Automobile photography


Shooting pictures of automobiles is an art by itself. Once you know when, where and how to shoot, it’s as easy as falling off a log, the way Wodehouse would put it.

Without further ado, here is how you go about it:

1. Remove distracting backgrounds. These could range from trees, electricity lines and lampposts to people and other automobiles.

CC photo courtesy Steve Corey

2. What works for portraits will also work for automobile photography – shooting at eye level. In this case, your eye should be in line with the windshield.

3. Now, park your car at a place that has a high-rise nearby, so you can take capture the car from up there. Not only will your car acquire a different persona, it will look way different.

4. Automobile photography is all about angles. Now try parking the car at an elevation and take a picture from down below. It affords an imposing look to the automobile. This works particularly well when the car has really huge headlights and fog lamps.

5. The wheels, fog lamps, spoilers and headlights deserve a close look.  While it may not be macro photography, it’s a bit like portrait photography, where you treat each of these sections in the automobile as a separate subject.

6. Now, switch to ‘continuous focus’ mode in your camera or enhance the shutter speed to 1/2000th or more and take a shot of the car as it moves. This will freeze the car and blur its surroundings, conveying a sense of speed – much like a sports car.

7. Take a shot of the front of the car through the rear view mirror of another car. But first, make sure the mirror is spic and span.

CC photo courtesy Arlo Bates

8. Take a long shot of the car along with something in the background to convey a pretty postcard simulation. It could be a car at the portico of a house, or a car by the swimming pool, lake or ocean.

Good luck!

~Zahid  H Javali

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