Last week, I had the opportunity of light painting a Dodge Charger Police Interceptor! I created this light painting for my friend Jim Franzen, the Police Chief for the City of Robbinsdale, Minnesota.
In 2019, I became the photographer for the Robbinsdale Police Department to document all of their staff with individual portraits and the various groups that make up the police department. Last summer, I mentioned to Jim that I could create something pretty unique for them with my ability to create light paintings.
I told Jim that I have light painted many fire trucks, but never a squad car. Well, that was finally about to change.
Two weeks ago, Jim emailed me to say that he will be retiring at the end of the month. I wanted to do something cool and so I asked Jim if I could create a light painting with him and one of their squad cars to help celebrate his retirement. He agreed and a date was set for a few days later.
A 34 Year Career as a Sworn Police Officer
Jim began his law enforcement career in 1986 with the Robbinsdale Police Department. In 1988, Jim went to the Eden Prairie Police Department where he served for the next 20 years, 14 of those years as their patrol supervisor.
Jim returned to Robbinsdale PD in 2008 where he served as a Captain of the agency. In 2014, Jim was promoted to Police Chief for the City of Robbinsdale. Jim oversees a department of 27 sworn officers and 13 support personnel.
Light painting a 2019 Dodge Charger Police Interceptor
This 2019 Dodge Charger Police Interceptor is an all-wheel-drive (AWD) and features a 5.7L HEMI® V8 engine. It delivers 370 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque. It also looks pretty cool light painted!
All-in-all, it took about three hours to set-up and light paint the police station, and the Interceptor. Photographing Jim was the easy part, done well before it even got dark outside.
This set-up required the camera to be set up across the street between two parked cars in order to get the correct angle that included the main police station sign, a nice statue of a child with a police officer, Jim, and of course, the Dodge Charger Police Interceptor.
Jim recruited Community Service Officer Alex Anderson to keep an eye on the camera and tripod so that it didn’t get touched, or more importantly, moved during the light painting. Because if the camera gets moved during a light painting, you get to start over!
We did have several cars and buses drive through some of the shots, but it really did go pretty smoothly. And the finished light painted photographs turned out amazing!
There’s a Movie!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my light painting of a Robbinsdale Police car. As I always do, I’ve created a short video with the images I used in the light painting and “The Build” leading up to the finished images. It’s found at the link below on our YouTube Channel. Thank you for reading our post and have a great one! – M&J