Car Photography tips
As specialized as product photography is, automobile is a greater specialization and to be more specific Car Photography. The images and photographs of cars play a critical role not only in a car launch or branding of a car under a badge. Car photographs play a huge role in promoting automobile shows and events. These are more in the professional league. It is also very important in the used car market, more so today where the initial short listing is done online where images play a crucial role. The specification apart from the visual impact is huge. The importance of the images cannot be explained easily. There are broad pointers one can follow while shooting cars.
Set the mood and get the lighting right – It is critical to have a theme and story in mind based on which the frames are created. A convertible is best showcased in bright sunny environs, a sports car zipping maybe on a windy road, an off roader in rugged terrains and so on. Once one has frozen on the overall mood and theme it is critical to get the lighting right. The best time ideally is a little before sun up or a little after sun down. The nights are a good time to shoot too. With the city as the backdrop shoot the car with high exposure settings in the range of 30 seconds to come out with some amazing pictures that highlight the car. Shoot with high exposure times to capture the car in motion, whatever the time factor in the ambient light, the color of the car, shiny surface and the reflection and glares resulting from that. Some of the flaws that are bound to creep in can be addressed and rectified at the post shoot editing and enhancement stage.
Luxury – Communicate effectively the luxury element or the utility element of the automobile as the case maybe. The image should capture the elements. In case of luxury, the car could be picturized in the backdrop of an luxurious home, with a well kempt lawn. The models in the image clearly reflecting the elements of luxury in terms of how they are dressed or could be a well manicured hand running along the car and so on. Utility vehicles or off road automobiles could be picturized with a cabin in the woods in the back drop and so on.
Highlight details – Crop and clip images to ensure the elements that need to be highlighted are showcased effectively – images detailing the tail lamp assembly, or the front grill, the inside panels and components that one wants to audience to notice and the like. Zoom in to the unique features of the car and flaunt them.
Settings – Experiment with different settings, as a rule shoot with low ISO that is high exposure times since most often one would be shooting just before sunrise or just after sunset or maybe even in the night. Use a tripod to ensure one gets stable pictures and the vibrations from the slow shutter speeds do not rob the images of its sharpness. Use the depth of field to highlight components and the whole car itself against the backdrop. Pick a focal length to shoot the car. This would vary from vehicles in terms of the tall vehicles to the sleek low roof ones. Avoid very wide angle lenses unless one is consciously trying to create a desired effect. A few zoom shots can come in handy. Also try to avoid eye level shots, work on getting and elevation and shoot from a higher level. Shoot in RAW format. This allows for effective enhancements and editing post shoot.
Post Shoot Editing & Enhancement – Car pictures need to be perfect to ensure that the viewer is enticed to want to look further and explore the car in real. For this the images have to be perfect and reflect the true beauty of the car. Be open to the need to photo editing and enhancement to rectify the imperfections that would have crept in the while shooting the images. Shoot with varying setting and create large stockpile of images to allow for effective editing and enhancements post shoot.