Car Photography Tips, Tools & Techniques
Next to your camera, the most important thing to bring to a car show is lots of memory cards and big ones. Indoors or out exposure can be tricky, so you should always use Farace’s Law #5 for photographing cars: Be sure to overexpose white and light colored cars; underexpose black or dark colored ones. I bracket in one-third stops in aperture-controlled mode to maintain consistent depth-of-field, when using automatic exposure. One or more of the three shots is always usable. While I shoot most cars in color, I often use the camera’s black and white mode to produce images that have a vintage look. Can’t make up your mind? Shoot it in RAW+JPEG and make the decision later. Of course you can just shoot in color and convert to monochrome in the digital darkroom. ©2012 Joe Farace
Be sure to make images of parts of cars. Don’t be frustrated by the lack of space and crowded conditions found at some shows. Use that to your advantage by finding small details, such as details in a Bugatti’s grille or the sensuous lines of a street rod’s fender and capture them in sharp focus. That’s why I prefer to use wide-angle zooms that let me get close and fill up the frame with part or even the entire car while eliminating distractions. Make sure your zoom lens allows close focusing. Start by working in close and gradually back off the zoom ring until extraneous details appear in the frame, then crop them out—in camera. A low angle also helps to simplify the background. ©2012 Joe Farace
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