New member with a question !

Discussion in 'Welcomes and Introductions' started by FrankieZZ, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. FrankieZZ

    FrankieZZ TPF Noob!

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    Hi ,

    I'm a national automotive journalist from New Hampshire and would like to say hello ! In addition to writing about cars I also " attempt " to photograph cars . Sometimes when it is sunny I get a good shot ( I got lucky at Pebble Beach ), sometimes not .I'm getting conflicting advice - some say don't use a flash , some say do ( that it helps with shadows ). Which one is it ? The outdoor concourse cars almost always are in bright sunlight . BTW , I use a Nikon D40 . Thanks for any help here .

    Frankie:D
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    It's not so much a matter of using flash or not...it's more about understanding the light you have to work with, both ambient and what you can add (flash etc.)

    For example, in bright sunlight, you will often get bright highlights and dark shadows. If that contrast is too great, the camera won't be able to capture detail in both areas. In this case, using something like flash, can really help to 'fill in' the shadow areas.

    Avoiding bright sunlight can be a good idea. Open shade is often great photo any type of photography and an overcast sky can make for very soft, shadowless light.

    Also, where you park the car can make a difference. For example, if it's on a reflective road surface, the light will reflect off of the road and add light to the shadows.

    To really take it up a notch, you can use off-camera lighting (flash etc). This allows you to add light that is dramatic.

    The difficulty is lighting something like a car, is that it's usually quite round and reflective, so any light source you use, will create reflections that you might not want. One trick is to hide the bright reflective spots on a headlight or something. This is done just by altering the position of the camera and the lights.
     
  3. FrankieZZ

    FrankieZZ TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike for all that great advice . I have been reading up on some aspects of car photography . I will most likely use my larger , attached flash , not the built in camera one . One other thing mentioned often is to shoot the car with the camera height level with the bottom of the windshield . Does that really insure a " better " photo ? I have take them at all different positions and angles with half decent results , but haven't tried that . What do you think ? Thanks again for the help and I already enjoy this great site ! Thanks .

    Frankie
     

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