Thursday’s Car Show Photography Tip

TIP: Ask owners to please remove any placards placed under their windshield wipers.

It’s getting to be car show season again: If you get to the show early—and you should—placards may not have already been placed under the windshield (windscreen if you’re British) wipers and another added benefit to being an early bird is that it’s also less crowded so people won’t walk into your shot.

Classic Bentley

Most owners can talk for hours about their cars because there never was a restoration project that didn’t have some interesting twists and turns. While chatting ask them if they would kindly and just temporarily remove any show placards, such as the identification cards placed on the dash or under the windshield wiper. Don’t do it yourself!  Always ask the owner before touching any part of his or her car! It’s best to have them to remove any show placards, so ask politely

You don’t have to be an expert on a particular marque or even cars in general, but you should be curious and polite when inspecting a car that might make an ideal photographic subject. If you see the owner, ask them a question. People who own interesting cars often have interesting stories to tell about their cars before it reaches the state where you would want to photograph it. If the owner is not around and the light is perfect, just shoot it as it is and try to select and angle that minimizes the placard or makes it easy to remove using Photoshop later in the digital darkroom. Buick Invicta convertible below was captured using a Canon EOS D30 that had been converted to infrared-only capture (

Buick Invicta

Joe Farace is the author of a new e-book called 15 Tips for Better Car Photos that’s available from Please visit his car photograhy website and blog at

Author: Joe Farace

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