Automotive Photography Guidelines for Dummies

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by Xmetal, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. Xmetal

    Xmetal TPF Noob!

    Nov 22, 2004
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    Newcastle, Australia
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    This is just a small write-up I did for a friend who was struggling to understand the basics of Automotive Photography and since i'm such a nice person I though i'd share it with you guys. :)


    1. Shooting on Sand, Gravel or Grass - Don't do it, Shoot on Concrete, Hot mix or Bitumen because it looks natural.

    2. Location Context - 7-second Drag cars look really out of place in a suburban street *hint*, Also, a red car against a blue background doesn’t really work either.

    3. Avoid shooting a dark car in full sunlight, shoot late in the afternoon instead. Bright colours are for full sunlight.

    4. Don't let dark shadows fall onto the bodywork.

    5. Try not to have trees or power poles sticking out of the roof!

    6. Check to see if the ground texture is consistent.


    1. Clean car, black tires, and spotless windows - dirt shows up very easily in photos.

    2. Windows and Doors closed, no questions asked.

    3. Aim the front wheels of the car away from the camera - unless it's an advert for tires.

    Hints & Tips:

    1. Shoot a dark car in soft ambient light, late afternoon is good.

    2. Mind that shadow you're casting! *wink*

    3. Dark cars (black ones for that matter) are a giant mirror on wheels so be mindful you don’t get your reflection in the shot!

    4. Get down on your knees or stomach for the low angles. (Watch for Ant nests)

    5. Use a Tripod for a more stable shot.

    6. Walk around the car and look for the best angles.

    7. Try standing back from the car and zooming in to blur the background for more Depth of Field (Tripod Mandatory).

    8. If your camera has manual overrides, experiment with Shutter Speeds and Apertures...might surprise yourself!


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