How To Take Great Photographs Of Cars

Every single proud car owner out there will eventually want to take some memorable photos of this prized possession. You can definitely take out your smartphone and just snap some pics. However, this rarely creates an image that you will be proud of.

Fortunately, there are many different things that you can do in order to take incredible photographs of cars. You just need to know what you are doing so here are some tips that you can surely apply right now. Use them and you will take much better photographs than you initially thought.

Chase The Light

It is very important to respect the classic golden hour shooting rule when you want to photograph a car. The best light for your shot will be one hour after the sun goes up or one hour before sunset. When there is low-angle sunlight available, texture and warmth are automatically added to the photograph. Dimmer lighting allows you to easily balance image elements. However, this does not mean you should pack after sunset. You never know what incredible colors you get to find. Look at the clouds and try to get your shot properly dialed-in, based on exposure.

In the event that you want the background and foreground sharp, move the f-stop aperture setting to a higher value. F/20 should be ok. At the same time, adjust exposure in order to compensate for the darker image you will get.

Your ISO setting should be kept low. This helps to reduce the presence of grain in the final photograph. Try to use a longer exposure, even by a couple of seconds than what you would normally do. Just make sure you do this only when you use a tripod as it would be very difficult without one.

Control The Depth Of Field

Bokeh is the name of a photography technique in which you de-focus the photo’s background so that the subject is highlighted. Set aperture wide and then compensate with a simple boost of your shutter speed setting. When you compose the photo shot in an appropriate way, it becomes stronger, all while you get an artistic or dash flair.


Don’t Neglect Visions

There are times when you just get an idea as you drive down the road. You think about your day-to-day things. Like, you consider the car extended warranty you got from This means you are practically distracted since you think about the benefits of the new insurance coverage but in a split second, you get an idea. Normally, we neglect these ideas. Do not make this mistake.

While you drive around, there are countless of interesting spots that will catch your eye. Go investigate and see if you find something great in terms of location. You can even use Google Maps for this. The images that you see there can give you access to a perfect shooting location for your car.

Try To Surprise People

In so many cases, a simple straight middle shot is very impactful. This is especially the case when something novel is done. For instance, think about the holiday season when all lights are turned on. You might be able to take a beautiful picture that surprises everyone and makes it into a magazine. Just make sure that you get consent in the event that you shoot someone else.


Get Inside The Vehicle

It is a shame to see how interiors are neglected by car photographers. Why not take a shot of the interior since it is just as important as driving the vehicle? Try to shoot an image you would see inside the window. Line up with some of the surrounding landscape or buildings. You usually end up with a blurred background but you can control sharpness when you control aperture. A sharp background also works when you have a blurred foreground. As always with photography, experiment with your shots!

Do Not Shoot At Regular Eye Level

It is so tempting to just shoot photos at the regular eye level. This is practically the view that you get when you stand right in front of the vehicle. This natural starting point can be great but it is not that flattering. This is mainly because we are familiar with such images and the angle is not the appropriate one to see the best part of the car.

The trick with angles is to go low or go high. A step-stool or a ladder can be utilized for the higher angles. For the lower angles, you can just get on the ground, as photographers often do in landscape photography.


Take Advantage Of The Location

One of the best possible things to remember about photographing cars is that way too many focus on the car and forget about the surroundings. This means you need to find a location that you can easily take advantage of. For instance, how about a photograph taken during a snowstorm? Few people will consider this option but the shot would be awesome.

Try to drive around for some time. See what spots peak your interest. There is a pretty good possibility you will find something that you will love and that would generate a perfect photograph.

Capture Quirks

Every single car has unique features that stand out and that you should celebrate in your photographs. For instance, the BMW i8 has scissor doors that you will appreciate. Look for surprising and novel ways to highlight the vehicle’s unique features. As an example, you can mount your GoPro behind the ornament on the hood and then you can drive around while using time-lapse mode. Shoot at exposures of 2 seconds. You will be surprised to see what beautiful shots you will take.


Final Thoughts

The bottom line with taking car photos is that you need to be creative. There are countless such photographs posted all around the internet. You can easily shoot something great if you take advantage of your creativity and personality. The best photos are those that show the subject and have a vision. Look for that vision and you will be ok.