Car Photography Tips: How to Capture Great Car Photos

car photography tips

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Are you in need of some car photography tips that can help you shoot great car photos? If you are a serious photography and automobile enthusiast or a professional photographer who is looking to hone your craft even further, then you will surely appreciate reading what we have prepared for you today. So, grab yourself a nice cup of coffee and start reading.

Car Photography Tips

Table of Contents

How do you photograph cars to get the best results? Well, as you may know, photographing cars is never easy but with a little help, you will surely get awesome photographs that you can be proud of. Here’s how you do it.

Grab the right gear. If you want to tinker with car photography, then a simple point-and-shoot camera wouldn’t be enough to get you the results you want. While such cameras are now being constantly upgraded, you will definitely need a DSLR to capture the beauty and excitement of your favorite subjects. In choosing a DSLR camera, you should give priority to the ISO range, auto-focus, sensor size and crop factor. You should also take into account the number of frames per second that it can take while in the continuous shooting mode.

To further enhance the quality of your photos, you should also have a wide variety of lenses. This should include a wide angle lens (for full view exterior shots as well as for engine and interior body shots), a mid-range zoom lens (the most versatile lens you can use for a wide range of shots) and a telephoto zoom lens (for capturing fast action shots).  You should also include filters (clear/UV filter, polarizing filter and neutral density filter), a tripod or monopod (especially useful when shooting low-light interior and exterior night photos) and proper lighting equipment in your equipment bag.

Pick the best location. While you may not have deep marketing budgets to shoot in some extremely scenic locations, there are definitely a lot of places that can give you almost the same results as those seen in most glossy magazines. Here are some of your choices:

  • Use natural setting. While you can always shoot along the road, in the driveway or in the car park, doing so may not add a dramatic feel to your photos, right? To solve this dilemma, why not consider shooting at the top level of a car park or at the top of the hill? This will give you a nice view of the city or the rural landscape as a bonus. You can also consider shooting along the industrial areas and use derelict warehouses to frame your shots. Or you can choose to shoot along the business district to give your photos a more modern look.
  • Experiment by shooting in an unnatural setting. While it may be fun experimenting with your shots, take care not to take it too far as to take your shots entirely out of context.
  • Go for studio-type shots.  Another alternative is to go for studio-type shots. You may have to rent a large studio for this but if you’re a little short of funds, a large garage space with white walls may very well do the trick.

Use lighting to your advantage. Use natural light whenever possible. For best results, consider shooting well within the golden hours. Now, if you have to use artificial lighting, make sure you don’t over light your subject. Set up your lighting equipment one by one and take a test shot before deciding if you need to turn on another light. Don’t rush through this or you may end up with shots that do not really capture your personal style.

Know the best angles to shoot from. Now that you’ve picked the right location and set up the lighting, it’s time to start clicking away! Explore the best angles and vantage points from where to take your shots to get the effect you need. Tip: You may want to shoot slightly just above the ground to get that menacing look!

Whether you’re an amateur or a pro, using these car photography tips can really work to your advantage so use them in your next car photography shoot.

I hope you find these tips useful in further honing your craft. We’ll be talking more about some other car photography tips in the near future so watch out for it!

Good luck,

Ray Baker