Taking Better Photographs of Cars
For anyone who can appreciate the engineering behind a well manufactured car would most likely agree that a majority of photos they take of vehicles does not do it justice. There is always room for improvement and taking photos of cars as the subject do deserve to be the hero of any car photograph.
Like any photograph, it should tell a story, captivate and provide an opportunity for the viewer to learn something about what they are looking at. Cars are a beautiful creation that not only helps us get from one place to another, they are also wonderful to look at. Each has their own element that draws in attention and desire to showcase. Let’s discover some basic guidelines to help create photographs to truly present what is there to be appreciated and that is the car itself.
Shoot at the Right Time
There is a huge difference on how good the photograph will turn out based on the time of the day you are shooting. What most people tend to do is shoot photographs at a time that is convenient for them, maybe during midday after a glamorous car wash when the car is free from dust. This might sound ideal however it is a common mistake when shooting cars. Typically as a general rule, the best time of the day will be just before sunrise or just after sunset when glare is at the lowest and the soft light glimmers across the paint.
The Car Colour Makes a Difference
Observe the paint on cars and how they react with different light. Automotive paint technology have come a long way in the last 20 years, there are all types of paint available from metallic to matte and flat. Although most automotive paint prefers indirect sunlight, some paint colours actually strive in direct sunlight.
Use Reflections to Your Advantage
Take a good look around your surroundings and see what reflects off the cars surface. A polished car can be like a mirror so you don’t want to have any unsightly reflections in the cars photograph. Find an open are like a grass field and use a tripod and set the timer to prevent you reflection being captured on the cars paint surface. Avoid buildings and trees behind the camera as the reflection can also be captured which is not ideal. An open space behind you is perfect to capture the reflection of the horizon on the cars surface.
Choose a Background to Suit
Choose a background that compliments the car and look out for anything that draws the attention away from the car. The focus is on the car here so keep it simple; avoid power lines, houses, people and other cars in the photograph.
By following these simple guidelines, automotive photographs can be enhanced to reflect a better quality image. Take the time to know what works and don’t be afraid to experiment with different landscapes and lighting.