Shooting a magazine cover involves many things, sleep not being one of them. Planning the shot, packing the camera/lighting gear, traveling to the location, spending hours on end moving cars around, tweaking lighting and camera angles, and let us not forget the time spent retouching after the shoot is over. Here is an animated gif of one of my recent cover shots for RIDES Magazine which walks you through the 56 layer image build process leading to the final result.
The Ford Explorer packed full of camera and lighting equipment.
My assistant for the day, Mr. William Stern, aka the Beard, helped move all the cars into position while I looked on through the camera at the top of a 16ft tripod. Once the cars were where we needed them we fired off an ambient lit shot tethered to an iPad and sent the image back to the offices in NY for approval. The Art Director in NY quickly mocked up a cover with the image to see if everything fit and looked right. Once we had the thumbs up, we locked off the camera and shot a series of 56 individual photos. Each photo lit a different part of the car and the images were later assembled in photoshop like a puzzle to create the final cover. Below shows the post processing workflow in a step by step process.
Final RIDES Magazine Cover Tearsheet | © Andrew Link