News and Reviews

An introduction to car photography tips

February, 2012

Whether you’re a hobbyist, looking to start a career as a car photographer, or you’re just trying to sell your car in online classifieds, knowing how to take a great photo of a car can be a useful skill to have. We’ve rounded up a few of the best car photography tips around, so you can get snapping away at your favourite set of wheels.

Choose your background setting

To choose the right background for your shots, think about what kind of car you’re photographing. If you’re photographing your beloved Jeep, you may want to think about a summery setting with a beach, lake or other natural setting in the background. On the other hand, if you’ve got a thing for photographing sporty little Volkswagen cars, an inner city landscape may be your best bet. Just be sure to watch out for other cars and traffic while you’re taking your shots.

Pick the right angle

Don’t be afraid to test out different angles until you find the most interesting one. Rather than the standard side-on shot of your car from eye level, try getting down low and shooting your car looking upwards from the ground. Move around the car in a circle while keeping an eye on potential new angles you could shoot from. Keep experimenting til you’ve found a winning combination.

Capture the details

Don’t forget to get up close and personal with your car by capturing all the tiny details that can sometimes be easy to miss from afar. The new hubcaps, the shiny logo on your Chrysler, or the pop-up headlights on your vintage model are all details worthy of being photographed.

Lighting

Most photographers recommend the first few hours of daylight, and the last few hours before sunset as the best times to photograph a car to add a little extra drama. This will also minimise any bright reflections off the windows and windshields. Shooting at night can also produce some dramatic results. Be sure to photograph in a well-lit area, and have a tripod handy to keep things steady.

Look for inspiration

If you’re feeling stuck, don’t forget you can always click through some photography sites for inspiration. We particularly love the German Automobile Photography group on Flickr – it’s full of beautiful and creative car shots.

Further reading

There are plenty of websites that offer great tips on photographing cars, and they offer advice from beginner to professional and everything in between. Check out Photo Tuts Plus for some great basic insights, and Car Photography Tutorials for more advanced tips and tricks.

 

What are your best tips for taking great photos of cars?

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