An introduction to car photography

This is a brief introduction to the exciting and challenging genre of car photography. Though the general automotive industry is a vast genre, we’ll only focus on passenger cars in this discussion.

Avoid shooting when the sun is directly overhead

Cars are highly reflective surfaces. They produce a lot of glare. The worst thing you can do as a car photographer is to shoot at a time of the day when the sun is directly overhead. That will produce the worst kind of glare. Choose to shoot during the early or late hours of the day. For example, when the sun is slanted, and the light isn’t intense.

Try to shoot from an angle that doesn’t catch your reflection

Because cars are highly reflective, there is always the chance that you can catch your reflection in the images. To avoid this, always shoot from an angle that doesn’t catch your reflection in the shadow. Avoid straight angles. Try the acute angles first and then shoot from a wider angle. Shoot from a distance and use optical zoom to make tight crops.

Always capture the angled wheel shot

Cars are objects of desire. They reflect the driving passion of an individual. Thus they’re objectified and treated as sleek machines. While some photographers prefer the sexy look, others prefer the masculine one. Yes, cars can be both, depending on the vehicle, the design, and the target customers. Depending on how they perceive the car, they can focus on the curves or masculine features such as wide tires, bold headlights, grills, or character lines. Whatever they do, car photographers don’t miss out on shooting the shot where the wheel is at an angle.

Make sure to change the angle of the shoot

Choose to vary the different angles of the shoot. Experiment with it because every angle brings something interesting to the image. Try out the low angle. The low angle makes the car appear larger than life.

Capture a shot of the car moving

This is a little tricky and will require additional hands. For a stationary shot of a car, you can handle the shoot on your own. But it would help if you planned things for a shot where the car is moving. It would help if you had someone to drive the car. You need an additional car to position yourself. Finally, you need to fine-tune the camera settings and master the art of panning and focusing simultaneously. Ideally, you would want a shot of the car with the wheels spinning (and therefore blurred out). Using the panning mode, you would also like to have the background blurred out in the shot.