Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

Here’s a quick explanation showing how I created the photo shoot of that gorgeous Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3. Here’s a wide shot of the diorama:

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This car won the Targa Florio in 1971 so I wanted to convey the rugged terrain of Sicily. I figured my generic mountain road diorama would work as a start, then as I played around with the positioning and camera angles I realized I needed a suitable background. I had a backdrop of Tuscany already, and although it’s a little lush for Sicily - close enough!

So here’s the initial shot I chose, nice and crisp. I’m not thrilled with the lighting but too late now.

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Illustration for article titled Behind the scenes

Now, here’s how the magic happens: I cheat. I use an old app called AfterFocus. It’s free, and hasn’t been updated in a couple of years, but there are lots of other blurring apps out there. Basically you scribble over the parts of the image you don’t want to blur, like this:

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After the first pass of the motion blur the image looked like this. The car is in focus while the road and background have a nice sense of motion.

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But the wheels! Too sharp! I re-import the image back into AfterFocus and scribble over everything but the wheels, making them look like a race car finally.

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At this point I was almost satisfied with the image but something just didn’t seem right. It just didn’t look like an image that would result from a 1970s photographer trying to capture an Alfa screaming by, driven by one of the premier Sicilian drivers of all time, Nino Vaccarella. So one more pass in AfterFocus to very subtly blur the entire picture and I finally had it!

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