February 26, 2018

BTS: Big Product in a Bad Location

Client: Consolidated Chassis Management, LLC
Marketing Director: Nicole Hassell



Nicole and I had worked together on a number of photo and video projects for a couple of different brands over the years.  She eventually landed a spot at Consolidated Chassis Management, LLC which manages a pool of approximately 130,000 trucking chassis at over 300 locations nationwide.  And when a brand new chassis made it’s way to their parking lot in Northern New Jersey they jumped at the opportunity to have it photographed.

Nicole emailed me on a Monday afternoon to let me know what they were looking for and that the chassis would only be on site till Wednesday of that week.  This picture was attached:

Her email closed with: “…we do not have the ability to move it – and there is a road in the background. I’m interested to see if you think its feasible to do…”  When I was done cringing I replied, letting her know that it was not the most ideal location but that I could definitely make something work.

Setting The Scene:

I knew going into this shoot that the final product would be a composite of multiple images with A LOT of retouching.  The chassis was brand new but had been driven in so there was already a bunch of grease and a bit of road rash on the metal.  Not to mention the cracked asphalt, white chain fence, street lights and cars constantly passing by in the background.  Oh and I almost forgot to mention it was late morning when we did the shoot so there was some harsh lighting to overcome.  Okay enough bitching – you get it – there were some obstacles.  The camera was locked down on a tripod and I did a quick bracketed sequence with the natural light as a baseline before busting out a pair of Profoto B1’s.  I shot a series of 8 images moving the bare bulb B1’s around the chassis to light key areas.

After all the images were captured it was back to the studio to piece it all together.  Everything was processed in Capture One and .psd’s were exported to photoshop for compositing. I had a clean asphalt parking lot from another shoot so I added that into the mix as well.  A bit of  masking,  blending and massaging the images led to the final product.

Here’s an animated gif of of the 18 layers being stacked in Photoshop.

The final image was cropped to a 2:1 ratio to remove more of the parking lot and trees and draw more attention to the chassis itself.


Tech Notes:






  • Mike February 27, 2018

    Love the gif showing the step by step.

  • Guru March 3, 2018

    Super sweet!

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