Automotive Photography can be considered a niche in the photography industry. Hence, many are in dire need of good tips in order to produce professional level photographs.
Taking photographs of cars can be increasingly interesting. When shooting for car commercials, there are a few aspects or guidelines that need to be taken into consideration to get desired results. The secret to successful car photography is simple! Keep a few things in check!
Time of day
The time of day is of extreme importance when you want to take pictures of cars. Successful ads tend to feature cars when the sun is barely visible, preferably a few minutes after sunset or a while before sunrise. The soft golden glow bounces off every surface, giving the photograph a wholesome and glamorous vibe. The natural light also cuts down on post-processing time, making your work more authentic!
Look out for Reflections
Car photography can be tricky since hindsight can result in unwanted reflections on the car’s surface. Therefore, when you are getting ready for a photo shoot make sure you choose an open space. The shiny exterior of the automobile will mirror its surroundings, hiding its design lines. Reflections and shadows on the exterior can ruin the whole point of this product photography, if it obstructs the car’s curves and designs. This is why it is better to avoid areas with buildings and tall trees for such shoots.
And if your own reflection appears on the surface, then the best option is to use a tripod and timer.
Color and Background
Color and background need to be in perfect harmony; otherwise your picture will fail to catch the eye. Each color or paint reacts depending on the time of the day or lighting. Direct sunlight is a big no no! Most colors tend to hide their best features in direct sunlight; on the other hand, lighter colored cars can look stunning in sunlight.
According to your vehicle’s color and the theme of your photo shoot, it is vital to choose a contrasting background. The background’s sole purpose should be to highlight the car. Any objects that may serve as a distraction must be removed.
The classiest car photos are the drive-by shots. Taking pictures of one moving car from another moving car is one of the coolest and most thrilling captures. Granted, it can be very dangerous!
Try shooting out of your car window while driving at 60 kilos per hour (40 m/h) with your shutter speed set at 1/100th of a second. This should capture the movement on the road and the wheels. Decreasing the shutter speed even more will create a blurry effect, which can seem nice too!
Another way of taking driving shots is to stand still and let the car drive past you. Use your lens to follow the car as it moves by, with shutter speed at 125th of a second. This method is easy and the pictures come out stunning! The effects obviously change depending on the speed of the car, so play around with it.
Contradictory to popular belief, it is possible to take good photos in the dark. For car photography, we simply need one extra instrument; a flashlight.
Firstly, you need to find a location which is Pitch Black. Street light, moonlight, billboards etc. can ruin the photo so be aware of any other sources of light. After you have reached this spot; set up your tripod, put your ISO to 100 and the shutter speed should be 30 seconds with an aperture of f/9.
Now, when the shutter is about to open you must shine your flashlight on the surface. Try to cover all sides of the car with the flashlight by walking around as the shutter opens. Experiment with the angles and sides, each photo will have a different effect!