To do "beauty shots" of automobiles is a highly specialized, complicated lighting set up. It is also almost impossible to describe. You have to be there to appreciate its nuances and tricks. It is something like photographing homes ala Architectural Digest.

To do bad photographs of cars, although I'm not sure why you'd want to, you could simply use strobes with softboxes. Obviously where you position the lights depends on where on the car you are shooting. If from your description, your are trying to emphasize "scratches and dings' they you position the light where the show up the most. Professional strobes have "modeling lights" on them that show the light pattern of what the light will look like when the strobe is fired.

It sounds like you need to hire a professional at least at first, and watch what he does. Then perhaps you can buy some equipment and try to duplicate it.

If you are a novice it will not be easy, and a description on a website will not be of too much help.


Michael McBlane