Today I did a short tour up to Lynn, Marblehead, Salem. I stopped at Revere Beach for a stroll along the water. On the way back to my car I noticed the strong light that hit the vehicle. With the beach in the background and no other cars around it almost looked like a commercial setting. The contrast was strong, almost too harsh for any controllable lighting. I took a shot with my Phase One camera, which resulted in a very plain, greenish looking image. It was necessary to underexpose a bit to preserve the highlights of the image. It is easier to push the darker tones and to extract more detail out of them. Usually I am not that successful with the high tones. Once imported into Lightroom I toned it with Creative color: cold tone. It gives the image a very bluish cast. A bit too bluish for my taste. With the Recovery slider I managed to saved some of the highlight details in the reflection. Make sure to press the Option key while you do this to see the blown-out indicator. With a bit of Fill Light I softened the contrast in the darker tones. Next step is to desaturate the image a bit more to reduce the blue tint. Done. Now it almost looks like a VW commercial shot. Once you crop it and place the original commercial text underneath it starts to be convincing. At a closer look you will notice the warped license plate, the parking permit stickers, and the dents on the side. For a real shot you would get a new car, park it in one parking spot and not in between two, get reflectors, models, rain machines, balloons, catering, Darth Vader, days of photoshopping, and charge a $100k. But with the right lighting and some tweaking in Lightroom you can get a fairly good result without much effort. Key is to shoot RAW and to make sure you capture all information in the shadow and highlights. Personally I like the cold tone of the shot. Almost black&white, still a color photo. Works well for contemporary, cool settings. D!RK PS: This is not an official VW commercial shot. Just a quick snap on the beach.