Help with ideas and location for a car photoshoot

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by ryanpandey, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. ryanpandey

    ryanpandey Member

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    Hi,


    Firstly sorry if this is against the sub rules - I have checked the sidebar and it seems ok.


    In a nutshell I'm looking for help and inspiration shooting my daily runner a SAAB 9-3 estate and while I know its not as inspiring as maybe the high end cars I still think the lines are lovely. I bought this car as a 1 year "make do" car and 5 years later its still going. During the last 5 years I've had some great times in it and I've grown fond of it, sadly though its going to be replaced in the next 6 months as its not economically viable to keep running. I want to take some good photos before it goes to the scrapheap in the sky.


    What I'm after is some ideas, tricks etc. for shooting her. I'm reasonably proficient at using a camera and I do have a DSLR but no specialist kits for things like shots while hanging off the car. I've not really done car photography so this area is all new to me.


    Also what would be nice is some location recommendations. I'm in the East Midlands, UK so if you know of anywhere that works well with a car then please let me know!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Truzi

    Truzi Member

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    I would have someone snap a picture of me with my car when on trips. Nothing fancy, just me standing next to the car in a parking lot at a ski resort, or gas station on the way to a cabin, etc. I tend to like those best... me with my car.

    I'm not sure how much help I will be, but parks and beaches are nice locations in general. Perhaps a meadow, or next to any tree who's leaves are turning color for autumn. If your area has "cruises," where car people gather weekly to show their cars, that may be a good idea as well - it will likely be a parking lot, but you'll have the background ambiance of a car gathering. An old diner could also make a nice background.

    Another idea that is hard to find in the U.S. anymore, and I don't know if your area had/has them, are "Drive-Ins." Not outdoor movie theatres, but diners where the server ("car hop") comes to your car to take your order, and hangs a tray with food on your door. This may not "fit" with the year of your car, but would still make a nice, albeit "traditional," photo.
     
  3. Theo Sulphate

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    Welcome to Photrio.

    Over the last 25+ years I've photographed cars a lot: my own cars, cars at car shows, cars racing at the track. So, there are several things I pay attention to:

    * The background. You don't want it to be distracting. You don't want it to appear a tree is growing out of the car, you don't want background colors to distract, either.

    * The angle. Usually oblique views are the most flattering and illustrate the car's lines well. You'll probably want to photograph all sides as well, since it's your own car and means more to you. Also, make photographs from different heights (not just eye level).

    * Details. Photograph the little details on the car. The emblem. The lights. The wheels. Photograph the interior, especially the instrument panel. Get close-ups of the gauges, the gear shift lever, the console.

    Reflections. Try not to get your reflection in the photo. Usually I can position myself so that my reflection disappears in a curve of the metal or bumper. Watch for other distracting reflections or bright "hot spots" coming into the photo from the windscreen or sides of the car, or from bright metal. I'd suggest using a polarizing filter to minimize or eliminate glass reflections.

    Bring more film than you think you'll need.

    Also, one thing I've done is make a video as I'm driving along in my neighborhood or favorite road. This is an in-car video. You can have someone make a video from outside as you drive as well.

    Lastly, make some photos of your car at some of your favorite places you visit.

    Have fun!
     
  4. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber
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    Oh, yeah, photograph the engine as well!
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser
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    hi ryanpandey

    what are the design aspects of the car that you like ? maybe focus on the little things
    because in the end its the little things that matter the most...
    have fun!
    john
     
  6. jjphoto

    jjphoto Member
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    TBH, if you want a nice picture of the car then just get a copy of the brochures which surely have great photography . On the other hand you might be better off having someone take a nice picture of you with your car, the photographic details being much less relevant than the subject matter.
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber
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    check online picture libraries to get some ideas.
     
  8. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber
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    I tried that by substituting a photo of Kate Upton for my wife. It didn't work.
     
  9. jim10219

    jim10219 Member
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    The trick to a great car photo, in my opinion, is catch lights. When the paint is nice and shiny, catch lights can really enhance the lines. A simple background also helps. The best way to take care of both of these, is to shoot in a large garage or warehouse (sometimes a factory will work too). The idea is a clean wall for the background and lots of those long fluorescent tube (or LED) lights up above. Find an angle that reflects those light skin in a way that accentuates the lines. Also, it usually helps to get the camera down low.

    That may not be an option for you. It’s not something everyone has easy access to. But then again, you may work in such a place or know of someone who owns one and wouldn’t mind you using it for an hour or two. If you do, you can get some really cool photos.
     
  10. mgb74

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    I think a shot of you driving the car makes for a great, personal photo. Obviously someone else needs to take the photograph. Panning, to keep you in focus and blurring the background, makes for a nice effect. That may take some practice and a slow, but not too slow, shutter speed. Pay attention to the wheels. You want a bit of a blur to give a sense of motion.

    jnanian's suggestion of focusing on the small bits is a good one.
     
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