Professional Car Photography – Side View | Post-Production

In this detailed post-production class, Karl shares his retouching and editing techniques for car photography as he works on the side-view shot of a Mercedes AMG GT sports car.

As part of this retouch, you’ll see how Karl layers the different images from the shoot before applying some basic burn and dodge to adjust the contrast on the body of the car.

Next, he works on extending the black background, sharing some tips for achieving believable results when adding a new background in Photoshop, adding a stock photo for the floor, and creating a realistic shadow under the car and reflection on the floor to ground the car.

To add an extra creative element, Karl then works on adding a sense of movement to the image by adding motion to the floor, the car, and the wheels using various blur filters such as Path Blur and Radial Blur.

Additionally, you’ll also see standard retouching techniques like removing reflections, burning and dodging, and overall contrast adjustments.

Class objectives:

  • Car photography retouching
  • Creating black backgrounds & adding a new background in Photoshop
  • Adding motion to still images
  • Removing reflections
  • Adding a natural shadow under and object
  • Creating product reflections in photoshop

To see how this image was shot, you can watch the full shoot here.

A further example of how to retouch cars can be seen in our ‘Car Photography Retouching’ class. If you’d like to learn more about any of the tools used in these retouching tutorials please visit our post-production section.

If you have any questions about this class please post in the comment section below.


  1. I hope you could do more photography of car’s light painting, for example, take more pictures of cars.
    As a 3D worker, your light painting methord is good references for 3D lighting.

  2. Lagadouro

    The only thing that would have done differently is to create 3 different layers on the wheels, one cutting out the wheel only, the other with the brake caliper and the other with the brake disc. This way you could blur separately and keep the calipers sharp. I saw a photograph of Tim Wallace in which it seemed to me that they were lifting the car to rotate the wheel manually and create the blur effect on the camera. Even so, a very interesting lesson on how to have a completely black or a distracting background affects the perception of light in the car. As always, thanks for sharing. Best teaching platform ever

    1. Hi Luis, thank you. I’m going to work up a new version of with the brake callipers static as a few people have mentioned my error on that!

Leave a Comment