9 car photography tips
1- Get to know the car
The first thing I do when I take a car photography job is to understand what I will be shooting, what colour is it, is it bright or dark? Is it a matte or glossy & how will it interact with light. Look out for it’s curves and detail. This will determine how and where will the car be shot at.
I also google the car to see how other photographers have shot it, what worked and what didn’t work.
2- Get a good camera & I know this is up for a debate, a lot of you have been asking me about the best camera for car photography.
And this defines what a good camera is, especially if you are just starting up:
- Get something within your budget & won’t break the bank
- Get a camera that is compatible with the lenses that you want to get & the accessories that you are going to buy
- Get a camera that is compatible with the lighting system that you are going to use
- Factor in other things like are you going to use it to shoot video, do you want 4K or just Full HD, triggers, slow motion etc…
3- Get a good CPL filter to cut out reflection, this has really changed my photos for good.
4- Shoot at the golden hour when the light is soft, shooting mid day will result in harsh highlights and harsh shadows, if you had to shoot at mid day then find a good shadow area, I shot this GT3 Rs when the sun was harsh,I positioned the car between walls that bounced soft light- this shot is still my favourite.
5- Compress the background with a high focal length, I see many beginners getting a wide lens and stick the camera next to the car – don’t do that… I did it when I started, if you had to do it, do it once & get it out of your system for good. Extend your focal length ( watch the video )
6- Understand light, the quality of light & Shape it, once you nail it; its going to change your photos for good & I am not just talking about strobes & flashes… its also about the sunlight.
7- Train your eyes & get the composition right in Camera, along with how to position the car.
8- Photoshop! Once you have the eyes now its time to get Photoshop skills under your belt, Don’t be afraid to use photoshop, practice make perfect, I didnt know how to use photoshop 2 years ago & now I know how to bake a good image out of it.
9- Follow other photographers, ask questions, be curious – Yes they are busy but they often reply … Experiment, Fail & Fail alot – dont be afraid to fail its the only way you are going to learn!