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Old 03-18-2008, 02:15 AM   #1
Tom Wiley
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Default Picture taking advice?

What are some general tips for taking pictures of cars? I feel like I take pictures and only a few turn out. So do some of the photo savvy folks take pictures of cars?
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:22 AM   #2
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windows closed, antenna down, make sure there arent any items "growing" from the subject, like a tree or telephone pole or sign. give the car a nice detailing.
infill lighting if there are details on the car that dont really show up (grill, emblem, body line) use a cheap reflector (cardboard with aluminum foil on it) to achieve this.


umm, polarized filter to reduce glare....


umm....
im no photographer, but thats what i've picked up from working WITH photographers.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:22 AM   #3
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If its dark, bring a tripod.
If its a 3/4 shot, turn the wheels so more wheel is shown, not the other way around.
Your light source should be behind you, even if that means you have to move your car for every picture.
Get photoshop and learn to use it.
windows should be all the way down or all the way up.
Make sure there's no light poles or trees behind your car.
Dont post 20 versions of the same veiw of your car, one is enough.
Take a lot of pictures, if its blurry at all, dont bother using it.
Get photoshop and learn to use it.
Taking all your pictures at stupid angles is not artistic, its just annoying.
Make sure the surroundings arent distracting.

Thats all that I can think of off the top of my head.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:32 AM   #4
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Here's an example

See in this picture the light was behind me, so the side of the car I took the picture of is lit up.


Also, notice in this picture how the wheels are turned so the wheel is showing. You'll either want to turn them like this or just leave them straight.


This is not my picture, but its an example of what not to do. When the light is on the other side of the car, the car will be too dark or the surroundings will be washed out.



it looks silly when the wheels are turned so you see the tread. This is bad.

Last edited by daijoubanai; 07-19-2009 at 01:35 PM..
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:21 PM   #5
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I just remembered a really good tip for shooting at night that you all should know, but it really only works well if you have a buddy with you.
When taking a picture of your car at night/in the dark, dont leave the headlights on, it will usually look terrible and look like they're super bright. But, if you have a buddy, have him get in the car and quickly turn on the lights for like a 1/2 second while you take a long exposure. This way, the headlights are on like you wanted and you can still see the surrounding car.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rancidponymilk View Post
dont leave the headlights on, it will usually look terrible
Leaving headlights on for night shots seems to be a Turbobricks thing... it looks retarded/is really stupid
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 340GL View Post
Leaving headlights on for night shots seems to be a Turbobricks thing... it looks retarded/is really stupid
One thing you can do is, if you have a tripod and your camera has a timer, set the timer and quick jump in the car. When the shutter goes off flick the lights on for like 1/2 second or less and bam, better night pictures.
I'm going to try and make a quick example of this sometime tonight.
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rancidponymilk View Post
Get photoshop and learn to use it.
GIMP works fine too. Been using it for years. Free yet tremendously powerful open-source alternative. Not QUITE as good as photoshop, but you're not paying $800 either.

Quote:
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Taking all your pictures at stupid angles is not artistic, its just annoying.
What bothers me much more than weird angles is when people under- or over-expose ALL their pictures, then say they're doing it as a "style" - saying that is "artistic" is just a cover-up for not knowing how to take a damn picture.

That and the fake HDRs that look nothing at all like a real High Dynamic Range photograph, which is simply a merge of three bracketed exposures taken on a tripod. The point is to retain detail in the highlights and shadows in high-contrast situations that are difficult to properly expose. The fake images fail miserably at even imitating this.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:36 PM   #9
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Thank you very much. I will have to get a tripod in order to do more night shots.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Yeliwmots View Post
Thank you very much. I will have to get a tripod in order to do more night shots.
Its pretty much required for night shots. Not every picture looks good with the camera on the ground.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:56 PM   #11
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Have you ever heard of a "not" joke?
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:19 AM   #12
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Show off your rims, not your tires. I find that the weird angles of wheels the other way can ruin a picture.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg mazda1r.jpg (164.4 KB, 2787 views)
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Incidentally, if we're going to follow this other train of thought, you should install your spare tire while the vehicle is cruising at 55mph, since that's about where it'll be used most often.

Last edited by dbh86; 03-19-2008 at 12:27 AM..
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbh86 View Post
Show off your rims, not your tires. I find that the weird angles of wheels the other way can ruin a picture.
That brings me to a question: How did this trend of people photoing their cars of always showing off the tire tread start? It seems more often than not that someone takes a 3/4 shot of their car that they will turn the front wheels so they face the camera.

I agree with the above statement, I wanna see the wheels, not the rubber. Unless of course the wheels are total crap.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:24 AM   #14
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pretty color
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:28 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by volvo740t View Post
pretty color
The car is actually red, but you can thank photoshop for that.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:16 AM   #16
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Read this
http://www.popularhotrodding.com/fea...phr/index.html
They've got some tips for taking good shots in there. They had another article on the same subject, but I can't seem to find it.

Also, what kind of camera do you have? Not saying you need an $800 SLR and a $1500 lens, but if you're using some cheapie point and shoot, your pictures aren't going to come out very good.

I shot these with a Canon Powershot S2is












The one of the Mustang and the one of the Volvos was handheld, the others were with a tripod. I'm no photographer, but I know quality equipment helps ensure quality product. And, as was said, if you're taking pictures for the express purpose of a photo shoot, take tons of pictures. A little harder on the wallet if you're shooting film, but digital is great for that. Keep the ones you like, the rest go into the recycle bin.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rancidponymilk View Post
I just remembered a really good tip for shooting at night that you all should know, but it really only works well if you have a buddy with you.
When taking a picture of your car at night/in the dark, dont leave the headlights on, it will usually look terrible and look like they're super bright. But, if you have a buddy, have him get in the car and quickly turn on the lights for like a 1/2 second while you take a long exposure. This way, the headlights are on like you wanted and you can still see the surrounding car.
I like that, I never would have thought to do that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbh86 View Post
The car is actually red, but you can thank photoshop for that.
Mazda's got a color that looks a lot like that, actually.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:41 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lan View Post

Also, what kind of camera do you have? Not saying you need an $800 SLR and a $1500 lens, but if you're using some cheapie point and shoot, your pictures aren't going to come out very good.
A decent camera can be had for $100 or less. To get good results from a decent camera, it really helps to use a tripod, take night shots, take HDR shots.

Clean car is a plus.

Location location location.

Try different viewpoints, above the car, below the car, tilt, alleys, beaches, mountains...scenic backdrops can really complement the car.

Break photographic rules once in a while, show the tread on your tires, tilt that horizon...or even give it a 45* tilt! UPSET PEOPLE! IT'S A BLAST!!! Overexpose it for a crazy look, shoot into the light for a sillhouette.

Most of all though, location, it doesnt matter if you have a $50 point and shoot or a $1500 SLR-Lens combo, a driveway or parking lot shot is boring.

Canon A510, goes for under $70 on ebay
Clean?

Canon A510
Car Window Reflection

Canon A570IS, goes for about $150 locally. (HDR)
Sunset Bay Brick

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT (Pseudo HDR from RAW)
Bay Brick

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi (HDR)
Leafy Turnout

So yeah...location.
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:59 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Mr Yuck View Post
Canon A570IS, goes for about $150 locally. (HDR)
Sunset Bay Brick

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT (Pseudo HDR from RAW)
Bay Brick

So yeah...location.
Where were these taken at?
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lan View Post
Mazda's got a color that looks a lot like that, actually.
Ya, but it doesn't look as cool as that photo. The red looks a lot better in person compared to the maroon.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:50 PM   #20
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This one would have been better if it wasnt so dark. Also, there is two cars present, which means you can do the cool trick I mentioned earlier about having the second person flick the lights on for about 1/2 second. If you have too, take two pictures so your buddy can do the lights in each vehicle, then just splice the pictures together.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:31 AM   #21
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Avoid the angles:

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Old 03-19-2008, 02:09 AM   #22
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Big Lan.

I have a Canon PowerShot SD750. It has worked well, as I have traveled with it with only minor malfunctions.
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:43 AM   #23
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Night shots, you'll want a tripod, try to stay away from using the flash as you'll get shots like this, and you lose depth and quality of color



You want the ISO on the camera set as low as possible, plus a long exposure (shutter speed open) A/F set around 5-7 depending on lighting in the area, it doesn't necessarily need to have a long exposure, but i use anywhere from 8-15 second exposures, depending on lighting (longer exposure = more lighting hitting and entering the lens




You can see this shot is slightly blurry, GIMP can sharpen up the picture to a certain point before it starts getting grainy
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:51 AM   #24
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1. FOR THE LOVE OF ****ING GOD KEEP YOUR CAMERA LEVEL TO THE GROUND.
2. Avoid the 'temptation' of HDR. Avoid it like the plague. I make no judgements as to anyone's ability with a camera, but 99% of all attempts at HDR look like ****. This is not me exaggerating. 99%. ****. If you think you need jump on a dumbass bandwagon to make your photos look good, then you also need a ****ing baseball bat to the head.
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Old 03-19-2008, 05:17 AM   #25
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Don't stand right in front of the car, stand back and zoom in if possible as it gives a much better perspective.
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