LEARN HOW TO BE A “MASTER” AT TAKING PHOTOS OF CARS!

silver mercedes benz amg gt coupe parked beside green leaf tree
Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

As we get get closer to finishing the list of 50 Subjects in Photography, the list is Getting more exciting. Even though this article was written for those who have serious photo gear, the smart phone user can certainly learn from this as well. There are a lot of smart phone photographers who take pictures of their car. Car photography can be fun, especially if you are a car enthusiast. Let’s go through this list of help items:

1. Shoot at the right time of day

This is by far the most common mistake people make when shooting cars.

You see, the best time to do car photography is a few minutes after sunset (or a few minutes before sunrise). Use a tripod and get that perfect soft light on the paint.

This photo was taken for Top Gear a few minutes before sunrise:

Car photography BMW M135i

2. Be on the lookout for reflections

You must carefully control what reflects in the car. Have a look around you, then look closely at the car and see what reflects off its surface.

A car (especially a new, shiny one) is like a mirror. So try to have an open space behind you, like a field. Also, try to avoid shooting with buildings or trees in front of the car. One of the most important things you want to show in your car pictures is the design lines of the car. But reflections can spoil these lines very quickly.

Also, be very careful not to include your own reflection in the photo. If you can’t avoid your own reflection, it’s best to put the camera on a tripod, set the timer, and move out of the shot. Just look at this photo I took of a dark shiny BMW 428i (below); behind me was nothing except the horizon. In fact, you can clearly see the horizon reflecting in the car:

Car photography tips BMW428i

3- TAKE DRIVING SHOTS:

One very easy way to get a cool image is to shoot the car out of another moving car. (Please be super careful when doing this!) 

By doing this, you’ll get some nice movement on the road and on the wheels. You can even decrease the shutter speed further, though this will increase your chances of ending up with blurry photos.

This Audi S3 was shot before sunset; it was driving at 70 km/h (43 mph).

Car photography tips S3 driving shot

4- PAY ATTENTION TO THE COLOR OF THE CAR:

All types of paint react differently at different times of the day with different light. Most colors hate direct sunlight, but some colors actually handle direct sunlight really well.

Just look at this baby blue Beetle shot in the middle of the day:

Car photography tips beetle

5- CHOOSE YOUR BACKGROUND CAREFULLY:

Make sure your background suits the car and the theme. Avoid including objects in the background that will distract the eye.

Things like dustbins, power lines, and other cars can kill a picture. For this Aston Martin shot (below), I used a simple background. The yellow paint matches the car’s color:

Car photography aston martin

6- PAN FOR MOTION BLUR

A cool way to get some motion in your car photography is to stand next to the road and let the car drive past you.

Follow the car with your smart phone in one smooth action, and You will be amazed by how easy this is!

Car photography tips ferrari

7- LET THE CAR INTERACT WITH NATURE:

Here’s another way to capture a photo that speaks to you:

Make the car interact with its surroundings.

Examples of this could be a car creating dust or a 4×4 driving over an obstacle. Look at this Chevrolet Trailblazer climbing over a rock:

Car photography tips trailblazer

And this G-Class AMG drifting on loose sand:

Car photography tips G AMG

8- SHOOT AT NIGHT:

Photographing cars at night might sound daunting, but you will be amazed by how easy and awesome it is! The biggest secret here is to find a spot where it’s completely dark; any streetlights or even a full moon could make life tricky.

Once you’ve found the right spot, set up your camera on a tripod. Yes, they make a tripod for smartphones.

When the shutter opens, take a strong constant light source and walk around the car, “painting” it with your light. A normal household flashlight works for this.

There are no rules here. Paint the car in different ways to get different effects, and you will be blown away by the results! Here are some examples of this technique:

Car photography tips Opel Astra
Dodge Charger with the skyline of Detroit City

CONCLUSION:

Car photography may seem difficult, but with these handy tips, you’re well-equipped to take some stunning car photos of your own.

This article written by Desmond Louw for DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL ! For further information go to: https://digital-photography-school.com/

As per these instructions, I took a photo of my sons’ Mustang, and it appears that the guidelines were followed well:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20150529_201510-1499100579434-1024x576.jpg

Published by 123photogo

I have been a photographer for many years. Worked in retail selling cameras and accessories for over 20 years. Taught many photo classes, and have even been a judge in several county fairs. Now, I want to share photo instructions and entertainment with all other photographers around the world.

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