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Secret Tips to Snap Excellent Car Photos from a Professional Photographer

Secret Tips to Snap Excellent Car Photos from a Professional Photographer

If you see a car you fancy, you will eventually snap some memorable and shareable images of the beautiful machine. Whether you want to take exotic car images for sale or crave great shots of your automobile, car photography can be pretty intimidating unless you know the trade tricks.

If you follow a few simple golden rules, then you’ll quickly start to enhance your shots. It doesn’t take much equipment to get started either, just your camera, retouching software, a car you fancy, and a passion for compelling photos.

In this guide, let’s discover a rundown of secret tips to create top-notch photos of your car.

Let’s get started!

How to get incredible car images?

Here are some of the tricks that professionals keep in mind while snapping car images:

Get the gear together

The only three gears you need are your car, camera, and sometimes a tripod. Even your phone cameras can snap impressive car images, but if you want professional-looking results, opt for DSLRs with wide lenses (around 24mm) from the get-go. When capturing the car images, make sure you’re shooting in RAW format, as it offers more flexibility to tone down highlights.

A tripod is also good since it secures your camera and lets you capture more prolonged exposure when you shoot in the dark.

But before you snap the images, ensure the car is as clean as possible. Otherwise, the camera will pick up odd splashes of mud, dirt, and stuff that do not complement the car images.

Chase the light:

The law of golden hour shooting is advantageous for car photos. The hour after sunrise and the one before sunset offer motor vehicles the best lighting option.

Low-angle sun rays add warmth and texture, and generally dimmer lighting allows you to balance the photo quickly.

Also, if you want the foreground and background equally sharp, jack up the aperture’s f-stop to higher values, say, f/14 to f/20. Also, keep the ISO as low as possible to reduce the grain in the image.

Watch out for reflections:

We know it’s tempting to shoot a brand-new and shiny car, but watch out for the reflections. Car bodies are not matte, and one of the critical things you want to show in the picture is design lines. Reflections from nearby trees, benches, or buildings can spoil these lines.

So, before you snap the photos, look closely to see what reflects off the surface. Aim to have open spaces behind you. Also, be careful to leave your reflection out of the car image.

If you’re struggling capturing images without your reflection–use a tripod, set the timer, and move out of the shot.

Take moving shots:

Here’s one of our favorite car photography tips:

To capture the model car from a moving vehicle.

Moving car images look incredibly gorgeous and convey an exquisite sense of motion. Unfortunately, you can’t just hop in a car and start snapping photos.

Instead, you’ll carefully need to fix your speed, position, and camera settings. Here are our recommendations:

  • Get a driver so you are in the passenger seat.
  • Secure your camera to the inside of your car using a strap. You want to save your gear.
  • Both cars should match speeds, with your vehicle slightly ahead. 60 km/h is a good starting point.
  • Set the camera to continuous shooting mode and the shutter speed to 1/100 s.

 Do the session on low-traffic roads. You don’t want to frustrate other drivers.

The magic is in the details:

This secret comes in handy if you are in charge of advertising a car.

Interiors are an essential part of the driving experience. But capturing them can be a challenge. Experts like to shoot with something to see in the window. So catch the hand-stitched seats, authentic wood panels, attractive gear-shift knobs, or anything that makes the car stand out against mountains or forest backdrops.

If you don’t know where to find scenic beauty with mountains and skies, the AI-powered autoRetouch has your back! The remove background component will eliminate the original backdrop from the photos retaining the interior of the car image. After that, feel free to place the cut-out against scenic scenery using the custom background tool.

Avoid shooting at eye level:

A common rookie mistake by fledgling photographers is shooting from eye level– the view we get while standing in front of the car.

We know it’s the most natural starting point, but it’s also the least flattering angle for a car because it’s not how cars are best viewed.

So go high or low. Use a ladder or step stool for high angles. However, if you think you’re a good photographer, hold the camera above your head and start capturing the wonders.

Nighttime car photography

When capturing car images at night, you can use the basic camera settings and techniques for night photography. But there’s mainly a lighting effect to try when shooting at night, creating a light trail.

So here are the steps on how to capture car headlights at night and achieve that starry night effect:

  • Go to an isolated area.
  • Begin with a shutter speed of 15 seconds, and go wild with more prolonged exposure from here.
  • Set the aperture between f/4-f/11 depending on the amount of light.
  • Keep the ISO low to avoid overexposure of the headlights.
  • Use remote-powered tripods to prevent the slightest camera shake that can blur your photos.
  •  Keep on capturing until you get the desired shots.

Bring the car images to life:

Post-processing your car images makes the pieces more stunning. autoRetouch is an excellent tool for taking your car snaps to a new level. You can automatically crop and resize, add natural shadows, and extract vector paths for further processing. You can also find plenty of software online to fix the car images’ vibrance, saturation, color, and skies.

In Conclusion:

Capturing car images can seem challenging, but with the secrets of professionals, you’re well-equipped to capture some good photos on your own. So grab your gear and get the image of your dreams.