Car photography is one way to show your admiration for your car and show it to others. Learn how to take stunning photos of supercars and highlight their uniqueness.
Fast and photogenic
People love all kinds of cars – from mighty vintage cars to luxurious Mercedes or the latest Lamborghini. Capturing both the achievements of the automotive industry and meetings between motorists, professional automotive photography has become an art form in its own right. It’s a declaration of love for cars, multi-faceted promotional photographs, and an attempt to capture the fusion of craftsmanship and engineering forever. Even if you took a great photo, it could use some post-processing. You can check out info about how to cut out an image in Photoshop on Skylum`s blog.
Whether it’s speed, looks, or tuning and modifications that attract you to vehicles, supercar photography takes you into spaces with beautiful cars and like-minded people.
Car photographers should start by making contacts
You can create great photos of any car. But if you want an unforgettable experience taking pictures of luxury cars or special vintage models, you’ll have to turn to their owners. You can’t do that without sincere admiration for these supercars. If you’re into automotive photography, you should adore cars.
If you don’t have friends with Ferrari, Porsche, or modified Mazda racing models, head to car shows and meet other car enthusiasts, owners, and industry people – from garage owners to specialist product salespeople. Find out which supercar or vintage car shows are nearby and head there with your camera.
How to prepare for a car photoshoot
Once you have established the necessary contacts and planned the shoot, you should find out as much as possible about the period and location of the shoot. Ask your client about the make, model, and color of their car so that you can plan the shoot. Perhaps the owner would like to capture specific modifications and nuances of their supercar.
1. Choose a location that enhances the car
Different vehicles may require different scenery and surroundings. If you are shooting a Jeep that can go miles off-road you might want to shoot on rocky terrain (with a bit of common sense). On the other hand, a car with low ground clearance looks best on a smooth city street or in front of an old brick factory wall.
The color of the supercar also helps you decide on the best shooting location. The only supercars cars you can shoot anywhere are black and white. If you are working with a different color car, it’s more difficult. The toughest tone to shoot is probably purple. It’s very difficult to shoot. You have to find the right light.
Look for backgrounds that contrast with the color and brightness of the car. Darker cars look great against a lighter background.
2. Plan your shooting on a gold watch
The time of day can play a crucial role. As with street photography in general, direct sunlight can cause glare, harsh shadows, or color burns. Shoot your supercars during the golden hour (the hour after sunrise and before sunset) to soften the glare and shadows created by the midday sunlight. If you’re shooting at midday, avoid harsh lighting by shooting the car in the shade of trees and buildings.
To be a successful car photographer you need to get to grips with different angles and types of shots. The following equipment will help you capture everything from beautiful BMWs to fast-moving cars like the Chevy Camaro at a street race.
1. Basic equipment
A tripod for clear shots is a valuable tool, especially for keeping the camera still at night. Also worth considering is a basic reflector kit for sunlight handling.
2. Flash units
Outdoor photography may require a reflector to work with natural light and redirect it toward the car. But automotive photography often includes interior shots. The flash is handy because it illuminates the interior and brings out the colors of the different parts.
However, use a softer flash to provide good illumination without harsh shadows. Don’t use too much flash as it will cause white streaks on the skin. The salon must look smooth.
3. Light limiters
Vehicle paintwork tends to pick up and reflect light, which can be a problem without the right equipment. A neutral filter limits light, much like sunglasses for a lens. A circular polariser can also be used, which reduces glare.
Without a circular polariser, there will be many reflections from the windscreen and the sides of the supercar that will spoil the look.
To take good pictures of cars, you need to:
- Get ready to shoot from all angles
- The detail in interior shots
- Take photos of cars on a particular stretch of road.
Before you get creative, be sure to shoot the car from all the classic angles. Shoot the car directly at eye level, shoot from the side, and at a 45-degree angle to each corner of the vehicle.
Just play around with the angles and find the ones that look best.
After shooting the whole car from good angles, move on to cropped shots. You could shoot the side of the car from a low angle with a starting point such as the front wheel. Then capture details such as the headlights, bonnet emblem, indicators, side skirts, and mirrors to show off the unique features of the supercar.
If the location isn’t the best or if you can’t follow the rule of thirds (or other photo composition guidelines), experiment with the positioning of the car.
The detail in the interior shots
Tinted windows or closed doors often make the car interior darker. In this case, a soft flash or lighting can come in handy. Don’t be afraid to open doors and windows to let more light into the cabin. And be sure to adjust the camera settings.
Some kinds of shots are easier in cars with a rear seat row, but in two-seater cars, you’ll have to be creative to find the best angle. You can also shoot the interior from the outside – roll the windows down or open the door and shoot through the window.
Photographing details is an essential element of interior filming. Capture the steering wheel, seams on the seats, and other features. And don’t forget to take photos of everything under the bonnet. Supercar enthusiasts love photos of stylish details, but shots of the engineering behind the car’s power are just as important.