more pix that show how dirty the car is.





Finally here are pix that actually start showing some of the swirls. But the pix still don't do justice to how bad they look in person.







By just washing and clay barring & waxing this car you can make the pix look like you spent 15 hours on it in a picture.

Hope this helps somebody like myself when they are starting and help them not "polish the paint off their car" trying to get it to look in person like some of the pix you'll see.

Last edited by frosty; 01-09-2010 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:09 PM   #2
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Re: When starting out, don't get frustrated comparing your work to pix on the 'net

Very good advice, as always, Frosty. I KNOW I'll probably fall into that trap since I'm a newbie. I just hope I can get somewhat of good results with my first time using my Flex on my 1999 camry (if the doggone weather ever warms up!). I am a member of autopia's forum as well, and here is a pic that I WISH I could get my car to look like:



It's taken by an awesome detailer named Scottwax on the forums. WOW! I wish I could achieve this look! But, like you said, you just never know with pics how the surface was really treated and such. This guy obviously has LOTS of experience to get this kind of finish. I drool over this pic, and I hope to get close to those results, but it's not always feasible...
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:44 PM   #3
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Re: When starting out, don't get frustrated comparing your work to pix on the 'net

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Very good advice, as always, Frosty. I KNOW I'll probably fall into that trap since I'm a newbie. I just hope I can get somewhat of good results with my first time using my Flex on my 1999 camry (if the doggone weather ever warms up!). I am a member of autopia's forum as well, and here is a pic that I WISH I could get my car to look like:



It's taken by an awesome detailer named Scottwax on the forums. WOW! I wish I could achieve this look! But, like you said, you just never know with pics how the surface was really treated and such. This guy obviously has LOTS of experience to get this kind of finish. I drool over this pic, and I hope to get close to those results, but it's not always feasible...
Frosty did a great job on explaining how things are not always what they really seem.

Now onto this picture by Scottwax, you can make ANYTHING look great in a garage. Now when someone has a straight on shot in the sun and it is defect free or 95% free and has a nice shine then you can go gaga over it, but garage shots you have to take with a grain of salt. Also when looking at pictures you should read the process carefully and that will also tell the story of how well the paint is going to come out.
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:24 PM   #4
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Re: When starting out, don't get frustrated comparing your work to pix on the 'net

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you can make ANYTHING look great in a garage.
You can also get a great reflection shot off of anything if the angle is high enough, especially on dark paint, especially if the background is bright. None of this is to knock Scottwax. He really is good.
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:34 PM   #5
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Re: When starting out, don't get frustrated comparing your work to pix on the 'net

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You can also get a great reflection shot off of anything if the angle is high enough, especially on dark paint, especially if the background is bright. None of this is to knock Scottwax. He really is good.
Agreed on the reflection shot.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:57 PM   #6
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Re: When starting out, don't get frustrated comparing your work to pix on the 'net

I'm interested in this, too. I'm just starting out. Here is a garage shot that took about ten tries. In most of the shots I took the finish looked pretty good. Any tips on how to take good garage shots?
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:40 PM   #7
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Re: When starting out, don't get frustrated comparing your work to pix on the 'net

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Now onto this picture by Scottwax, you can make ANYTHING look great in a garage. Now when someone has a straight on shot in the sun and it is defect free or 95% free and has a nice shine then you can go gaga over it, but garage shots you have to take with a grain of salt. Also when looking at pictures you should read the process carefully and that will also tell the story of how well the paint is going to come out.

Tell it man.....you and I have talked about this so much.... glad to see others are getting hip to be able to tell real correction shots...
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:57 AM   #8
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Re: When starting out, don't get frustrated comparing your work to pix on the 'net

I think a lot of it comes from the camera you use and your skill level. I always hated how I could never seem to portray what a car looks like in person. However, I thought I could take decent pictures with a point and shoot but once I got a basic DSLR over christmas, it was night and day.

Point and Shoot:



DSLR in the same angle and lighting:



Again, P+S:



DSLR:

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Old 01-10-2010, 01:29 AM   #9
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Re: When starting out, don't get frustrated comparing your work to pix on the 'net

Those are nice photos Christian but they look fake with the DSLR, the point and shoot look like they are more true to what you would see in person. Like Jason(Deep Gloss) and I have talked about for sometime now people play with pictures and it is quit obvious when they do. Your last picture in the parking lot looks like it has been photo shoped because around all the edges they look tattered, not smooth. Also you can see you played with the car itself in the pic because the parking lot look is natural. This is to me and others is basically taking pictures of a car in a garage. Plus when pictures are that bright and too crisp they look un-natural.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:29 AM   #10
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Re: When starting out, don't get frustrated comparing your work to pix on the 'net

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Originally Posted by ASPHALT ROCKET View Post
Those are nice photos Christian but they look fake with the DSLR, the point and shoot look like they are more true to what you would see in person. Like Jason(Deep Gloss) and I have talked about for sometime now people play with pictures and it is quit obvious when they do. Your last picture in the parking lot looks like it has been photo shoped because around all the edges they look tattered, not smooth. Also you can see you played with the car itself in the pic because the parking lot look is natural. This is to me and others is basically taking pictures of a car in a garage. Plus when pictures are that bright and too crisp they look un-natural.
I do not see much post processing but do not understand your tattered edges comment. Where do you see it?

In the both cases, the lighting is not identical. The sun is reflecting more of the paint in the PnS image. I see more exposure and color balance differences but these could have been due to in camera or in post. In the first three, you see more blue on the paint from the sky but not in the last shot.

I think the first picture of the thread shows why most people do not really care about swirls, etc. At 10 ft except in select angles, the car looks good.

As for the forum topic, please note that I assume people post their best work and cars with the best paint. You may not get that sharp reflection from some angles in say a Ford Fusion that has significant orange peel -- like some do.

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